If I had not read lots of other books in the shannara series I dont think I would have enjoyed this book. It is worth reading just to fill out more of the big story but as a stand alone book its not the best.
I always enjoy Terry Goodkind, though some books more than others. I like the whole Voyage of Jerle Shannara trilogy. Suspense, surprise, imagination, color, excitement, emotion...it's all there, and this was my favorite of the trilogy.
This book is not as good as the previous 2. It does not stand on it's own and you must read the other 2 first. That said, it repeats many of the same concepts, events, and story lines without any real clarity established. The various plots trudge along to a reasonably good ending, but leaves a lot of stones unturned and threads hanging loose. I liked the trilogy overall, pretty good Terry Brooks, but the overall impression is that the authoe struggled to complete the series.