A clunker at 979 pages, but an outstanding novel in its own right. I was extremely impressed at how Goodkind further developed Richard and Kahlan. The two characters had to deal with their own feelings towards each other and with how their world treated them as well. Richard has to also deal with the "return" of Darken Rahl (his father) and the attempt to tear the veil of the underworld to basically allow the Keeper complete control of the world of the Creator. Kahlan sends Richard away under the control of the Sisters of the Light, and the majority of the novel is driven by Richard's growth into a powerful wizard who has to deal with the above mentioned events as well as trying to reunite with Kahlan to save her life. This book also sets up upcoming novels in this series as Richard will have to deal with and conquer forces who are aligned with the Sisters of the Dark and the underworld as well.