This is the first of the Sword of Truth books by Terry Goodkind, a series that spans more than ten books now. This book was probably Terry Goodkind’s best. There was some character growth, unlike most of the others in the series, and the ending was an interesting twist. There’s the usual elements of fantasy, like dragons and wizards and the chosen hero. I read it a long time ago, so I don’t remember the writing style well, but it seems like he was less preachy than in later books, and there was more action. Problems with it: torture scenes, like in all his books; Richard is the perfect hero, and always knows what to do, against the counsel of others; and it has sequels. It should have been left alone, instead of going into a long series that got worse with each book. There were a few interesting ideas, but the series was nearly intolerable near the end because of the preachiness about things that didn’t make much sense, as in I didn’t see how they applied to the real world very well. And now he’s making more books in that world. Very unnecessary. Anyway, this book was enjoyable when I read it, the others after not so much.