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by Terry Goodkind

Reviewed by Coral

Not much has changed for Richard. The Beast is still after him. Jagang's army is still preparing to invade D'Hara. Kahlan is still missing. But, one major improvement, is that his closest friends no longer think he's insane and are working to help him find her. Unfortunately for them they may not have the time to do it.

The final prophesized battle between good and evil is fast approaching. The time has come for Richard to do something, only his plan of action isn't quite what anyone had in mind. Nicci also has her own idea of what the final battle entails and starts something that they might not survive. And while the Sisters holding Kahlan prisoner learn that they're not as safe from Jagang as they thought, a new Witch Woman comes on scene to make things difficult for everyone. Because we really need new characters and a new plotline this late in the game.

I think I may have finally given up on the series. There are so many things I used to overlook that just drove me crazy in this book.

Besides all the time wasted on re-hashing past plots, there was also a lot wasted on explanations of how spells work. Pages and pages were spent on explaining how one spell was corrupted! Considering that the series is supposed to be ending in the next book, I think the page space could have been better spent on something else.

I also found myself kind of hating Richard. I think he's sort slowly turned into a Mary Sue throughout this series. Everyone loves him. He's never wrong about magic, knowing better than people who've had magic for lifetimes. His flaws - selfishly pursuing Kahlan at the risk of everyone else's life - are never really pointed out in a way that shows them as major flaws. And the chosen one of prophecy bit got kicked up into major overkill territory.

I have also lost faith that Mr. Goodkind ever had any plan of where this series was going, because too much of it feels like it was just thrown together. Past plots are being retconned (and I'm probably not using that word right) and completely changed around to - in my opinion - use them for an "out of thin air" conclusion of the series. That probably doesn't make any sense, but I don't feel like this ending is the natural progression of what's come before and more like it was just slapped together so there can be an ending.

Lastly, I swear, when I asked about Jebra the Seer in my last review, I hadn't cheated and had no idea she was going to be back in this book. Maybe if I ask about Gratch and Scarlet the Dragon again, they can pop up in the last book.

I want to grade this book a D, because I had so many problems with it, but I enjoyed it slightly more than I normally enjoy D-level books.

 Grade: C