This is a tough one for me to write. . .
Goodkind has now written 21 novels and this is the first one that I feel is not a full five-stars. (Obviously there are some better than others, however I have always felt each book deserved five-stars, until now.)
This book just seemed to be highly repetitive. A lot of the storyline seemed rehashed. Perhaps my patience just wasn't there this time around, but more than once, I just wanted Goodkind to "get on with it" - to stop dragging things out.
With that said, there is still a lot to love about this book. When Goodkind nails it, he nails it!
Just to mention a couple of my favorite aspects, besides the ancient, fabled city of Ildakar (where everything is not as it appears); Goodkind has now introduced the Morazeth (while the Mord-Sith are more intriguing, I am looking forward to finding out more about the Morazeth). Also, you will be introduced to Ixax warriors - 15' high behemoths - each one capable of taking on 1,500 enemy soldiers. Good stuff!
Overall - 4/5 Skulls