By the end of this book I wanted to strangle Jennsen and her goat. Truly. Jennsen who? Isn't this series about Richard and Kahlan? Not in this book, which isn't just an outlier in this series, it feels like filler. This is where I really felt Goodkind's clumsiness as a writer. What? You read six doorstopper tomes before this and didn't notice? Not really. Because I loved many of the characters, not just the two leads, but such secondary characters as Zedd, Nathan, Ann, Cara and Nicci, up to now I found myself glued to the page. Sure, I saw faults. Goodkind had become increasingly preachy, Richard increasingly Marty Stu, and the devices used to somehow keep Richard and Kahlan from consummating their love ridiculous. Some think the series had jumped the shark with the fifth book--or the sixth. Not me. Whatever their flaws I still found the books up to this one enjoyable and their doorstopper length wasn't felt by me. But this one? With all the characters I had grown to care about barely there until the end? Well, Jennsen really isn't enough to hold me for 736 pages. I rated the last book before this, Faith of the Fallen, four stars. This book gets one and a half stars. That's how much a fall off I felt in the quality of this book. The series doesn't so much decline as fall off a cliff--and it never recovered for me after that.