First of all, I don't understand all the harsh reviews of Terry Goodkind's SoT series. Perhaps the themes in his books have appeared in other stories, but that's true of every author. Any fantasy author who has written about magic, wizards, beautiful women, elves, dwarves, dragons, swords, quests, traveling, a great evil foe, etc. has copied that theme from someone else. Many reviewers compare these stories to Robert Jordan's. They may have similarities, but the biggest difference is that Goodkind's books are INTERESTING. If Robert Jordan came up with these themes first (which he didn't), he sure didn't know what to do with them. I'm glad that Goodkind did. It takes Jordan a whole book just to get his characters to finish breakfast.
Others have recommended Terry Brooks over Terry Goodkind while in the same breath complaining that Goodkind copied the themes in his books. Did any of you ever read the Sword of Shannara? The first 100+ pages were a rip-off of The Fellowship of the Ring.
One reviewer, who ranked this book with ONE STAR wrote, "The evil emperor simply wants to control the world, wow...that's so amazing. We have no idea why he wants to control the world or how he got in a position to do that". If this reader had actually bothered to read the words INSIDE the book, he/she would know that why Jagang wanted to rule and also why he has the power he does. If you're going to rank a book as ONE at least read it. If you can't understand it, that's your problem, not the book's.
My last tirade is concerning the repetition others have complained about. He does fill you in on things you might have forgotten from previous books, but it is not overdone in the least. I think it is very helpful, especially if you read the books as they were published and had to wait a long time between each one.
My comments on this whole series can be summed up in the phrase, "it's great"! I read the books; I enjoyed them thoroughly and would recommend others read them.