It seems that the bread and butter of the fantasy genre these days are terribly long-winded series of very little content. In this regard I think primarily of the Wheel of Time, but Goodkind's effort is not far behind. Don't get me wrong: the first books of this series were superlative -- I was hooked from the first words of Wizard's First Rule, and it only got better until the series reached it's most thrilling point with Temple of the Winds. Unfortunately, the excitement nearly plummeted after that, with The Pillars of Creation being by far the worst of any of the volumes; and because it featured so little of Kahlan and Richard, it could easily have been taken out of the series altogether with nothing lost. Basically, books 5-12 were terrible -- a grossly over-hyped waste of time and trees. Confessor dragged on and on for hundreds of pages with very little content, and the staple of Goodkind's narrative (i.e. Ayn Rand's parroted objectivist philosophy) was here in spades, especially in Richard's final monologue. And what was with the whole anti-church jab at the very end? I had suspected all along that Goodkind had had a bad Catholic upbringing or something..... My advice would be to read volumes 1-4 and hen just stop. It will be a lot less painful that way.