Of all of the books in the Sword of Truth series, this is undoubtedly my favourite. It sees Richard forcibly split apart from not just Kahlan and Cara, but the Sword of Truth itself after finding what they thought to be a little piece of tranquility after all of the hardships that they'd had to endure. It also re-introduces the character of Nicci, one of the Sisters of the Dark who has managed to free herself from Jagang and is on a mission of her own to prove to herself that at heart, Richard's nobility is a facade and that everybody is as compromised, guilty and corrupt as she herself is.
With Kahlan's life held in the balance by the spell that Nicci uses to coerce him to do as she wants, Richard is forced to journey with Nicci back to the Old World, where she plans to 'enlighten' him in the fairness and egalitarianism of Jagang's rule.
The two things that are good about this entry to the overall story, is that even though Richard can't use the sword, or his magic, he finds other (non-violent) ways of using his gift that effectively turn Nicci's world-view on its head. The other good thing about this particular book, is we see Kahlan at her strongest. After witnessing one of the effects of Jagang's army, she unites and then leads the broken and scattered remnants of the D'Haran army, even to the point of creating units of irregulars that all aid in temporarily halting Jagang's progress into the New World.
This though, is my favourite because I read it at a time when I particularly needed to find inspiration and hope of my own and this book did that for me. I absolutely love the cover of this book and if I ever get to a point where I can afford to, I'm going to hunt down and buy the original Keith Parkinson artwork for this book.