Terry Goodkind spends less time preaching his Ayn Rand derived ideas and more time telling the story. However, there are still significant flaws. While the preaching is much reduced there it still too much of it and it is poorly integrated in to the story. He fails to allow the story to make his points and resorts to having Richard simply "preach" his points. Further detracting from the book is Mr. Goodkind's appalling lack of skill when it comes to writing conversations. It is partly this and partly due to Jim Bond's presentation. The result is that almost every conversation sounds like the village idiot lecturing a slow child. I suspect that most (not all) of the fault is Jim Bond's as Phantom read by Sam Tsoutsouvas is much more palatable. If you like the Sword of Truth series, definitely listen to this book. If you used to like this series and gave up in frustration after the debacle of the Naked Empire (and a few of the books before it), this recording though heavily flawed, is worth hearing to advance the story.
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