Well, I've only had the time available to read up to page 150 or so (so really not much more than before) but I can honestly say I'm struggling to keep myself motivated to read this book.
Keep in mind, I'm someone who has read all of the other SoT books. I even enjoyed them, years ago.
I don't know if it's more that I've grown considerably less tolerant of lackluster writing ability, or if Goodkind truly has gotten so much worse... but wow, this book is terrible. The dialogue is some of the worst I've ever read. All of the characters continue to be absolute morons, and there has yet to be a situation where one character explains something to another character in a single attempt. It's always, "Huh? I don't understand. So you're saying... blah blah blah repeat what he/she just heard, etc.," followed with, "Yes, that's what I'm saying... blah blah blah repeat it again," finished up with, "That makes sense." Often there are "knowing looks" between characters during these conversations. And what, you might be asking, are they actually talking about that could be so complicated? It's just
simple, heartwarming stories having to do with mothers or fathers having "visions of prophecy" that something terrible will happen to their children, so they've taken it upon themselves to spare their children such terrible fates by stabbing those children to death, or throwing them off of a plateau into a shantytown/marketplace, or other simple, painless activities. Which, I might add, seems to have very little emotional impact on the robotic characters, mainly because they're all "angry" that everyone surrounding them (see: thousands and thousands of people, literally) seems to be completely obsessed with "prophecy." That word is in quotations because that is the word that Goodkind uses over, and over, and over again. I'd wager on average of 2-3 times a page in the book thus far. And that's not an exaggeration.
I'm not sure if I'll make it to the end at this point, especially with Abercrombie's The Blade Itself
having arrived yesterday, still needing to finish Fall of Hyperion
(which I stopped in the middle of for Goodkind's drivel), and the entirety of Robert Jordan's WoT series awaiting me on my shelf. I am extremely interested to pick up a book from early on in the SoT series, open it up to somewhere in the middle, and read a few pages just to get a feel for how his writing style (and my perception) has changed since I read those books 10 years ago.
While I might collect the rest of his novels, just because of my OCD nature, I'll never buy one new again. Only second-hand shops for me; Goodkind does not deserve any more of my money.