Let me make one thing clear right away. I loved this novel. It was a great addition to the storyline.
Having said that, it is apparent at this point that Goodkind was at the point of trying to go out of his way to breathe new life into the series. The entire series is what? Eleven, twelve books? This novel was much shorter than the previous two and made no attempt to tie up many of the loose threads at the end.
Obviously the expectation was to set up the next novel. Which, of course, I will now read. It is sitting in front of me as I type this. So in the end, Goodkind won the battle. Let's see if he keeps me glued through the entire series.