Wizard's First Rule

Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind After watching a couple episodes of Legend of the Seeker, I became interested in the book series and had to pick up the first book.This book starts out OK. There's some action that gradually accumulates to more action as the story unfolds. The world is divided into three lands: Westland, the Midlands and D'Hara. D'Hara is ruled by an evil tyrant, Darken Rahl, who is in the process of taking over the Midlands and has plans to breach the magical barriers that separate the two lands from Westland (or is it Heartland? I forgot.). Kahlan Amnell is a Confessor--a powerful witch-like person of high ranking--on her way to find the Seeker (find the Seeker, ha ha) to bring him back to the Midlands so he can fulfill his destiny and defeat Rahl. She stumbles into Westland while being pursued by D'Haran assassins and runs right into Richard, a trail guide (aka the Seeker, though unbeknownst to himself and everyone else). The rest of the journey is about Richard discovering who he really is, with help from magical and non-magical friends, and of course bringing down Rahl.The characters are also OK. The main characters, Richard and Kahlan, are likable and entertaining, and the secondary characters are amusing. The worlds of the Midlands and D'Hara are quite interesting, especially the different factions of magical creatures. The magic itself is dark, mysterious, and violent, and the adventures of the epic hero is fascinating, though at times convoluted, and Richard suffers a great deal (hint: lots of torture-happy scenes... bdsm? Idk) before achieving hero status.Normally I'd give a book like this a 3-star rating because I enjoyed the journey and world building, but alas I can only muster up 2 stars because it was too long-winded and drawn out and I was left exhausted. I think, if the gratuitous torture scenes were taken out, the book would've been more "enjoyable."After reading reviews of the other books in the series, I don't think I will read on. The consensus is the author becomes preachy and injects his own personal political beliefs into the story, and so the books after the fourth book read like propaganda manuals. Oh, and he is convinced this series is not fantasy and says so sneeringly... as if "fantasy" is the worst thing to call his books.