Richard, Kahlan, Zeddicus are joined by the Mord'sith Cara on a trip to a death camp to find an abbot with the key to finding the stone needed to close the rift between the underworld and land of the living, and thus prevent the Keeper and Darken Rahl with the dead. While there they discover that the Keeper is recruiting banelings: the dead who he sends back if they agree to kill on his behalf.
When Cara reveals to the group that all the Confessors are dead, and that she personally killed Kahlan's sister Denee, Kahlan attempts to kill her. Under Richard's orders, Cara flees returning to her hometown. She is captured and held prisoner by the townspeople, and the Mother Confessor is forced to execute Cara.
The witch Shota casts a spell on Zedd which makes him young and forget all his past. Zedd escapes and becomes king of a town which is then threatened to plunge into a rift to the underworld. Cara, Kahlan, and Richard try to find out where he went, and attempt to break the spell on him.
Using the magical compass to guide their way to the stone of tears, Richard, Kahlan, Cara and Zedd come across a camp of Minders. There they come across an ancient magical spell that is connected to Richard and when the Sword of Truth's magic overcomes Richard, Zedd must teach him how to control his rage.
Zedd is captured by Denna. During the pursuit Richard is incapacitated by potentially lethal headaches brought on by the Gift(his latent ability as a Wizard) and must leave with the Sisters of the Light in order order to be trained. Kahlan and Cara are forced to continue with the pursuit without Richard while Richard attempts to reach the Palace of the Prophets in the old world.
Richard arrives at the Palace of the Prophets to begin his wizard training. He meets the beautiful and mysterious Sister Nicci who tells him that the other sisters are lying to him. Not knowing who to trust, Richard is forced into a dark alliance with Nicci while Kahlan, Zedd and Cara find and name a new Seeker in Richard's absence.
Trapped in the deadly Valley of Perdition, Richard's worst fears come magically to life and threaten to kill him, while the world's most powerful sorceress, Sister Nicci, plots to murder Kahlan; Cara's feelings for the new Seeker deepen.
A dead wizard from Aydindril appears. Zedd uses the wizard's amulet to go to Aydindril with Kahlan. Unfortunately, it splits Kahlan in two: with Zedd, a one with reason and powers, and with Richard and Cara, a one without either.
Cara meets with Darken Rahl and is forced to conceal a secret from her friends. Zedd's brother reappears, in the latest scam shop of the magical mapmaker we love to hate, and may have a solution for her.
Cara, Zedd and Richard get comical make-overs in an entertaining bid to save Kahlan from an egotistical King, who has converted all of his subjects, including his wife, to his own personal vision of "all that is Right and Good".
Zedd attempts to reverse the insidious dark magic Darken Rahl used to make Cara betray her friends, but the wizard's powerful spell instead drastically alters the lives of Richard, Kahlan and everyone else.