Honestly, I loved this book.
Sometimes, though, I think of all the awful books in the series that followed it, with all the endless *preaching*, not to mention the horrible way that the series ended, and then I think that I hate this book.
But, if I take Wizard's First Rule by itself and forget about everything else, I'm able to remind myself that I was truly enamored by the first book in the Sword of Truth realm. Well, with the exception of anything at all sexual that took place (rape, Mord Sith-style BDSM, etc.), which was terrible.
The world-building was great - wizards, dragons, confessors, quads, lands with magic, lands without magic, and then some. The characters were interesting, especially Kahlan, who I wanted to find out more about as the book progressed. I also enjoyed the transformation of Richard as he grew more and more self-assured, and I was completely rooting for him throughout the way. (Unfortunately, after book one, he mostly turns into an insufferable prick, but I digress.) And yes, I even enjoyed the romance between Richard and Kahlan! It may have been cheesy at times, but I found myself really wanting them to get together. (However, their romance is another thing that is pretty much ruined as the series progresses, in my opinion.)
I think that fans of the fantasy genre should give this book a try, but my only recommendation is, if you read this and enjoy it, please just *stop* - the series only gets progressively worse from here on out. Do yourself a favor and quit while you're ahead.