Pro - I am in the Italian Alps at a ski resort.
Con - I spent the last 24 hours getting here.
Pro - I have a whole week of vacation ahead of me during which I will bum around said resort.
Con - I have had maybe two hours of sleep in the last 26 hours, none of it in a bed, and my body is seriously confused about the whole 9 hour time difference.
Pro - I read Wizard's First Rule during this journey. And I have opinions! But more on that later.
Con - I only have one other book with me (the second in the series) and might run out of reading material by the end of the week. Once again, I have underestimated my reading speed, especially when trapped on planes.
Pro - I have internet access!
Con - I have not gotten a chance to watch the latest LotS episode because, you know, traveling and won't get to for another week as I suspect that the bandwidth here is not sufficient to support hulu.
Pro - Did I mention the Italian Alps?
First off, I enjoyed the book - don't ask why it took me so long to get around to reading it. The primary feature that differs from the show is that the book is much much darker. The show occasionally hints at bad stuff, but the book describes it in somewhat excruciating detail. I think that the show could stand to pick up a little more of the book's darkness, though not all of it. The main way in which the show is failing right now is in its depiction of Darken Rahl who basically amounts to a stock evil overlord with very little to back it up or flesh him out. I'm not wild about Goodkind's apparent desire to so specifically and deliberately link evil people to bad things done to them in their childhood, but it can help make villains more interesting when used sparingly.
The other area which I hope the show will eventually pick up more of is Richard's powers. Right now in the show, Richard is basically a sword-swinger and "Seeker of Truth" is only a title. I think that it would be effective if the show phases in more of the meaning of what the Seeker really is beyond being able to use the Sword of Truth. There's a lot of room for character development here. I am a little annoyed that the show shortchanged Richard's reveal as the Seeker so much - instead involving choices, it was boiled down to the King Arthur trope.
Having now read the first book, in some ways the show reads like a scatter-shot paraphrase - most of the same elements are there, but reshuffled and in some cases stripped of all meaning (Richard's tooth pendant comes to mind). I don't necessarily mind this as some of the changes are necessary - compelling reading doesn't always translate to compelling TV - but I can certainly see how a fan of the book would be annoyed. Mostly though, I'm happy that the show is picking out its own story - it would be dull if it were a complete re-telling.
There are a few things that I prefer in the show to the book. Richard is a lot more innocent in the show and I like him that way. In fact, I found his transformation in the book to be so rapid as to be beyond belief at times - simple woods guide to full-blown Seeker in no time flat. The show's Richard has more room to grow. Similarly Kahlan is softer in the show than the book. While I get that some are irked by the fact that she's less in some respects, I think that again this allows more breathing room for stories and character development. Richard and Kahlan's relationship is about ten times more fun and adorable in the show, which I also appreciate. In the book, everything is more intense, but I like the lighter tone of the show for the most part.