"The Pillars of Creation" is the first book in the Sword of Truth series that does not feature Richard Rahl as the central figure of the story, although he does appear along with Kahlan and the other main characters.
This book revolves around Richard's half sister, Jennsen who, for most of her life, has been running from assassins sent by Darken Rahl to kill her and her mother. Her hatred of anything Rahl is intensified by Sebastian, an evil spy for the Imperial Order, who convinces Jennsen she must kill Richard if she wants to live.
Jennsen is the vehicle the author uses to explore his Wizard's Seventh Rule, "Life is the future, not the past." Jennsen is repeatedly exposed to situations and characters that have the potential to challenge and upset her concepts of right and wrong.