My favorite (so far) of the Sword of Truth books by Terry Goodkind. Temple of the Winds is the fourth of the series.

Aside from a single scene that feels very contrived, the book flows nicely and the characters feel realistic. Goodkind is very talented at making the emotion in his books a great ride. (If you're like me and really like good drama in your fiction.)

Now for some of the characters.

Cara is a Mord-Sith and the first character you'll meet in this book. She's blond, tough, and wearing red leather like a good Mord-Sith. She's the bodyguard of Richard Rahl, and although there is no rank, the apparent boss of the Mord-Sith.

Kahlan Amnell is the Mother Confessor and the heroine of the series. She's Richard's love interest. The Mother Confessor is basically the "queen" of the Midlands. (Only it's a little more complex.)

Richard Rahl is the hero of the series, the ruler of D'Hara, and a War Wizard.

Berdine is also a Mord-Sith, and is the love interest of Raina. She helps Richard translate old books in High D'Haran. She's also one of Richard's bodyguards.

Raina is yet-another-Mord-Sith, and also-Richard's-body-guard. Other than her relationship with Berdine, that's about it for her character's purpose.

There are others, but I don't want to give anything away. (If you've read as far as The Blood of the Fold then these characters are at least moderately familiar to you.)