This second book in the series was much more enjoyable than the first volume. The plot contained more exciting, confrontational episodes, as well as advancing characters that the reader has become comfortable with. The organization was more straightforward, following several characters first person from chapter to chapter. Although very long, it is never boring. I can't say that the prose sparkles; it's serviceable, one might say, and there are several standard conceits found in a good number of epic fantasy novels. Some bad guys tend to be one-dimensional mustache twisters. Some of the good guys tend to be stoic and wooden. Its strengths are its likeable characters, its pacing, and the intricacy of details to its universe.