This really is a book of two halves, one of which is the most boring thing Steven Erikson has written so far. The Awl plotline is really pretty bland and not particularly engaging, and although it has one or two important points as regards the overall arc of the series, I'm pretty sure they could have been slotted into the story different because to be perfectly honest, I didn't give a shit about Redmask. On the other hand, the latter half of the book is REALLY GOOD. I mean REALLY REALLY GOOD. I'd put this one about on a par with House of Chains; it has higher highs and lower lows than that book. Also the end part of the book has all the death and NOTHING is okay. I actually had to put the book down when Beak died because I was crying so much. And then Trull dies and NOTHING IS FAIR. At least now Tehol is king of everything? Which is pretty much as it should be.