If you like the more bad-ass characters that just wade through a crowd in destruction mode then there is plenty of that for you in this book as well. Some of them, such as Ho, are subtly so, but others; such as Rell, Urko, Braven Tooth, Temp, and Traveller are all in your face ass kickers. Sadly, Esslemont doesn't really describe combat in as compelling of a way as Erikson. Most of the one-on-one combat sequences seem to be missing a level of detail and the descriptions, at time, become a little muddled. On the flip side, when the larger engagements happen Esslemont shines in capturing the tension and drama of a battlefield.Overall this was an enjoyable story but, mainly because I don't feel vested in any of the characters yet, I didn't get into it as much as I have the more recent Erikson novels. Fortunately, Esslemont has set the stage for some far reaching story lines that should prove to be quite interesting.