I hadn't actually expected this, but I think I might like this series a teeny-tiny bit more than the Farseer trilogy. Mostly, I think, because I'm more interested about more characters in this one. In Farseer is was really only Fitz' story I cared about. Here I'm equally interested in Althea's, Malta's, Wintrow's and Kennit's.I do think it's a good thing that I know what to expect of a Robin Hobb trilogy. This was very much a transitional novel, which would usually have bothered me, but because I know her writing style, and know that this is the second book in a trilogy, I could just sit back and let events unfold, and stages be set, without wishing for conclusions and nice wraps, because I know they will come in the next book.I was SO grateful to see Malta redeem herself. She frustrated me like nothing else in Ship of Magic, but really grew into herself in this book. Likewise, I'm grateful we saw so little of Kyle Haven. I assume that will change in the final book though.