For about the first half of this book I was confused, angry, and disappointed. A large part of this might have to do with the fact that I hadn't read the first book in the series in over a year, and had forgotten a lot of things, but a lot of it was also the fact that there is absolutely no exposition in this book. Names and dates and plot points are just thrown out there like facts, sometimes not to be explained for hundreds of pages, and you just have to trust that they will be explained eventually. But, like I said, frustrating because what ended up happening was that I couldn't tell the difference between deliberate mystery and things I'd forgotten.
About halfway through, the book picks up speed and never lets go, and the world that Scholes has created really sucks you in. There are three more books in the series yet to be published, but I want them NOW. I'm still a bit annoyed with the subdivided chapters. I think it makes the narrative lose its imperative (ha, rhyming), and would much prefer whole chapters devoted to characters, like Martin does with his Song of Ice and Fire series. I also despise certain turns of phrase that Scholes likes to use, like substituting "soldiers" for "sperm" (thus the frequent use of the phrase "giving his soldiers back their swords" for curing impotence -- sigh), and for some unknown reason, "powders" really annoys me. But I guess both of those amount to personal taste, and aside from showcasing just how much of a nerd Scholes is, don't really affect the narrative.