Not a lot to add to my original review. There were a lot of new characters added in this book, some we met briefly in previous books, and some entirely new, and occasionally I got confused. The Tenkin, Staul, is particularly poorly introduced, seemingly dropped in from nowhere as if we should know who's being talked about, but if he was mentioned earlier it was very oblique.
The three women, Arista, Thrace/Modina and Amilia, continue their painfully slow rise to competence, although they still needed rescuing at regular intervals. Arista, in particular, is a puzzle. Despite Esrahaddon declaring in the previous book that she is potentially the most powerful person in the world, and other characters talking about her intelligence, she displays a breathtaking level of idiotic decision-making. A bloke with a sword saves her from one horrible fate, but instead of learning from that, she ends up even worse off. Silly woman. Amilia gets temperamental about Arista, and Modina must have elf ancestry to account for her amazing eyesight, managing to recognise the disguised Arista from her fifth floor window. Clever, that.
The other half of the book, the adventures of Royce and Hadrian, is a cracking read, with lots of action, an introduction to the mysterious region of Calis and its scary inhabitants, and the wonderful dwarf-built tower of Drumindor (which I would love to see realised on the big screen actually - a set designer could have terrific fun with it). I gave it four stars last time, and I see no reason to change that.