In the movies, sequels - with a handful of exceptions - are never as good as the first film, and unfortunately this rings true in books with Winter Night being a pale comparison to Autumn Twilight. The story picks up 6 months after the end of the first book, and references to the events during this period only lightly touched on. In fact - and probably due to - this gap in storytelling, the first half of the book is disjointed, confusing and rather hastily progressed. Also the heroes are separated very early on, splitting in to two groups, going on completely different quests which bare limited relation to each other and consequently it's like reading two separate books.
Frustratingly the book/ story concentrates too heavily on Laurana, while the established characters from Autumn Twilight (Tanis, Raistlin, Goldmoon) are relegated to a nonsense story which includes a convoluted dream sequence (as they try to retrieve a fabled Dragon Orb) and a period spent travelling as a troupe of entertainers!
Several of the characters also experience a change in `character', as there language and actions change dramatically from how they were written in Twilight - Tas is perhaps the worst example of this; but Tanis and several of the others are just as bad.
However, that being said, the story does pick up towards the end and the death one of the original group in the last pages is well done and heart breaking, but that's not quite enough to save this book which pales against its predecessor. Fingers crossed that 'Spring Dawning' (final instalment of the Chronicles) returns to earlier glories.