Unlike many reviewers, I enjoyed this sequel significantly more than book 1. Although I enjoyed the characters and plot complexity in The Lies of Locke Lamorra I felt Scott Lynch struggled to get the balance between world building and action/characterisation. Not so in this novel: the pace is perfect. Jean and Locke continue their adventures, though not unscathed, in Tal Varrar. Locke's recovery is convincingly painful. Split narratives are dealt with much more effectively and Jean is developed more thoroughly as a character in his own right rather than just as a foil for Locke's plans. There a hint of romance, and a masterplan which kept me guessing, and I liked the fact that Locke is fallible.
As many rewiers have commented, there is a seismic shift in the plot line half way through the book, but much to my surprise, I enjoyed the pirate scenes. There were some moments reminisceent of Pirates of the Caribbean, but they made me smile and there was easily enough in there that belonged to Scott Lynch. The narrative shift changed the pace, flow and brought in new characters. It also prevented a simple rehash of Book 1's tricks in a new setting, which was where I was worried we'd end up.
Lynch breathes life into his new characters and I was drawn into their relationships and intrigue despite reading a spoiler. As for being less credible than book 1 - umm, really? How can you even peer into Locke's world without suspending your disbelief...I for one have no hesitation in diving straight into Book 3.