Firstly, make sure you've read Book One (Herald of the Storm) or you will be totally lost.
Done? Ok. Well, rest assured Book Two resolves the cliffhangers from the first book, before ramping up the action quite considerably. Characters become more vividly drawn, the plot threads tighten and merge, before spinning off in unseen directions, motivations change, and blood flows. Plenty of blood. Meanwhile, the city of Steelhaven (the best character in the book) broods over all.
Ford is a good writer. Really good. The pacing of this book is better than the first, and the disparate storylines and viewpoints start to come together, sometimes in unexpected ways - it's a much easier book to follow, and all the better for it. I won't award 5 stars until I've read Book Three as I want to know that the promise building up in this book pays off in the next one, but suffice to say I WILL be picking up Book 3.