With the second installment of The Prince of Nothing trilogy, things really start to move forward. The first book was all about establishing the Holy War and now we get to see what the Holy War entails. Bakker writes some of the most detailed and engrossing large scale battles in fantasy and the war in general is depicted with such brutal honesty that it is clear there are no "good guys" present. Amidst this backdrop of carnage we finally get to see just how powerful and dangerous Kellhus is as he increases his influence over the those involved in the Holy War. While characters such as Achamian, Cnaiur and Esmenet are still present this is very much Kellhus' book, so those who felt he was underused previously will be delighted. While the focus on Kellhus is entertaining it does mean that a lot of the prominent characters from the first book fade into the background, most notably Conphas and Xerius, who I felt had entertaining viewpoints. The other problem is that while it exemplifies Kellhus' power there are several characters who I feel are weakened by their readiness to succumb to his will and some parts had me feeling angry at both Kellhus and his victims. Then again it is this uncompromising and dark approach that makes me appreciate Bakker as the best of the current bunch of "mature" fantasy authors and with this book he demonstrates that he can deliver on a consistent basis. For anyone who liked, "The Darkness that comes before" but felt not enough happened, I would strongly suggest giving the series another chance as this is where the pay off to all the set up begins.