Which is to say, it's a K.J. Parker book; by this point, you probably know what you're getting in terms of structure and tone. I will say though that the story remains as wonderfully byzantine as ever (in several senses), the characterisation is detailed, multi-faceted and occasionally throws out a total surprise, and the technical execution in general is top tier. If you liked the previous Corax book, you won't fond this one disappoints.
Saevus Corax remains as charming, devious and occasionally outright brutal as ever. Or perhaps I should say ruthless, given hsi gift for playing all the angles. In this instance, those angles involve a castle. And how one might take that away from the people currently in it, and keep hold of it afterward. It's a simple conceit (and one which, to be fair, doesn't take up the entire book, which instead pinwheels out of control from there in a very satisfying fashion). But it allows us to see Corax in full flow. To live inside the monologue of someone about to make some very bloody decisions, for the very best of reasons. And later a plan inside another plan inside another. Like an onion, except with arrows and big rocks. There's further, somewhat cryptic delving into his past as well, piecing together things the man himself has tried to forget for quite a while - and which, as these things do, are likely to come back at the worst moment. Again, like an onion, we see sides to Corax we didn't find in the last book - and it's a triumph that Parker can show us these layers, show us the psychological and physical cost of being Saevus Corax, and make him both sympathetic and an unrepentant terror. In any event, Corax remains a fine fellow to share a head and an inner monologue with; just don't accept any wine he gives you.
The story rattles along nicely between reveals, crosses, double crosses and so on. It also moves geographically, including a richly wrought ersatz Byzantine empire, complete with theatres and mail coaches - and other, far stranger places I wont get into for fear of spoilers. Suffice to say, they're eerily alive as well. And the book itself remains a solid, entertaining read moment to moment - from battle debris to sieges to night rides to love and promises and betrayal, there's something for everyone. And the sheer accessibility of Corax as a narrator, his cheerful unreliability and ruthlessness, is what makes it work, and kept me turning pages on and on and on. If you're a Parker fan, it'll probably work for you, too - go give it a whirl.