I've yet to read a book by Joe Abercrombie that I didn't like. I was initially surprised to find that Yarvi was not the main character in this installment, but he is a supporting character, and an extremely important one at that. I actually realized I enjoyed not knowing what was going on in Yarvi's head more than I enjoyed him as a main character. It was much more fun to try to guess at his schemes.
Brand was a pretty easy character to like. Maybe not remarkable. Decent warrior but not the best, fairly nice person with a sense of right and wrong but not always brave enough to stand up for it. Like a lot of people in life. Very much an every man. Thorn was a little more complicated. A girl who idolized her warrior father, and who was a formidable warrior herself. I did feel the author perhaps went a little overboard with making her as unglamorous as he could. The number of times he described her putting a finger up to one side of her nose and blowing snot out the other side started to grate on me, and distract me from the story because I kept thinking about the fact that she'd just wiped her arm across all that snot, and now there was snot all over her arm, and what was she going to do about that? Especially in a romantic situation, that was alarming. I don't think anybody's quite that un-self-conscious.
That was my only issue, though, and it was fairly minor. I really enjoyed the story. I enjoyed seeing old characters from the previous book, and I enjoyed seeing this story unfold, and I was quite pleased with the way it ended.