Wow. Just finished, and that was a book that was just... wow. Made expectations, fulfilled them, broke them apart into little pieces and reassembled into a huge jagged collage of a work. Amazing. Glokta continues to be the character you would love to hate, except that he is the very essence of tortured humanity. Jezal grows beyond a self-involved ego into a man willing to stand for his beliefs--except that he remains manipulated and somewhat ignorant of the extent to which he is played. Logen unfortunately sees too many more appearances of The Bloody Nine, and it costs him almost everything even as he wins. Commander West continues to lead with loyalty and strategy. Everyone is so humanly flawed, admirable in their nobility and despicable in their actions at times. Truly an impressive but uncomfortable work. The dark side of fantasy, not because it delves into Evil with the capital "E," but because it shows how choices and character continue to drive us, perhaps causing us to make the very same mistakes, or the choices we make when we have no choice at all. Even the most unsympathetic of characters have their moments. The final scene between West and Glokta is tear-worthy. And it leaves us with the question, is Bayaz, the First of the Magi, any better than Mamun?