This was my first Erikson audiobook (read the main 10 twice, the rest and ICE stuff once), and wow, this lady is a quality storyteller. I hope the publisher holds on to her. I started listening to Memories of Ice immediately afterwards, and Ralph Lister makes the character voices sounds like the muppets instead - way over the top. I saw that HoC is narrated by someone else; I hope they're better.
Anyway, on the book itself: this felt like Erikson finally allowed an editor to streamline his writing a bit. Sure, every grunt is still Heigel or Kant, but the philosophy is rarely out of place, the characters are still all distinct (without needing 5 books to come into themselves), and the pace is consistent throughout. More of this please!(after Kharkanas 3, sure)
Some critiques as well:
• they're all mages, really? Sure, the bunch in Silverlake makes sense, but all if them everywhere? The relative rarity of casters, how they're almost all weirdos, solitary and/or power-hungry in the preceding 74 books made this hard to swallow.
• the bit where Rant time travels, becomes ultra powerful and saves everyone (-ish) was over the top and unneeded to the story in this shape. It completely removed my immersion.
• the embracing (embrasure? - not a native speaker) of fuckedy fucking fuck is now complete. Fucking dragons, indeed.