The first book in this series was a quick, enjoyable read. This one dragged for most of the first three-fourths of the book, spent mostly on a ship voyage from England to China. The last quarter of it, once they do land in China, really picked up and I suppose saved it it a bit.
Sven Tveskoeg is one of my favorite characters so I'm happy to read his continuing adventures. I just wish these books weren't so entertaining that I finish them in next to no time.
This book is quite a bit different from the others, yet familiar being told by Sven. You still fall into the story not really knowing where it's going. The ending felt abrupt and a bit confusing. Maybe because it feels like the first act in a longer saga. Definitely ends with the promise of another.
I've really loved most of Stephenson's books but this one is just not capturing my attention. I can only read until I realize my mind is drifting away from the words on the page. I plan to come back later and try again.