Almost everybody and their brother came to the city of Bren. This seems to create an explosive combination, but to my great surprise did not. Nothing significant happened in the book (think middle books of the Wheel of Time). Maybor and Baralis seems to lost their edge in behind-the-scenes manipulations and their attempts to kill each other; what they do seems practically like a routine which bored them out of the sculls, and not the way of life it was in the first book.
Both Jack and Melli suddenly became little brats - and this is after they matured a lot in the first book. Speaking of Jack, his plot line was the most boring in the book as he spent most of his time being manipulated and not using his head. In case of both of them it is safe to say instead of character development they have character degeneration.
Tawl is on non-stop guilt trip, but his friend/sidekick Nabber is the only really bright spot in the whole book; his economic justification of pickpocketing is hilarious, as well as his outlook on life. I forgot to mention that one person has a huge bullseye painted on his/her (I do not want to give big spoilers here) back which makes it fairly easy to guess his/her fate.
Having said all of this I have to state that this is a good book on its own, but it does not quite rise to the standards of the first one. I still want to see how the tale is going to end, and it is still not clear what kind of end there will be. I am off to read last book.