I was both hesitant and intrigued that this book would take place 130 years after the events of the initial debut series. After all, there are pros and cons to reading the next installment if your favorite characters are still alive and kicking. On the one hand, you love reading more about a beloved character. On the other, your favorite characters can become stale after a while. John Gwynne handles this well, as some of the characters are still around (ie.. the giants live a long long time, so your favorite giants are still there), and there are refences in the dialog as to what happened to your favorite human characters (as well a certain wolven/hound pair). While I would have liked to hear more specific details of what the long dead human characters had accomplished since the conclusion of the previous series, I'm sure more will be described in detail throughout the next couple of installments. If this book had given more than the few gratuitious tastes than it did, then it probably would have detracted too much from the new characters which are all intriguing in their own right.
Overall, I loved this book. Well written, great story, and you almost always feel engaged. My only criticisms are twofold. First, the PoV chapters are often too short, so the flow of reading can occasionally interrupt you while you're in the mental state of mind to keep reading. The PoV chapters could probably have been combined. So while there would be fewer chapters overall, each chapter would be a longer read but more rewarding to the reader. Second, the couple/few twists are rather predictable early on. I won't describe why as that would require spoilers, but suffice it to say I found it easy to spot 2 of them much sooner than the author probably wished, and a 3rd that while I spotted it early on in the book I was only half correct. Despite those points, this is still one of the better books I've read in the past year, and likely will remain that way for a year or more.
I look forward to the next installment. This book gave me all new great characters to engage in. The new characters and the subsequent character building did not disappoint.