Despite the slow start, this book really picked up by the end. It truly irritates me when an author feels they have to describe the world of their fantasy trilogy, yet again, to those who have joined for the 2nd and 3rd parts. It's a known trilogy! If you've picked up book 2 first, it's your fault for not knowing what the heck is going on! Augh!
As with the first book, Sanderson pulls out all his good stuff for the last quarter. This does allow you to immerse yourself in the world more fully for the first three quarters. Still, it gets a bit repetitious and navel-gazing. Oh, Sazed still isn't sure how to find the Well of Ascension? So, he'll noodle about it for 80 pages or so, split into different sections. Hey, I like the character of Sazed-- it's rather a unique one as fantasy novels go, the uncertainty mixed with knowledge mixed with strange urges mixed with oodles of patience-- but this got old rather fast.
The most interesting part of this novel is exactly what my friends told me when I mentioned I was reading the trilogy-- "oh, every one of the books has a completely different feel." Very true. While the first book was about revolution and how to do it effectively, the second book is about government and politics and how you shape this after the revolution is over. Sanderson has done his research and it shows. The results might strike you a bit on the odd side (have a fondness for Soviet Russia, do you, Sanderson?) but they're told thoughtfully and in keeping with the characters.
I started the third book about 20 seconds after finishing the second.