Man believes in nothing until he destroys it.
After The City Stained Red, I went on to devour The Mortal Tally, which is the second in the series. Following the events of the first, this book is the fallout of the decisions made by the protagonist and his band of misfits, and in this we see them straying further from one another.
Personally, I much prefer this installment to the first. Without giving any spoilers, I feel that the characters now have time to breathe and take up space, to develop as characters and initiate events rather than respond only to the plot. It helps, of course, that I already had a sense of who they are as people, but seeing how they act and think reinforces or corrects my assumptions.
My favorite character is Denaos, the rogue/ former Jackal, and I love the rituals embedded in the interactions among the Jackals and those working on the other side of the law. It reminds me strongly of Chinese triads and their rituals. I must say I was very gratified when my guess about one of the Jackals came true.
Also, dear Mr Sykes, I would like to have Words re: Denaos.
With humor, mania, darkness, and hope interwoven throughout, punctuated with batshit action scenes and moments of WTF horror, I highly recommend this series. Now waiting on the third...