Well, dangit. I did not intend to finish this book tonight, at all. I ended up staying up until, let's see, 3:33 am reading.
I will say it certainly picked up, with quite a dramatic uptick, compared to the relatively slow-going of the first two-thirds of the book. Thinking about it, I vaguely remember the first two trilogies (The Farseer and Liveship trilogies) starting out similarly swampy and picking up in the last bit of the first book. Perhaps it's her formula. *shrug*
So, I'll make the final info post next with my final score.