So far the people who have read over the rough draft of this book say that it is a better book than the first Cruel New World book. However, I feel like what they like about it is the fact it is a more serious-natured book. I don't think this fact makes it a better, just different. Right now, I'm about 75% of the way done with the book, not counting adding in chapters which could stand on their own as short stories.
The big difference between the first Cruel New World book(s) and Baron of the Coast is time frame. In Baron of the Coast, the war has happened, more or less over with and the world has kept spinning. Feudalism is slowly giving way to capitalism again, as the communist see it. The US government is still around but they aren't strong enough to hold together the now balkanized United States. Now a rush it on to grab as much power as can be held by warlords, pirate kings and the like. That is the setting. The people who are going to run the show from there on out are getting set up versus full scare war across the US.