I think the main oddity of having started the Jack of Fables series is that it breaks up the flow of the “big event / build-up to next big event” in the main Fables sequence. Thankfully, it didn’t make me like Sons of Empire any less, but it does explain my unwarranted confusion over the slow pacing. Having gotten past that, the story was superlative for one of the down-cycle stories. In and around the Empire’s plans of vengeance against Fabletown, family vacations, and thumbnail character sketches of the bit players, the book is mostly about paternal relationships, and mostly about bad ones at that. Still, the woes of fathers and sons would only be so interesting of a theme, however well presented, if it were not for the fact that I’m sure these particular relationships — between Gepetto and Pinocchio, and between the North Wind and Bigby Wolf — will be of vital importance to the rest of the story.
Well, or to the next phase of the story, depending on whether or not Fables is an open-ended or an arced tale. I honestly have no idea which is the case, so.