I loved "Written in Red" so much that I broke my own rule about not spending over $10 on an ebook. "Murder of Crows" is quite violent, vividly so, but consistent with the world introduced in "Written in Red" so the violence didn't feel gratuitous. It was, however, probably as violent as I care to read.
[Shelly Laurenston's paranormal books hold more violence, but handled in a more cartoonish way, so I've learned to disregard it]
The world of The Others expands in this book, and the story is less centred on Meg and Simon. I dithered a bit on whether I liked how Simon was portrayed in this second book, but I think his behaviour is consistent. Hmm, still dithering. I think he dithers a bit too. Not sure I like heroes dithering, but he is struggling with issues that develop in the subsequent book, "Vision in Silver".
Solid read, but definitely don't start the series with this book. Read in order! These books are complete in themselves, but plot-wise, the series arc is important.