Well, I'm halfway through Fatal Revenant and I have to say that the majesty of the Land is much diminished. The characters other than Linden seem to be faint brush-strokes without the vitality I remember from the previous series. The sense of wonder is muted, and knowing Donaldson, he's doing it on purpose
. You cannot read these books without having read the original series (I mean you can, but it really wouldn't be worth it).
Concerning giants. The Giants of the Land are magnificent; in vitality, joy, body, will, and in their extremity, rage. They are a long-lived race (not especially fecund, having very few children) and have much natural lore. They are the builders of Revelstone, the hearth and fortress from which the Lords defend the Land from it's enemies.
The Giants are merchant mariners, plying the Ocean on their great ships seeking knowledge and wonder. They are explorers without peer. To aid them in this, they have the racial gift of tongues and a society that cherishes storytelling, especially long epics. One of the most uplifting sounds in the Land is the laughter of a Giant.
An adult Giant is literally indomitable. Unless they choose to, they cannot be suborned, not by Ravers, not even by the Despiser himself. They are not harmed physically by heat or cold, although they can feel pain if subjected to extremes of either. They have a ritual that uses the pain caused by fire to purify their spirits of abject sorrow, hate, etc.
Giants have many natural gifts of body and mind, but I suspect they do not use magic of any kind.