I read a blog this week (danged if I can find the link, though) from an agent, which argues that some of the editorial process has been shifted to agents because publishing is so competitive at the moment that anything less than polished has little chance of being taken by a publisher. That's certainly been my experience - editorially my agent has really pushed me to make sure it's polished and good and right.
On the subject of what standard/norms published writing should fall into. I adore Lois McMaster Bujold. But she leaves off question marks all the time, she uses dodgy speech allocations (he grimaced, he applauded and the like) her prose sometimes makes me wince. But her storytelling is phenomenal. As is Joe's (although I'm not the biggest fan. I'd like to be...) Mieville has beautiful prose, but I can't get into his stories at all.
What I'm trying to say - badly - is that dissecting individual passages to tell if the book works isn't helpful. It's the whole, it's the complete skills set- the characters, the story, the arcs, the language. And, of course we improve as we go, cos all of that is painfully hard to achieve.
I agree, if you can look past Abercrombie's writing style and immerse yourself within his world, you are bound to get a taste of originality as well as in-depth character developments.