The story premise is an interesting one; that of a world in which spiritual warfare is made real through flesh and blood battles between allegorical representations of JoRel (Gods) Guardians, and the Shadow Warriors of the rebelled and fallen Dagar, whose puppet kings have usurped the throne from the true ruling family line. However, the writing skills just arent there to support it.There are some Old Testament parallels shown mainly in the ritualistic religion of JoRel (temples etc.) and in the twelve regions of Allon, each governed by its own Council member. The surveys of these regions just flies by, as did the introduction to the Lords of those areas, it wasnt fully fleshed out, and most of those characters are regions are entirely forgettable.Ellis is the main character, and his role is that of a young warrior prince destined to regain the throne. However, he (and most of the other male characters), are snickering through their dialogue at least 30% of the time even in momentous situations. This really spoiled the character development for me (though there was little to go around in the first place.) Shannan is Ellis love interest, but his feelings for her are somehow linked to the fate of Allon (which is never fully fleshed out), and theres no real emotion there to be felt by readers. The characters also seem to rely upon their brows as the main physical expression of their feelings, which grows old quickly.I doubt I would have finished this novel if I hadnt agreed to review it. There were times I was wishing it had come to an end. There was a pickup in pace for the finale that kept me going through the final sections of the book, but the rest was hard going.