Like some other reviews have said, this book needs editorial examination. Some words are used much too often.
But I still liked the book. Modesitt didn't just create bland, totally evil bad guys who wanted to make total chaos or kill everyone. The "bad guys" were people (Efrans/ifrits) from another world. These people live off the lifeforce of worlds, and then travel to another one when it is all "used up."
These Efrans are trying to take over Alucius's world, and he must stop them.