This is actually a 5-star book, but as others have noted, it could have used another copyediting pass (which may have been done to the copy you can download by the time you read this).
I'm glad this novel was published under the Allan Cole byline, because it's time for all his work to be gathered for access and comparison. And there's a lot of his work around!
This is a novel to be savored within the context of that overall body of work, both in feature film scripts and the extensive contributions to television show episodes. And it is a case in point in the perennial writer discussion of "should I use a pen name?" There are those who might have advised the established Science Fiction writer to use a pen name for a Fantasy Trilogy.
This novel is a stylistic departure from the terse, tight action style interspersed with exposition that you see in the 8 novel series, The Sten SeriesSten (Sten #1) -- and if you're looking for that action style, this novel does not deliver it.
It is written in the increasingly popular, long-lazy style I might term "panoramic." It gives you a 3-D picture of who the people are, where they came from, where they'd like to go, and then hits you with why their path to that destination isn't going to be very direct.
It has a serious and complicated Romance and pair-bonding thread that is actually part of the main plot and carries a good deal of the theme into that main plot, the clash of two species for dominance of a world.
It also uses a point-of-view shift into the heads of the opponents. If you're looking for a simple story, with just one person to root for, this novel won't make you happy.
If you're looking for a complex novel that tackles the wide-ranging affairs of clashing civilizations (all on one world, so far), with dueling wizards in Magical Combat whose personal lives are at stake, and two species that are close enough to interbreed and far enough apart to want to exterminate each other, all crammed into a situation where the Divine Finger seems absent (maybe), you really need to read this book. It's a page-turner that makes you think ... hard.