Set in a gothic fantasy world, this is the story of Teito Klein, an orphaned slave who became the top military academy student. However, an unexpected turn of events left him pursued by the forces of the Barsburg Empire. Now an escaping convict, Teito's sheltered by the church and it's law of sanctuary. Here, he discovered many mysteries surrounding himself, the church, and the Empire itself. The fact that he might be connected to a dethroned king and the mystical stone of god, 'The Eye of Mikhael' made him the target of the empire more than ever. Fortunately the church is under the mythical 7 Ghost protection.
There are many factors that make this series stand out from the tons of others I've read. The plot, though in overview doesn't sound terribly original, actually is, which you see as you read. The pace of the story is perfect, nothing too fast, yet not slow enough that you grow bored. Most notable are the characters, who leave a lasting impact. The main, Teito, isn't your average 'suddenly-gains-new-powers' type. The bishops, Castor, Frau and Labrador (Yeah, I laughed at his name when I first heard it, but he's a character you soon stop laughing about the more he appears) all have bizarre traits and are just plain quirky. Then, the antagonists; Ayanami and his squad. Ayanami is a perfect villain, sinister and eerie from his first appearance. Though his right hand man, Hyuuga, lightens the mood regularly, a very good comic relief character.
Not to mention the artwork is beautiful though, one of the few faults I can find with this manga, is sometimes inconsistent.
A must-read. If you haven't, you really have to! Five stars.