LE Modesitt seems to be known for his fantasy, whilst in this humble reader's opinion his sci-fi is by far the better writing and an excellent read. I highly recommend dipping into any of his sci-fi work and then buying every one you can get your hands on! Involving plots, moral dilemmas, believable universes and characters - this is how sci-fi should be, in my opinion.
This is poorly structured and poorly written. Every single one of the characters is a flat cardboard cut-out, the world they inhabit isn't at all well-explained, and so the resulting story is mostly confusing and hard to follow.