This book feels a lot like it's built on the quest model. Reluctant hero must go touch three stones to save his kingdom. At times, this is very tedious, with all the travel. Interestingly, most of the story is not told through the reluctant hero's POV, but from the most junior sentinel mage, which I found refreshing. (Which makes this an escort quest!)
However, she's also the most powerful of the mages. The fact that she's a virgin who starts falling for the hero (when he has been nothing but an asshole to all the mages the entire book) is irksome to me in the extreme... Being sympathetic to someone who's lost everything is one thing, but falling for them for no reason is quite another. However, by the end, they do share a dream-bond,
which does help with the explanation of why they begin to grow fonder of each other.
Overall, a good fantasy read, though perhaps not very memorable. Love the cover!