Book Review: The Dark Citadel by Michael Wallace

Nicholas Adams grew up in the small, rural town of Boring, OR with his six brothers and sisters. After graduating from High School in Gresham, OR he attended BYU-ID and received his Associates Degree in Pre-Med.chitects (AIA).
Description from Goodreads:
A slave boy named Darik falls in with a pair of spies as the great city of Balsalom comes under siege by the armies of a dark wizard. They flee west to enlist the aid of griffin riders, an order of wizards, and a band of ascetic knights to come to the city's defense.

Meanwhile, a young queen named Kallia leads a heroic struggle to keep both her city and body free from the dark wizard's cruel embrace.
I was never completely sure who held the role of Main Character. Was it Darik, the slave boy from the beginning of the story? Was it Whelan, the outcast warrior who took him under his wing? Was it Kallia, the queen of Balsalom who made a deal with the devil to save her city?

​Given how much "screen time" was given to the different characters, my bet is on Whelan or Kallia.

I was initially intrigued by the "Arabian Nights" vibe of the setting and characters, along with the Merlin-esque sorcerers, but the sub-plots seemed to shift with each chapter and I never felt like I got a handle on the overarching story line.

What I liked:

The writing is clear, not overly florid like some books I've read. The settings felt grounded in real places around the globe; described by someone with a clear vision of what this world looked like. The protagonists are likable. I found them to be more than one-dimensional, but less than two- or three-dimensional. I enjoyed the descriptions of mythical creatures. Darik's reactions to attractive girls his age felt authentic in their awkwardness and eagerness.

What I didn't like:

Some of the historical relevance info-dumps seemed anecdotal; unnecessary or unrelated to the moment. I found the villain(s) to be cliche, but effective