Archangel’s Heart

June 21, 2017 - 12:24 pm No Comments

Archangel’s Heart
Guild Hunter Book 9
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Gollancz
Page Count: 381pp
Release date: 2nd Nov 2016
Tweet if you like it: @NaliniSingh, @Gollancz, @StevieFinegan
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Archangels-Heart-Book-Guild-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01D8ZZWO2/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1498047841&sr=1-5&keywords=nalini+singh

 

Right, things are a little complicated if you don’t know the series or haven’t read the previous books, but Singh drops in pieces of exposition during the first couple of chapters. So, I’m going to summarise the gist of it here for you.
This is the ninth book in the Guild Hunter series, a series in which an Archangel named Raphael is betrothed/mated (call it what you will) to his consort Elena. Raphael is in charge of New York, a city where angels, humans and vampires roam. Vampires are created by Archangels/angels, who repay the debt of saving their life and making them immortal, with a 100 years of servitude. Some angels can be brutal towards their ‘property’ indulging themselves in sexual torture, physical abuse and downright nastiness. But in the main, they are treated well, for instance, Montgomery was made by Raphael and works happily for him as a kind of butler/organiser/PA. He is also happily married to his partner of choice. Raphael is madly in love with his Elena (Guild Hunter-turned angel) who is the equivalent of a toddler in terms of angelic power. She returns his passion in spades. As for the Guild Hunters, they basically hunt ‘naughty’ vampires who runaway from their masters.
At this stage of the series, Elena is coming into her powers. This book is set two years after the events of the last book. Archangel Alexander awoke from ‘Sleep’ claiming back half of his lands from the current ruler Favashi. Cue tension and possible war. At the same time two years ago, after making zombie-ish creatures to try and take power, Lijuan was last seen disappearing into the distance (presumed not-dead due to her age) and there was the ‘cascade’, causing untold destruction and changes in the world hierarchy. Now, as Lijuan has been missing/dead for two years, a mysterious and ancient order of angels, the Luminata, call the Cardre of Archangels together to discuss the fate of Lijuan’s territory. But if she is not in ‘Sleep’ and is in fact alive, there will be eleven Archangels awake at the same time; with possibly deadly and disastrous consequences.
Elena is allowed to accompany Raphael to the compound but only as consort, so bringing her faithful guards with her is out of the question. So death is a very real possibility. Especially as her best friend Bluebell (Illium) will remain on duty in New York. He, too, is becoming a staggering angel in his own right. Thankfully though, she can take one of Raphael’s other ‘Seven’, Aodhan. Still bearing the dual scars from his time in hell, Aodhan has finally returned to art. Yet his creative side belies a clever, dangerous angel.
So, the trio set off in the skies to meet with the Luminata and the other Archangels and co.
When they get there, the architecture is stunning, as is the Morrocan scenery, bringing back all manner of memories for Elena about her mother. But something is not right at their lair. And lair is probably the best word for Lumia; for it feels more like another Archangel’s refuge than a pseudo-religious/mystic and peaceful land it pretends to be. The angels at Lumia ring alarm bells for Raphael, Elena and Aodhan. Secrets abound. Adding to this is the evidence of bloodlust attacks and the possibility that it could worsen, and the need for proof as to what has indeed happened to Lijuan.
When Elena visits the local town, it’s clear the villages are scared to death of angels – the question is ‘why?’.
Between various mysteries and story threads, Singh delivers an intricate sometimes confusing world build. If you’re new to the series, this isn’t the best book to start with, as it’s heavy on the politics and world build.
I love that Singh delivers multicultural societies in her novels, reflective of the world in which we live (without the mythical creatures that is) and she is brave enough to deal with Aodhan’s PTSD among other issues. However, I have to confess, of the series, it wasn’t my favourite, though it did give us a glimpse into Elena’s history, and the relationship between Raphael and his mother Caliane was explored.
Enjoyable, romantic and lots going on.
A solid 3.5/5

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