Series: Guild Hunter, Book 9
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order
One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Archangel’s Heart is a quiet, intense read that’s different – but no less interesting – than the powerful thrills of the previous Guild Hunter books. It’s been two years since the events of Archangel’s Enigma and the dangerous tide of power that is the Cascade has been put on pause. Everyone is in a holding pattern, and it’s putting angels, vampires, and hunters alike on edge. With tension at a breaking point, it’s almost a blessing when Raphael is summoned by the Luminata, an ancient order of angels who operate mostly outside angelic law. The Luminata have called the Cadre together to determine what to do about the archangel Lijuan’s territory. So it is that Raphael and Elena travel to the Luminata compound in Morocco, where soon they’re faced with the task of uncovering dangerous secrets that could forever change their world. Magic and mystery go hand-in-hand in this story as Elena searches for answers about her family history. The Luminata may hold the answers to Elena’s questions, but there’s something deeply wrong with these angels, and I loved watching Elena, Raphael, and their friends put the pieces of the puzzle together. What lies at the heart of Luminata I won’t say, but it is a mystery that leads to many small, intimate developments that carry great emotional weight for the characters we know and love.
There are a lot of reasons to love the Guild Hunter’s series, from Nalini Singh’s gorgeous writing to her incredible world building and more, but what makes this series special to me is the characters. In Archangel’s Heart the characters we’ve come to know and love continue to strengthen and evolve in beautiful ways. Elena and Raphael are the heart of the book and I loved seeing how they have grown as a couple. They’ve settled into their relationship and remain a dynamic couple that fit each other like lock and key. The story also allows other characters a chance to shine and I adored getting to know more about the other archangels and those who have accompanied them to Morocco. The Cadre is a powerful group and each member is both terrifying and impossibly alluring. Who knew watching angelic politics play out could be so compelling?
The strongest supporting role in this book is Aodhan – once the most withdrawn member of Raphael’s Seven – who joins Elena and Raphael on their journey. I’ll admit right up front that Aodhan is one of my two favorite characters in the series (the other being Illium), so I devoured every bit of new information about him. His past – even the glimpses of it we’re given in this story – is heartbreaking, but watching him slowly come back to life tugged on my heartstrings like you wouldn’t believe. Aodhan is quite simply a gorgeously-drawn character and the all-too-brief moments between he and Illium seethed with such intensity I had to stop and re-read them multiple times before continuing the rest of the book. There’s been much debate on whether or not Ms. Singh will romantically pair up Aodhan and Illium, and though I usually keep my ships out of reviews I will say that I’m firmly in the camp that hopes they will end up being each other’s happily ever after. There is such rich chemistry between the two that I find myself utterly enthralled whenever they share the page.
Archangel’s Heart is in many ways a bridge book that sets the stage for the action to come. It’s the calm before the storm (relatively speaking), but that doesn’t mean the story won’t engage you. Ms. Singh’s writing is top-notch, her characters unforgettable, and I finished Archangel’s Heart incredibly eager to read the next Guild Hunter novel.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.