Saturday, October 23, 2021

Review: Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter, Book 14
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Male/Male Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy 
Archangels Light cover
ISBN: 9780593198148
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…

Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.

As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.

Archangel’s Light is a story of love, friendship, and a bond greater than anyone could imagine. I’ve been waiting for years for Illium and Aodhan’s book and these two angels take such an emotional journey I devoured this book in one sitting, unable to put it down until I reached the very end.

The biggest question longtime Aodhan/Illium fans will want to have answered is “Is this a romance?” Yes and no. It’s an epic love story spanning half a millennia and the beginning of a romance I desperately hope will be continued in the next book. Nalini Singh has earned my trust as a reader so I’m confident we will see more of their romance and because of that confidence I was completely satisfied with this love story as the foundation of the romance.

At its core, Archangel’s Light is about Illium and Aodhan’s bond. Singh takes us from the moment they meet all the way to the present and the “yesterday” chapters are absolutely necessary to establishing just how all-encompassing their love is. We see the fun moments of mischief as children, the heartbreaking moments of loss Illium goes through, the horrors of what was done to Aodhan, and the support and love of those who are their family born and made. Through it all, Aodhan and Illium are together in a way that defies description and I wouldn’t dream of spoiling readers’ enjoyment by trying to go into detail.

Aodhan and Illium’s bond is fragile at the beginning of this book in a way it never has been. Aodhan is spreading his wings and Illium’s need to protect those he loves is stifling Aodhan’s need to grow. They love each other, but they’re also hurting each other by not being able to understand what the other needs and why. Illium has lost those he loves the most and he has a crushing need to give, protect, and hold on to those people. Aodhan feels stuck in a cage, feels like others – Illium in particular – are treating him like he’s broken and has not recovered. I hated seeing them at odds and how much it hurt them to be so, but it had to be done for them to confront the past and present and become who they want to be separately and as a couple. I loved their journey, how they are truly matched and perfect for one another in every way. The love story runs through this entire book but the romance only starts at the very end. And oh, did that ending make me want more.

Running through the present day storyline is also the newest mystery of what the crazed archangel Lijuan left behind in her wake. Aodhan is acting as Archangel Suyin’s second and he and Illium are tasked with finding out what happened in an eerie hamlet near Suyin’s base. The mystery and the horrors they uncover help drive both this story and the overarching Guild Hunter novels forward and it will be interesting to see what happens next, particularly in China. I absolutely loved Suyin and her friendship with Aodhan and I do hope we get to see the newest archangel more.

Archangel’s Light is epic in every sense of the word. Singh truly makes Illium and Aodhan shine by diving so deeply into their lives. Their love story is captivating, emotional, and beautiful to watch unfold; I cannot wait to see what comes next for Adi and Blue!

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.