New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…
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.
This blurb came from Goodreads
E: We are huge Singh fans here at The Book Pushes so today we are bringing you this joint review followed a few hours later by an excerpt if you still need tempting… Over the course of the last few books life has been exciting, full of war and its immediate aftermath as Elena, Raphael, and their allies/friends dealt with Lijuan, The Cascade, and Lijuan’s growing megalomaniac madness. Two short years after the last encounter when Lijuan tried to kill Alexander, a sleeping Ancient, the world has restablized enough for Elena to grow tired of the impending sense of something looming and to hope for some action. Then a new rather old organization made itself known and I became very curious to see what would unfold for Elena and company plus the hints dropped about discovering some of Elena’s past and I couldn’t wait to devour Archangel’s Heart.
Has: I loved, loved this installment because unlike the previous books, this delved into Elena’s past and origins which answered a few questions to the mysteries of her history and family. But it also focused on this new and creepy monk-like order of angels who are now influential in giving a voice to the vacuum left by Lijuan’s absence from the events in the last book. I also really enjoyed that this book had a very atmospheric and almost like claustrophobic tone which added to the mysterious overtones.
E: In addition to my curiosity regarding Elena, as I read it was both great fun and heartbreaking at times to start really getting to know Aodhan, aka Sparkle. Seeing him with Elena and Raphael not to mention hearing from Bluebell about certain instances in the past was extremely touching. I really enjoyed seeing Sparkle come to life and grow into more. Elena’s very humanity has had an impact on everyone she spends time with and seeing that impact spread from reputation/story and then in person is fascinating. It is easy to see how she developed a family of choice which continues to grow as this series progresses.
Has: I also adored seeing Ilium and Aodhan’s growing relationship which hints and lays out future plots that leaves me salivating. I really loved the opening chapters featuring them and seeing how far Aodhan has grown and seeing Ilium grappling with this new change. I also thought there were interesting developments with Elena and the little hints that Nalini Singh has planted that the cascade may have touched her in some ways too which I thought was interesting.
E: One of the other things I enjoyed in this story was how front and center Elena was. Raphael had to really trust Elena and Aodhan to do their own thing and call for help if needed. For the first time I really felt as if Raphael had turned a huge corner in viewing Elena as a young angel in terms of immortality but a much older person with the benefit of her Hunter experience not someone who needed to be protected from herself. At the same time I felt as if Elena no longer had a need to demonstrate her independence since she no longer felt caged and coddled. As much as I enjoy Elena and Raphael arguments and the subsequent making-up, it was wonderful to see them working and interacting together under different situations.
Has: Yes! I definitely agree with you about that! I love how in tune to each other’s needs and desires as well. But they both gelled together as partners and worked together in helping out their strengths and weaknesses and that was fantastic to see how that has evolved from their first meeting. They’ve both developed as characters and their relationship and I loved seeing this play out on page.
E: Even though this has been out for a couple of weeks now I am still going to avoid major spoilers and just say the discoveries about Elena’s past and everything which unfolds as a result are simply WOW! I think I reread those sections separately on more than one occasion marveling at how different threads fit together. I am really looking forward to seeing what Singh does with these new developments.
Has: My jaw literally dropped when I read the huge twist and I did not expect that at all! I also look forward to seeing this unveil in future books but I think it really adds to the mystery and the mysteries surrounding Elena’s past. Although I think there will be more interesting twists and turns in the future, but I loved how these different threads conjoined in such a surprising way.
E: Archangel’s Heart has a very different tone and feel than previous stories featuring Elena and Raphael. I though the shift very nicely highlighted the changes in their relationship after the past several years. Elena is growing as an angel and as a consort. I almost think she could give her best friend Sara a run for her money when it comes to politics given the influences of Honor, Mahiya, and Jessamy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and seeing other aspects of the Guild-Hunter world. I can’t wait for the next one!
I give Archangel’s Heart an A
Has: Yes, in a lot of ways, Archangel’s Heart is the quiet before the big storm for the next instalment in this series. But even though this was a more introspective and quieter toned book, it did set up and lay out interesting and important plot threads which carry out throughout the series. I loved the mystery and intrigue surrounding the characters and in some ways, I felt this was a much darker and ominous entry to the series. Yet, I think this may have become one of my favourite books because it was personal, and focused on the characters and their pasts and I loved how this added and enriched Elena’s character as well as her relationship with Raphael.
I also give Archangel’s Heart an A!
PS don’t forget to come back and check out the excerpt going up later today!