Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s darkly passionate Guild Hunter world, where human-turned-angel Elena Deveraux, consort to Archangel Raphael, faces a new challenge that threatens the balance of the world.
Wings of silver. Wings of blue. Mortal heart. Broken dreams. Shatter. Shatter. Shatter. A sundering. A grave. I see the end. I see. . . .
The world is in chaos as the power surge of the Cascade rises to a devastating crescendo. In furiously resisting its attempts to turn Elena into a vessel for Raphael’s power, Elena and her archangel are irrevocably changed. . .far beyond the prophecy of a cursed Ancient.
At the same time, violent and eerie events around the world threaten to wipe out entire populations. And in the Archangel Lijuan’s former territory, an unnatural fog weaves through the land, leaving only a bone-chilling silence in its wake. Soon it becomes clear that even the archangels are not immune to this deadly evil. This time, even the combined power of the Cadre may not be enough. . . .
This war could end them all.
KEEP READING TO SEE EN BLAKE’S REVIEW & AN EXCERPT!
About the Book
by Nalini Singh
September 24, 2019
If for whatever reason you’re interested in starting this series and you’re considering jumping in at Archangel’s War, please reconsider. It’s a great series, but if you don’t know the characters, politics and premise of the world, you won’t appreciate the masterful conclusion of plot threads in this novel. That being said, this is an amazing entry in the series, and suggests great things to come in this and future books.
Elena and Raphael’s relationship continues to delight, they have a genuinely respectful, loving relationship, and the discussion they have about children in this book shows this brilliantly. The found family trope is hard to do wrong, but Elena’s relationship with the hunters and Raphael’s seven, as well as Raphael’s relationship with his seven and staff is nevertheless a great example of the trope done extremely well.
The cause of the Cascade gets explored a little in this novel, and we get tantalising hints about the Ancients and the Legion as well. The world of the Guild Hunter novels is drawn in exquisite detail, and every major player in the world has been developed over the course of the twelve novels that have led to this point. Archangel’s War, as the title may suggest, brings wholescale war to the world that had been built, and the political and supernatural tensions that have been building over the course of the series culminate spectacularly in this novel.
As a long time fan of the Nalini Singh’s work, this feels very much like the ending of the original Psy-Changeling series, and the Psy-Changeling Trinity series is possibly an even stronger body of work. Even if a similar rebranding of the Guild Hunter series is not in the works, the ‘feel’ of this series is likely to change in a similar way, which is extremely exciting.
The personal relationships in this series are outstanding. Archangel’s War has the emotional intensity of a drama, with a solid grounding in genuine human behaviour and reactions. This lets characters come to life and experience situations in realistic ways, with enough sparkles that it’s still fun to read. Nalini Singh writes characters that seem real, even if they grow wings and shoot fire out of their hands.
Archangel’s War didn’t just conclude storylines, it also introduced a bunch of very exciting new ones. This book also introduces a bunch of ‘new’ archangels, the power and personality of which should be a great way to mix things up in future books. Aodhan and the Hummingbird get some more development in this book, as do Jeffrey’s second lot of children.
If you’re a fan of Nalini Singh and this series, read this book if you haven’t already! If you haven’t read the series but are considering it, start at book one (for your sake), and consider reading if you enjoy Molly Harper’s flawed, funny, found families; the sprawling world, passionate romance and deadly power from NK Jemisin’s Hundred Thousand Kingdoms series; the action and politics of Jim Butcher’s Aeronaut’s Windlass; or just urban fantasy that combines romance and fantasy tropes seamlessly into a modern, enchanting world with a badass heroine and her equally badass lover and friends.
The review copy of this book was purchased by the reviewer. All titles reviewed on this blog are a fair and honest assessment of the book. No monetary compensation was received in exchange for this review. For more information regarding our review process, please visit our Review Policy & Review Request Submission page.
Dmitri stood on a high Tower balcony, the wind whipping at his hair with a bite that said fall was coming as it pasted the back of his T-shirt to his body. Winter had ended, and spring as well as most of summer had passed while Raphael and Elena slept; fall hovered on the horizon. “I walked with Raphael through the colors of fall more than once,” he told the woman who stood at his side. “Leaves of orange and crimson and yellow raining down on our heads.”
Honor tugged out the hand he’d fisted in the pocket of his pants. He opened it, allowed her to weave her fingers through his own. “Is there more trouble?”
“Yes, I can feel it building.” He and the rest of the Seven had held off all challengers to date, thanks to the help of those in the Cadre who refused to allow the scavengers to swoop. Even now, huge birds of prey circled the sky and cougars napped in Central Park, while Caliane’s most experienced squadron patrolled the borders of the city.
“Why the quick challenges?” Honor ran her free hand down the bare skin of his arm. “It’s not even been a year.”
“The army that came with Favashi might’ve turned back, but it wasn’t by choice. They’re Lijuan’s people through and through, and they’ve been whispering in the ears of parasites like Charisemnon that this territory is his for the taking.” Lesser angels, too, had attempted to mount a challenge.
Dmitri had decapitated the first.
Illium had burned the second down to the ground with his power.
Venom had used two razor-sharp knives to shred the third to pieces.
No one else had dared in the interim, but they would. “I just got Jason’s latest report—his operatives have confirmed that Lijuan’s people are spreading the rumor that Raphael’s disappearance is connected to Favashi’s—that she infected him with the poison she carried inside her. Bastards are saying he’s either dead or dying and stronger powers must take over his territory before the vampires begin to rise in bloodlust.” Dmitri was also being accused of acting “above his station” in continuing to hold the territory. As if he had intentions to take it over. Fools.
Leaning her head against his shoulder, Honor watched a condor fly to land right beside them. “You’re not letting all the whispers about you being a traitor get to you, are you?” A stern tone. “Because I’ll have to get tough if you are.”
He would’ve smiled if his heart wasn’t so dark with fury at the threats that hung in the air; his wife knew him far too well. “I’ve dealt with it before.” No one outside of Raphael’s inner circle seemed to accept or understand that he was right where he wanted to be. He and Raphael had a relationship of loyalty and trust melded with old pain that the Cadre couldn’t hope to comprehend.
Before being archangel and second, they were friends. That friendship had only deepened after the sire fell in love with Elena. Prior to that, Raphael had been falling into the cold of immortality, becoming distant in a way that had begun to erase the friend who’d fought beside Dmitri in many a battle. “I’m more worried about the vampires.”
“At least bloodlust hasn’t been a problem yet.”
“No.” Dmitri had sent Andreas to deal with the first vampire kiss that had tried to flex its muscle. The warrior angel had put those vampiric heads on pikes and stabbed the bloody pikes in a city square. Dmitri liked Andreas—he knew how to make a point and he was as relentlessly loyal to Raphael as Dmitri.
No other kiss had dared make so much as a peep.
“It won’t last,” he told Honor. “I’ll have to be more and more brutal.” Vampires were driven by bloodlust—that was a fact of life. Dmitri had long ago disciplined his own urges and he’d have helped Honor do the same if her mortal calm and thoughtfulness hadn’t carried over seamlessly during her transition.
It was possible that her constant proximity to him helped, but regardless, his wife was one of the most stable young vampires he knew. Yet she still practiced honing her control with the dedication of a woman who had been a guild hunter before she became a vampire.
Many other vampires, however, were arrogant of the danger and didn’t bother.
Without archangelic control, those vampires would soon begin to forget fear and cause carnage. His only choice then would be a cold and fast wave of death that carved terror into the hearts of mortals and vampires both.
The condor that had been sitting beside them took off in a jagged sweep of wings that hit Honor’s right leg. Circling the air in front of them, it opened its beak and released a grating shriek. Birds flew up from every roof in the city at the same instant. The wind rose, slamming at them like an angry opponent.
Planting her feet wide to maintain her position, the soft ebony of her hair streaming behind her, Honor said, “What’s happening?”
Dmitri didn’t know, but his eyes turned toward the Enclave, where the sire lay as motionless as the dead—and Elena was lost inside a chrysalis that didn’t pulse or show any other indication of life.
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