Title: Archangel’s Heart | Series: Guild Hunter #9 | Author: Nalini Singh | Publisher: Gollancz | Publication date: November 2nd 2016 | Num. Pages: 402 | Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy | How I owned it: ARC copy kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley
5 stars – As always a stunning installment of the world of the Cadre
Many thanks to Gollancz and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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 archangel 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.
As always Nalini Singh has done it again with another stunning installment in the world of the Cadre, bringing us up to speed with all that has happened in the time since the Cascade with such a sense of presence that it doesn’t feel like any time has passed at all.
Archangel’s Heart is the 9th main book in the series and it brings together characters we know and love from previous books – Elena, Raphael, Bluebell, Aodhan, Dmitri and The Seven, the other members of The Cadre including two previous sleeping Ancients – and as I mentioned above it feels like no time has passed. We dive straight back into the Archangel of New York and his Hunter consort’s lives as the effects of the Cascade and the Falling still hit New York at random; we are cordially invited to a meeting of a new entity in the Archangel world – previously unmentioned – The Luminata who are a sacred sect of “monks” based in a far off compound called Lumia.
What seems to be a simply religious/enlightened sect instead turns out to be one bred of nightmares with secrets meant to be kept hidden from any who could discover them. Elena – being the hunter consort – that she is, makes it her mission to uncover the secrets being hidden in Lumia as well the potential location of her Grandmother who is believed to have lived in the area.
What follows is a story of love, betrayal, reunion and absolute power that has corrupted absolutely.
The Luminata are supposed to elect a new leader every 50 years but the current leader Gian (nice name, not such a nice angel) has ruled for far longer than he should have and this ultimate ruling seems to have corrupted his mind. But as absolute power corrupts absolutely he has dragged several members of the Luminata down into the depths or corruption with him – including stealing humans from the local town for their own carnal desires.
Caliane in this book has this extra otherworldly power that I loved, her voice to sing has definitely improved and its power has increased. Alexander is another force to be reckoned with and he uses this power sparingly. There are a few new characters – Laric and Ibrahim – who I feel will be integral to the next books (Archangel’s Viper I’m looking at you here and hoping) Laric will be an integral character to Aodhan’s well-being particularly after the issues with Bluebell.
Archangel’s Heart has been a long awaited read for me – I’ve had it for months but haven’t got around to it – and I’m pleased beyond anything that this was such a strong installment to what is definitely one of my favourite series.
The plot line was not one that I expected but I’m glad that Nalini hasn’t deviated from the Lijuan story arc and that this will continue until they find out what actually happened to her. Also? Storms.