Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter #6) by Nalini Singh
Releases: October 29, 2013
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “As you dream, know that you are loved.”
When angels begin falling from the sky and supposedly disease immune vampires are dying, the archangel of Manhattan and his consort race to find out who or what is attacking their city and why. The stage is set for war as angelic powers evolve and one unknown enemy’s goal to subjugate Raphael and all whom he holds dear.
Change is coming to a world not prepared for the effects it will bring. Angels thought long gone from this world are rising from their seemingly endless sleep while other angels are experiencing evolution in power. Called the Cascade, the last time one flooded the earth, millions died as the world was forced into rebirth. As a cloud of death rolls across the Manhattan skyline, hundreds of angels plummet to their death as the city watches in horror. Raphael and Elena mobilize their people and begin to save those who can be saved. This is only the first in a series of attacks against Raphael and his city that herald the coming of war. Raphael has his suspicions as to who is behind the aggression but is unable to confirm. Elena’s hunter skills become needed when vampires begin to show signs of a disease that is killing them. When the evil presence makes itself known, along with their intentions, Raphael begins to gather allies and fortify his home. He soon finds himself caught in the Cascade, unsure who or what he is evolving into and if he will survive the transition.
Archangel’s Legion is number six in Nalini Singh’s dark and lush Guild Hunters fantasy series. Singh brings us an epic tale steeped in violence, power, and love. Change and sacrifice are a major themes as this evolving world takes flight with new and intriguing paths to follow.
The series and this installment revolve around two main characters-the tempestuous archangel of Manhattan, Raphael, and his guild hunter consort, Elena Deveraux. The normally subdued romance roars to the forefront in this installment while the the fantasy aspects play hard and fast with outstanding world building and the dynamic characters who breathe life in this series. The originality of the world and it’s characters is what keeps me hooked in this series. The lines between good and evil are blurred; giving credence to the knowledge that sometimes heroes and villains are only separated by a series of degrees. Smooth writing, fast pacing, and engaging dialogue keeps you on your toes to the very end. Multiple sub plots are rich in subterfuge and adventure as you submerge yourself into the wickedly decadent and dangerous lives of the amazing individuals who live in here.
Though this series was originally touted as a Urban Fantasy, I feel it’s completely paranormal paranormal now due to its strong balance between the storyline and the romance(s). The plot and romance blend so effortlessly you’re often not sure where one starts and the other ends. While the plot is engaging and action packed, it takes second place to our main two protagonists, Elena and Raphael.
Raphael and Elena are a complicated couple whose passionate love affair defies all odds. From the beginning, we have watched as these two have fought death and each other, only to survive to fight another day. The romance is more pronounced in this installment as Raphael and Elena, now mated, deal with the turbulent nature of their relationship and all it entails. Raphael struggles with his overly protective instincts, unable to bear how fragile his love truly is in the angelic world while trying to make sure he never clips her wings.
“He watched her leave in a sweep of midnight and dawn, her wings unlike any other, and he knew he’d damn his own honor and take vengeance on the world should anyone dare lay a finger on her. “
As a much, much older immortal, his humanity is but a small flickering flame and almost entirely dependent on Elena and her influence. Elena hammers away at his authoritative nature everyday; making sure he understands the lines she will not accept him crossing. A majority of the story focuses on those lines.
Elena is still dealing with being the first made angel in thousands of years and and her role as consort/lover of an archangel who both thrills and terrifies her with his powers. She is also still grappling with the revelation that the gift that led to the murder of her mother and sisters comes from her father. The man who rejected her as a child without a backward glance. Elena does a lot of soul searching and emotional maturing. Her greatest fear is losing Raphael. She forever waits, quietly, for him to reject her as her father did. The strength of their bond grows both emotionally and physically as they continue to learn to dance with one another. They are the perfect couple. Both intelligent, strong, loyal, fierce about those they love, and utterly besotted with one another.
“Never had she expected to find him, to fall in love so deeply, wildly, insanely in love-and sometimes, her soul-deep joy in their passionate entanglement terrified her, the fear of losing him…”
Their chemistry continues to explode off the pages, becoming a rich sensual entity that wraps you in it’s lush embrace.
Singh does a fantastic job of blending the suspense of the story with the emotional journey of Raphael and Elena. Non stop action speeds the story along as you frantically absorb all the nuances and shifts. The plot was remarkable in it’s elements and I found myself riveted as the story revealed itself. While there is a lot going on, Singh’s clear and concise writing style leaves little confusion. With each scene we watch Raphael and Elena face their fears and overcome obstacles while dealing with external factors that try to stop them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire arc; merging together towards the end.
Engaging word play combined with explosive action and suspense creates a story you cannot put down. The supporting characters are intense, well developed, and intertwine with our protagonists to give us a rich, full bodied story. Complex and convoluted; we see the good and bad are merely defined by degrees of separation and much that has played out behind the scenes comes into the light. Everyone here has an agenda and does not always play by the rules. I found each one to be a satisfying addition to the story. There are plenty here to cheer and hate with abundance. We see more the Seven, one in particular whose story has haunted readers since he was first introduced, and the additional Cadre members. Alliances are made as enemies come out of the woodwork, threatening the well being of all involved.
As we headed towards the ending I found myself gripped with tension. Singh plays it close to the vest and I prayed the story would end the way I wanted. The ending IS phenomenal though while it wraps up the main conflict, it introduces a new and interesting aspect that assures us we haven’t seen the last of this world nor its addictive inhabitants.
Once again Singh leaves me both satisfied and wanting. Archangel’s Legion contains the perfect balance of action, suspense, intrigue, and romance that makes this series a must read.