Author: Nalini Singh
Archangel’s Storm is the latest novel in the Guild Hunter series and the third I have been fortunate enough to read and review.
The Guild Hunter novels bring us an original world ruled by angels, who are served by vampires, and in many cases idolised by mortals. All of the novels to this point have revolved around the Archangel Raphael and his Tower though the novels I have read have focused on separate members of his inner circle.
Archangel’s Storm brings Jason into closer focus, he is Raphael’s spymaster with eyes and ears everywhere. Jason has an affinity for shadows and a core shrouded in darkness, with a heart and mind securely closed off behind impenetrable obsidian shields.
Archangel Neha’s consort is discovered brutally murdered in her court and Neha’s rage threatens to overcome her, and anyone in her path, so Jason moves into Neha’s territory to discover the murderer before Neha loses control.
Jason is a spymaster so it is quite a tricky situation moving into another Archangel’s territory when his loyalty remains to Raphael, the only way Neha will agree is if he swears a blood oath to a Princess of her bloodline, enter Mahiya, who Neha presses into service to spy on Jason.
Mahiya has suffered through her life and it is a testament to her strength that she refuses to allow her suffering to break her. She wears a persona to shield her and it hides the hope she will not relinquish for a different life, one which will nurture her inner strength.
Neha may have plans for Jason but so does Mahiya, will either of them be able to affect his loyalty to Raphael?
The blood bond was utilised to ensure that Jason did not compromise Neha’s court because of his loyalty, a bond to negate conflicts of interest. The bond sees Jason and Mahiya in close contact and the two recognise the depths hidden by the facade.
It isn’t long before the bodies begin to pile up and the hunt for the murderer becomes more complex as there is something connecting the victims if only Jason and Mahiya can uncover the link.
In addition to the mystery of the murders we are allowed further into the events that have shaped the unlikely pair, learning what it is that has left them both so deeply scarred. They grow to know one another better as we grow to know them and the path of that storyline is quite obvious from very early on.
Yes, you can see where the story is headed but that takes nothing away from the journey as we watch the evolution of the pair, the struggles they both face within as their heart goes to war with traumatising experience.
That’s not to say this book is all about Jason and Mahiya because it’s not.
We also see how the timeline of the series travels as we catch up with the continuing story of Dmitri and Honor from the previous novel.
Singh’s love scenes don’t smoulder, they blaze, and they are never gratuitous. These scenes are intimately detailed, speaking of the connection on much more than just a physical level and I am pretty sure they will get your heart racing, at least a little.
The characters through this series have great strength and great power but each of them have survived a past fraught with heartache and trauma leaving them scarred and bruised, if not broken. Nalini Singh explores their strengths along with their weaknesses to give an accurate and vivid picture of these characters you can’t help but come to feel for.
The Guild Hunter series, and Archangel’s Storm as part of that, is a fast, fun, gothic exploration of a world born of a brilliant imagination that always leaves me hungering for more – I can’t wait for the next instalment planned for release in 2013.
One last thing I have to mention is that I think this would work quite well as a stand alone or read sequentially with the rest of the series. I do want to go back to the beginning and read the first two at some point though.
Have you read any of the Guild Hunter series? What do you think?