I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Archangel's Storm by Nalini Singh
This paranormal romance is a paperback edition was published by Gollancz on September 4, 2012 and has 337 pages.
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Other books by this author include Must Love Hellhounds, Kiss of Snow, An Enchanted Season, Archangel's Blade, Angels of Darkness, Lord of the Abyss, Desert Warrior, Angels' Flight, Tangle of Need, Play of Passion, Wild Invitation, Heart of Obsidian, Archangel's Legion, "Hide and Seek", "Making Dinner", Shield of Winter, A Conversation, "Home", Angels' Pawn, "New Year's Kisses", Night Shift, "Weapons Training", "Zoë's Workshop", "Wild Night", Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, “An Unexpected Guest”, Allegiance of Honor, "The Song of the Wolf", Archangel’s Heart
Fifth in the Guild Hunter paranormal romance series revolving around archangels who rule the world and the beings who serve or deceive them. The couple focus in this story is on Jason and the Princess Mahiya and is set in India.
In 2013, Archangel’s Storm won the DABWAHA Romance Tournament for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance.
It’s an odd combination of contemporary and Asian cruelty combined with typical, vicious court intrigue and just sad. Incredibly good, but that a being with so much power can be so very petty.
We learn more about Jason’s history, his childhood, and his parents. I understand better why he is so closed-off.
Part of what attracts me to this series is the twist Singh has put on vampires and angels. Another part is the history of the angels. Where did they come from? Does God play a part? Are they alien beings who landed here and became “gods”? Are they the Grigori of the angelic world? They are so powerful and blessed (or cursed) with extremely long life, and yet they are still emotional beings. They’re certainly a case study for how a practically immortal life corrupts, especially when you look at their cruelty, the lack of, well, humanity.
It’s Elena’s influence that changes the archangels’ world when Raphael first meets her in Angels’ Blood. It introduces us to this world, to a powerful but young archangel and his lieutenants, to the humanizing of such immortal and all-powerful beings.
The world Singh has created of angels and the vampires they create is fascinating. I particularly enjoy the detail Singh provides about their wings!
The world in Archangel’s Storm is particularly intriguing both for the contrast it provides with Raphael’s Tower in New York versus the Mughal feel of Neha’s palaces in India, but also with the contrast in how each archangel treats the people loyal to them. Man’s inhumanity to man has nothing on angelic inhumanity. Although, Raphael and his Seven are both loyal and warm to their people.
The fresh bit of drama Singh has planted for the future is the fact that the archangels are evolving, growing more powerful. The Cascade is in effect and there is no way to predict the outcome of the changes that are coming.
It’s Dimitri and Honor’s wedding day when Jason receives news of Eris’ murder. They cannot allow Neha to go mad with her grief and anger and Jason must fly to India to contain her. To discover who murdered Eris. To discover what else Neha is hiding.
But if Neha is to allow Jason into her court, he must be bound with a blood vow. And Mahiya is the closest in blood to family. It’s a situation Mahiya intends to exploit. To escape. Only she discovers how closely he listens, how much he has learned about her.
The black-winged Jason is Raphael’s spymaster and has been for the last six hundred years. He’s also one of his Seven. Jason has the “ear”, his mother’s ability to sense things happening hundreds of miles away.His parents’ story, that of Yaviel and Aurelani, is legend amongst the angels. A Romeo and Juliet of a story. One that taught Jason to eschew love.
Princess Mahiya is the hated daughter of Eris, husband to Neha. A complete and total jerk who didn’t understand self-denial. Mahiya has walked a fine line in the court of Neha. The symbol of Eris’ infidelity. A 3,000-year-old archangel, Neha, the Queen of Snakes, of Poisons, and the the Archangel of India, imprisoned her beloved husband when she discovered his affair. Nivriti is Mahiya’s mother. And Neha’s twin sister. Samira is one of Jason’s agents in India. Anoushka was Neha’s daughter who was executed in Archangel’s Kiss.
Dmitri leads Raphael’s Seven and he fell in love with Honor in Archangel’s Blade. Now they’re getting married…sigh… Raphael is the archangel who rules New York and its surrounding territory and Elena, a guild hunter who ran afoul of a rogue angel in Angel’s Blood is his consort. She’s also his biggest weakness. Illium is another angel with the most beautiful blue wings. Venom was made by Neha and left her court as soon as his contract was complete. The three of the Seven who couldn’t make the wedding include Aodhan, a broken angel who cannot bear being touched yet appears to be made of fractured light and he attracts butterflies; Galen, is Raphael’s general and with Jessamy; and, Naasir.
The Cadre of Ten are all archangels who rule our world. Lijuan is the oldest of the archangels, the Archangel of China. So old that she is becoming even more autocratic than the worse of the younger archangels. Amanat is home to an Ancient, Raphael’s mother, Caliane.
Arav is an archangel who craved Neha’s favor. One of her generals and not slow to take advantage of the empty space created at Neha’s side by the death of her husband. One he curried by hurting Mahiya. He dies. Of the female vampires in Neha’s court, too many are brainless: Komal is beautiful, sensual vampire; Audrey thought she was safe even as she took the deadliest of chances; Shabnam was one of the longest-serving of Neha’s ladies; Lisbeth is another of the ladies-in-waiting; Tanuja another, but one who doesn’t denigrate the dead; and, Vanhi is the vampire who helped care for Mahiya as a child, much as she cared for Neha and Nivriti and Anoushka when they were children.
We catch up with Zoe, the Guild Director’s daughter. Janvier has taken over Sorrow‘s training.
The Cover and Title
The cover is dark in every way you can imagine. Deep, dark browns with a highlight of grayed oranges. It’s a leather-pants wearing Jason standing on a balcony, his feathered wings raised and open, his long hair tied back, a sword resting on his naked shoulder and drawing our attention to his well-muscled, naked torso. In the lighter background, we see bare ground and a building in the distance.
The title is what Jason is to the princess, an Archangel’s Storm.