In Archangel’s Heart (Guild Hunter #9) by Nalini Singh, Archangel Raphael and his consort, guild hunter/angel Elena, have been keeping their eyes open–along with the rest of the world–for signs that the Cascade is continuing. After the tragedy that befell their beloved city and other areas around the world, they are also watching for the possible return of evil archangel Lijuan. So when Raphael receives word that an ancient order of men seeking enlightenment, the Luminata, are calling all of the members of the Cadre to Lumia to discuss Lijuan, he wonders if it could be a potential trap.
Cupping the back of her head, he pressed his jaw to her temple. “No one will take my Elena from me. I’ll destroy the world before I allow that to happen.”
“You’re scary, Archangel,” his hunter whispered, shifting back to face him with a tear-wet face that nonetheless held a smile. “But I want to dance with you anyway.”
Elena, Raphael, and one of his Seven, Aodhan, make their way to Lumia but nothing could have prepared them for the Luminata or the eerie fortress-type building they inhabit. For a group of men who are said to seek peace and knowledge, there is a darkness to the property which raises a red flag in many of the archangels. While Raphael must attend to Cadre business, it leaves time for Elena and Aodhan to investigate the people housed there and in the surrounding town. But once they start unraveling secrets, the truths may turn out to not only change everything for the Luminata members but for Elena as well when she learns about her mother’s family’s true origins.
‘The survival of the world depended on the archangels being the ultimate authority. The Cadre had to be the fear beyond fear. The instant anyone began to question that, they empowered vampires and mortals to do the same. The end result of any such insurgency was always the same: a tide of horror and death.’
Archangel’s Heart brought fans a more in depth look into the inner workings of the Cadre as well as shedding some light on Elena’s heritage. This might not have been the most action-packed installment in the Guild Hunter series but I think it will be pivotal to the future for our favorite group of hunters, angels, and vampires.
‘He hadn’t known fear before loving Elena. He hadn’t known life, either.’
The world behind the Guild Hunter series is one that is complex and which constantly grows with each new book Nalini Singh releases. Now I know that fans have been waiting for certain couples to have their turn and that it might upset some readers where this is primarily about Raphael and Elena again. I personally thought it fit the situation they all found themselves in with the Cadre being called to meet in neutral territory. This story showed the strength in Elena and Raphael’s flourishing relationship as well as it gave the rest of the archangels the opportunity to see what a formidable team they made. We also learned more of Aodhan’s tragic backstory which helped us understand his friendship with Illium and Raphael even better.
The introduction of the Luminata played around with themes of power, corruption, enlightenment, religion and what happens when people turn a blind eye to atrocities in the world. Without getting all heavy and dark–or giving too much detail away!–suffice it to say the Luminata were not exactly as they seemed. It took the combined efforts of the Cadre, their guards and consorts, and local townspeople to solve the mystery of what truly was happening in Lumia. I thought it was interesting to see how it all played out and who among the Cadre stood up for the innocent. It showed a side to some of the archangels we’ve not necessarily seen before.
You can always be certain when you begin a novel by Nalini Singh that it will be well-crafted, filled with intelligence and a wide range of genuine emotions. That couldn’t be more true than with Archangel’s Heart. The excitement is bound to continue as the odds steadily increase for those caught up in the Cascade, making the future more volatile with each new bit of information we learn. I look forward to seeing what is in store for the Guild Hunter series next.
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…
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 archangelic 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.