REVIEW: Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh

Posted November 1st, 2021 by in Blog, Fantasy, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 2 comments

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In Archangel’s Light (Guild Hunter #14) by Nalini Singh, Around the world, everyone knows if you see Illium you will most likely see Aodhan nearby. The angels became fast friends as children and were soon inseparable, creating a bond even stronger than most siblings have. Through the centuries they have cherished their friendship. They have nurtured it and been there for one another. All except for the time Aodhan was nearly lost after a horrific event changed his life–and that of many–forever. Dozens of decades later, he’s just now coming to terms with the atrocities he lived through. And as part of the healing process, Aodhan finds that he is pushing back against the protective nature of his beloved Bluebell, Illium. But hopefully he won’t push him away for good.

“What am I going to do with you? Aodhan murmured, overwhelmed by tenderness. “You and that heart of yours really need a damn keeper.”
A playful smile that did nothing to hide the depth of Illium’s emotions. “Do I hear you volunteering?”
“No I’m not volunteering,” in a voice gritty with need and hard with confidence. “The position is already mine.”
Then he kissed Illium.

Illium is sent to China to assist new Archangel Suyin with rebuilding her territory after the devastation Lijuan brought to the land and its people. While it’s wonderful to be busy doing something so worthwhile next to his Sparkle, Illium knows there’s still friction between him and Aodhan. Something he intends to fix while in China. But as more of Lijuan’s secrecy and madness is uncovered, and the people are spread thin trying to build their new home, Illium and Aodhan face a realization: they might never be exactly as they were together in the past. Bluebell and Sparkle. Blue and Adi. But what they could possibly have in its place–something stronger while making them slightly more fragile–might be what Illium has been hoping for all along.

‘Illium’s breath caught, because this man ablaze in the warm light of day’s end was full of light, of life. It glittered in his eyes, sparked in his hair, played over his skin. He sparkled once again and he was glorious.’

Exquisite. There is no other way to describe Archangel’s Light, a book for which fans have been clamoring for years. Our beloved Bluebell and Sparkle have finally found their forever together. And although it wasn’t easy for them, it was absolutely perfect.

“Always, Blue,” he said, his voice husky. “Me and you? We’re always.”
Their breaths mingled, the sounds of the world fading away, until it was just Aodhan and Illium, Adi and Blue, Sparkle and Bluebell.

Trigger Warning: Mental illness, torture.

This. Book. Oh my goodness but Archangel’s Light 100% wrecked me emotionally. I’m still a little teary-eyed writing this review because, although we all know Nalini Singh’s novels pack an emotional punch, this one was leaps and bounds above the rest. It’s difficult to describe exactly how Singh draws readers into an epic story such as this. In Aodhan and Illium’s case, it felt like she did this through alternating chapters between their past and present day.

As fans we’ve seen the friendship Bluebell and Sparkle have forged over half a millennia. But we’ve never before had the details of what broke their individual spirits long ago–until now. I’m not going to lie: the details of what Aodhan, especially, went through will be very tough to read. I was a blubbering mess. It was such an important turning point, though, in his and Illium’s lives as well as for Raphael and the rest of what would become the Seven. And the slight fracture in Aodhan and Illium’s friendship at present was honestly part of the healing process for Sparkle, to take control of his life completely in the aftermath of what occurred a couple centuries ago. But I loved the honesty between Aodhan and Bluebell. Even though they didn’t always see eye to eye, there was a bond filled with so much love, you just *knew* they would work it out.

I do want to note that, yes, this is a M/M romance. And we all know that Singh typically has some heat in her romances. With this duo, there were no love scenes. But there were many moments that were tender, intimate, and superbly sigh-worthy. Instead of focusing on the physical draw they had, Archangel’s Light instead was layered with Illium and Aodhan’s relationship morphing from friendship to romantic love–something that I believe was always there in the background. And a good part of the book was also about them helping Suyin rebuild China after Lijuan’s demise.

Master storyteller Nalini Singh is at the top of her craft with Illium and Aodhan’s story–a book rife with loyalty, friendship, loss, unbreakable bonds, and LOVE. A love so powerful, so all-consuming and impenetrable that no amount of time or hardship could tear it apart.

QOTD: The Guild Hunter series is Urban Fantasy at its finest. Are you a fan of the series, or even the genre in general?
 

Book Info:

Publication: Published October 26th 2021 | by Berkley | Guild Hunter #14

Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…

Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.

As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.

 

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2 Responses to “REVIEW: Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh”

  1. Loverofromance

    What a great review you have of this one here. And I was a sobbing mess through this book and writing my review as well. And I do think some fans are struggling with this one because of the lack of heat that it had, but it didn’t bother me at all. It had such a strong level of intimacy that I felt it didn’t need it even. And it kinda felt like there might be a part two to their story sometime in the future. But I adored these two together and seeing their relationship just come together.

    • Michele H

      Thank you so much! Nalini Singh knows how to toy with our emotions perfectly, right? Gah!! lol I completely agree that just due to the intimate nature of their relationship it didn’t need to have love scenes. Their love and connection leapt right off the pages for us on its own. I watched an interview w/ Nalini and she hinted there would be something more from Illium & Aodhan–that they were “just getting started, in the grand scheme of things”. Yay!! 🙂

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