Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5) by Nalini Singh

  • Title: Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (September 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0425246582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425246580
Author's Website: http://www.nalinisingh.com/

     "Eris is dead." A hushed whisper. "Murdered inside his palace."
     "I don't know, but he was found an hour ago. Neha has not left the body. Mahiya is by her side."

First, Neha lost her daughter, Anoushka, when the Cadre of Ten sentenced her to death for the harm she'd done to a child. It was an unforgivable crime in their eyes. Now Neha, one of the most powerful of beings, has lost her husband, as well. He'd been savagely murdered in his palace. If Neha was to take out her fury on those she ruled, or those she felt were responsible for one or both of their deaths, there would be massive destruction, chaos and casualties. So Raphael offered Neha his help, via his spymaster Jason, in finding Eris' killer. But Neha, even in her grief, sought to gain the upper hand. She wishes Jason to bind himself to her as a means to ensure he does not reveal any of her court secrets. She additionally hopes to steal Jason away from Raphael...

"Raphael's Tower will be crippled when the spymaster changes his allegiance. And he will...for I can offer Jason something Raphael will never be able to match."


This was such a great story. We get to learn more about Jason, Raphael's mysterious spymaster. Described by Lijuan to be "the perfect spymaster. An intelligent, gifted phantom unaffected by anything he sees."  For him 'it was as if life skimmed across the surface of him, leaving his heart and his soul untouched.' His story is another heartbreakingly tragic tale. We learn about his parentage and discover what ghosts from his past still haunt him even to this day.

In this book,  Jason is sent into Neha's territory by Raphael in an effort to appease her and insure she doesn't terrorize the populous or the Cadre. Neha still blames the Cadre, especially Raphael because of his relationship to Elena, for her daughter's death. Angels rarely have children, and the loss of one is tragic. Archangel's are extremely powerful, and if they loose control of their temper, bad things can befall those within their path.

In Archangel's Storm, we are introduced to a new character, Mahiya. We learn early on she is the daughter of  an adulterous relationship between Eris (Neha's late husband) and Nivriti (Neha's twin sister). As you can imagine, Neha did not take the betrayal well and rumor has it she was responsible for Nivriti's death suspiciously close to Mahiya's birth. Eris did not escape Neha's wrath either. Since the betrayal was discovered, Eris was sentenced to live confined to a palace under constant supervision. It was in that gilded cage which Neha had created for him that he was murdered. Let me just say the suspect list grows as we get deeper into the story. Nalini, the expert story writer that she is, will have you wondering if you or your second cousin committed the murder by the end. lol

Mahiya is a very interesting character. From the very beginning Jason notices she's more than what she appears. One of his first thoughts upon meeting her was, 'Mahiya was a mystery, and Jason did not like mysteries. So he would solve her.' *sigh* Jason quickly learns what goes on in public eye and what goes on behind the closed doors of Neha's kingdom are two very different things. While Mahiya may appear to be treated as a beloved princess, Neha's need for vengeance runs deep.

In many ways Mahiya and Jason are very much alike and yet very different. Neither has lived the ideal life and both have been betrayed by people who should have looked out for them. While Jason closed himself off to the world emotionally, Mahiya never lost her spirit or faith in the world. She felt to do so would let those who wish to demean her win, and that is something she would never allow. I believe it is her strength, spirit, and loving nature that draws Jason to her. She utterly fascinates him as no one else ever has.

Jason was a real treat for a character. He's the strong silent type who I'm sure many a woman have wished to solve. But he never attaches himself to one woman for very long. He does not see himself capable of any emotional attachments and doesn't wish to mislead anyone about that fact. His actions, however, speak louder than words, and it was fun seeing him try to solve Mahiya. I loved how Mahiya was the one who solved him first. It was a delight to see this romance ignite.

Besides Jason and Mahiy's relationship, we learn more about Neha, the Queen of snakes and poison, and some of the events which shaped her into the Archangel she is today. We find out about her relationships with Eris and her sister, Nivriti. As you can imagine, it is a complicated and sad tale.

As is the custom in Ms. Singh's books, we also get a glimpse of what is happening to some of other character in the series. We get to witness Dmitri and Honor's wedding and get glimpses of what is happening with Elena and Raphael. We learn of a new phenomenon which might explain what is happening within the angelic world, an event called a Cascade. I'm not telling you any more. You'll have to read to find out what exactly it is.

Overall I loved the story and gave it 5 out of 5 roses. There was plenty of action, suspense, mystery, drama and romance to sate just about everyone's tastes. You'll swear Nalini is part magician as you'll be kept wondering until almost the very end who the murderer could possibly be and swear Ms. Singh somehow managed to weave smoke and mirrors throughout her tale. She truly does have a remarkable imagination. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary. Need I say more? Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol I HIGHLY recommend this one.

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