Sunday, June 2, 2024

Review - - Archangel's Lineage

Archangel's Lineage
by Nalini Singh
Guild Hunter #16
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 23, 2024
Reviewed by Nancy Northcott

Raphael and Elena are experiencing their first ever year of true peace. No war. No horrors of archangelic power. No nightmares given flesh. Until…the earth beneath the Refuge begins to tremble, endangering not only angelkind’s precious and fragile young, but the very place that has held their most innocent safe for eons.

Amid the chaos, Elena’s father suffers a violent heart attack that threatens to extinguish their last chance to heal the bonds between them and make sense of the ruins of their agonizing shared history.

Even as Elena battles grief, Raphael is torn from her side by the sudden disappearance of an archangel. But worse yet is to come. An Ancestor, an angel unlike any other, stirs from his Sleep to warn the Cadre of a darkness so terrible that it causes empires to fall and civilizations to vanish.

This time, even the Cadre itself may not be able to stop a ticking clock that is counting down at frightening speed…

Nancy’s Thoughts:

The aftermath of a cataclysmic story often feels anticlimactic, even a little dull. Nalini Singh avoids that problem in Archangel’s Lineage by introducing a ticking clock with high stakes. The fate of the Refuge, the hidden nursey for angelkind’s young, is in great danger. The earthquakes are wreaking havoc, and the magical protection that hides the Refuge from the eyes and the satellite of the outside world is failing.

Against this tense background, Elena and her father take their first tentative steps toward long-overdue rapprochement. Singh gives us a detailed look at Elena’s family relationships and her connections to her stepmother and stepsisters.

One of the motifs in this book is Elena’s recognition that time passes faster for her mortal father and beloved sister than it does for her. Singh links this with the fear Elena’s father won’t survive this heart attack. Can they find their way back to each other in time? The arc of their attempts at reconciliation runs through the book to a satisfying conclusion.

There isn’t a strong romance thread in this particular story. There are bits of romantic interaction between Cassandra, angelkind’s sleeping prophet, and the archangel Qin, who loves her. Although Cassandra is Sleeping, the angelic equivalent of being in a deep, unaware trance like slumber, she sees problems in the outer world and attempts to influence them. Whether her efforts and the arrival of Marduk, an Ancient newly awakened from Sleep, will solve the problem or only create new ones is a question that isn’t resolved until near the end of the book.

Marduk isn’t like the other archangels. His wings, eyes, and skin are draconic—which I find very cool!—and the events that lead up to his awakening are not only dramatic but potentially disastrous. When he arrives, greeting Raphael and Elena first, they don’t know what to make of him or whether to trust him. Their doubts are reasonable and are resolved logically.

The Cadre, the group of ruling archangels, work together more smoothly in Archangel’s Lineage than they have sometimes done. Even Ilium’s jerk of a father, Aegaeon, does his part.

Little bits of the story pick up threads from earlier books. Ilium’s growing power reaches a resolution, and we learn more about the mysterious Legion who were so helpful in the war against Lijuan, the evil archangel of China. Meanwhile the Cadre’s efforts to save the Refuge take on an ominous note. There may be a solution—but will the price shatter their hearts?

The story develops at a good pace. Though the romance of Qin and Cassondra is a minor thread, the story overall is very emotional and tense. The character development given to many of the regular characters made up for the romance being a minor thread, at least for me. I loved this book and highly recommend it.


1 comment:

  1. I read a book in this series years ago, but unfortunately didn't keep up with series. That is unfortunate because I like her writing. This sounds like a good book.