I received this book for free from Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Archangel's Light by Nalini Singh
Also in this series: Angels' Blood, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Legion , Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy (Guild Hunter, #11)
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Published by Berkley on October 26, 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy Romance, Angels
Source: Berkley Publishing Group
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.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Archangel’s Light is one of the most anticipated books of the year and to be honest probably the top of my list for the year of books I couldn’t wait to get to, and this is Illium and Aodhan’s story and so like many of you who are fans of the series know of the anticipation we have all seen built throughout the series involving these two. Their romance has been building and teased throughout each book and I have been waiting on hands and knees in thrilling eagerness for their story and to finally have read their book….this is PURE GOLD of Singh. I don’t think I have seen such a beautiful story that she has ever written. I had wondered if when she finally wrote it if it were to meet up to expectation and I can tell you all it did and you have so much goodness to look forward to in this story that will have you laugh, have you wrecked in emotion and will kill you with the poignancy of it all.
Archangel’s Light is a epic love installment of the Guild Hunter series which features:
- Illium–Angel with blue wings, lively, jovial and has a charm and is easy to be friends with and destined for Archangel status.
- Aodhan-Angel that is silver and gold and sparkles in the light, serious and more introverted but loyal to a fault
Archangel’s Light starts off with one of our main characters, Aodhan, who has headed over to China to act as second to the new Archangel, Suyin. Aodhan is still healing from his time being held captive and tortured and still is recovering from the acts done to him. While justice was served he has never fully recovered and gone back to the Aodhan of old and Illium wonders if his friend will ever be the same again and wonders if has lost him forever. Aodhan and Illium grew up together, sparking a friendship that stands the test of eons of time, its a friendship that is eternal and would fortify these two souls for as long as they lived and would touch the hearts of so many that knew them. While they are both so different from each other in their personalities, they would fight and defend and protect and stand for each other no matter the cost to themselves and have done so. But their relationship has taken a hit of recent years, and now they will both have to face up to the past, their own reservations and learn to let go of their pride in order to come to terms with their present and find a way to be together or have to forge their way apart from one another? But will Aodhan and Illium find their path together or turn down different roads for their future?
The last thing Aodhan felt before sleep sucked him under were Illium’s fingers stroking through his hair, a tender caress that was wanted, was beloved.
Archangel’s Light is one of those books that you know in your heart you will come to love and to be honest I didn’t even glance at the blurb before reading this one here. THAT is how much I trust this author to lead me in the right direction and how much faith I have in her writing. She is an author that I have come to know in that her writing style will work for me, and it doesn’t matter what she writes, I am willing to go through the pain and intensity to get to the good stuff, to see all the layers peeled away and to the heart of the story that makes the journey worth it and you can bet that Nalini Singh makes the trek through it all the way worthwhile. This BOOK had me all over the place with my emotions and I am so grateful that I can trust in this author to lead me right. It does contain some factors that I do wish to convey to other readers.
Then he kissed him.
Kissed him hard and deep, his hand fisted in the silken blue tipped black of his hair and his wings wrapped around him. Kissed him until Illium groaned and grabbed fistfulls of the back of his shirt. Pushing his back up against a tree, Aodham braced one arm over Illium’s head while spreadhing his wings to block out the night and he kept on kissing him. It should’ve been awkward, new, but it wasn’t. It was the most perfect kiss in all his existence. Because….it was Illium.
First, it does have flashback moments. Now those who know my reading vibe, KNOW that flashbacks aren’t my favorite, in fact, they can distract me from the story and in most cases will affect my rating of the review. But to be honest, even though this relationship has been teased for years, we actually don’t know that much about Illium and Aodhan’s story and the depths of their relationship and its beginning start. Nalini Singh gives this to us. In this story, you will have exchanging chapters of the past and then of the present. I actually didn’t mind it because in these chapters she doesn’t leave you hanging on cliffhangers until the next phase of chapters so I was grateful for that. The second element is that this doesn’t have much in heat. It does have some moments, but to be honest, they don’t even kiss till later in the story, so if you want lots of sexual heat, you aren’t going to find it in this one here. I feel like as romance readers we all have various expectations and considering how much heat this author tends to always have in her books, I feel like this needs to be something you should be aware of.
You and that heart of yours really need a damn keeper.
Do I hear you volunteering?
No. I’m not volunteering. The position is already mine.
The story itself is quite a beautiful story and has many facets to it. It won’t be exactly what you suspect it to be. We get plenty of focus on China and what is happening following the aftermath of Lijuan’s reign and how the territory is crippled and all of its people damaged in some form or another. This is not going to be an easy transition to being a healthy thriving society once again. But Aodhan is determined to help Lijuan’s cousin, Sunyin takes control and brings back prosperity to the territory once again. But there is something stirring in the country, and it will be up to Aodhan and Illium to discover what it is and bring a stop to it, but on their journey of connecting once again, finding their way together through their relationship, they will be met with something they never imagined, a secret kept hidden away, one that could destroy all they have gained since the destruction of Lijuan. The romance that we see between Aodhan and Illium will NOT be what everyone will expect it to be but in the end will be perfect for these two. There are so many depths that are explored in their relationship and seeing them come together, finding transparency in their connection, and rebuilding those bonds was such an intricate beauty to be showcased. Nalini Singh really worked her magic with this one, and it will take your breath away from what you see with Aodhan and Illium.
Side Note: there is some moments we see of Rafael and his dealings with these two and my HEART just about exploded with love for this character even more than previous. Seeing his devotion and love to these men was so epic and breathtaking, It just tore me apart to see how much he cared and sacrificed for them.
You must understand- for Aodhan, the Seven and Raphael are family, the bonds between them far beyond blood and bone. It is a thing elemental.
Overall I found Archangel’s Light to be a romance that shines a light on a love story that will touch the heart of every reader that delves into it. It won’t be an easy journey, but it’s one that will guide the reader to a majestic love story of sacrifice, devotion, healing, and the power of love in the darkest of moments. We see a history of friendship and male love that will take you to the stars and back in its inherent beauty. A romance that is a GOLD STAR of a read and I feel like this is just the beginning in their journey into….FOREVER.
Aodhan moved close enough to take Illium’s chin in his hand, tug gently until his best friend in the world would look at him again. The gold shone with a sheen of wet, the same emotion rocks in Aodhan’s throat. “Always, Blue” he said, his voice husky “Me and you? We’re always.”