Ah Archangel’s Blade. Of all the non-Raphael and Elena books within the Guildhunter series, Dmitri and Honor’s story is by far my favorite. Two years ago, during my initial reading of the Guildhunter series, I wasn’t sure how I felt about a whole book dedicated to Dmitri. He wasn’t exactly my favorite character for a number of reasons, reasons that you should find out yourself by reading the first three books! *shoves you out the door and towards the nearest bookstore*
When a severed head is found in the archangel Raphael’s territory, Dmitri knows he should let the Guild handle the subsequent investigation but the mysterious tattoos etched upon its skin compel him to do otherwise. He enlists the help of Honor, a Guildhunter and specialist in ancient languages, and together they begin to decipher the ancient code, a code that is painfully familiar for Dmitri. Dmitri soon finds himself consumed both by memories…and by his indescribable and seemingly inexpiable need for a Guildhunter possessed by painful memories of her own.
In the wake of a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor dreams of a vampire-free existence.However, her wants and desires pale in comparison to the pressing need for her skills and knowledge and she soon finds herself working side by side with the most powerful of vampires; Dmitri, a cruel,dark and lethal being feared by all, mortal and vampire alike. As their feelings for one another grow, it soon becomes apparent that forces far beyond their control are at play.
Man, where do I even begin with this? Let’s begin with Dmitri. Or ‘Dark Overlord’ as Illium calls him. Dmitri knows that he’s flawed. Dmitri understands that he treads a fine line between a feared albeit respected enforcer and an ancient being thriving on pain and cruelty. The acknowledgment of his own flaws is what makes me love him as a character. He’s not one of these typical paranormal romance male leads who thinks he’s perfection incarnate until he meets his ‘destined’ or ‘fated’ one. No. Dmitri is acutely aware of his imperfections and meeting Honor only serves to increase this awareness to an unbearable level…and it’s her presence and influence that encourages him to change his ways, to become a better person, a person who can help heal the fractures encasing her psyche. I would also like to add that any man who says “I will love you even when I am dust on the wind” is a man I’d quite happily welcome to my bed. I read that line and tears were pricking at my eyes within half a second. I think it’s hands down the most romantic line I’ve ever read *swoons*
Honor is my favorite Guildhunter lady. Firstly, she has a fabulous dress sense, one I seek to emulate despite having never seen her with anything other than my mind’s eye. Secondly, and way more importantly, she’s just so damn strong. Yesterday, I was reading an article about overused tropes within paranormal romance and someone mentioned the brutalization of women. I totally get this. I’ve read some novels where women have been subjected to all sorts, seemingly for no other reason other than to evoke sympathy and a need to protect from the male lead. It’s a common trope and one that can make some readers feel uncomfortable. However, I feel Honor’s case is different. Yeah, she’s traumatized without a doubt, suffering all the tell-tale symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks and insomnia. It isn’t just Dmitri who helps her overcome the painful memories, though. A lot of her recovery is down to her and as a reader, I just felt so proud of her. She visits the Guild-appointed counselor and by doing so, she not only helps herself but she also helps Sorrow, the young woman attacked by Uram in Angel’s Blood. Not only does she refuse to let her harrowing experience hinder her future, she uses it as a tool to help someone who was similarly mistreated. I’d like to think that if there was a reader who’d suffered at the hands of others, they could read Archangel’s Blade and be made to realize that they are not what their attackers did to them, that it’s not something that has to define them and that there is a light at the end of the very dark tunnel in which they find themselves. I think Honor is an inspiration to people, men and woman alike, who have been the victims of crime.
Anyway, judgment time.
Rating: 5 out of 5!
Song: James Morrison’s I won’t let you go
This book is available in both paperback and e-reader format on Amazon.