Review: ‘Archangel’s Sun’ Nalini Singh

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on – especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death, upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

Ah, how eagerly I have spent the shitstorm that’s been 2020 awaiting the release of Archangel’s Sun. Every reader has a book series that holds a special place in their heart and for me that series is the Guild Hunter series. I read Angel’s Blood, the book that kickstarted this series, way back in 2014 and I pretty much devoured every book that was available at that time in a matter of weeks. The Guild Hunter series is honestly unlike any series that I’ve ever read. As I wrote in a post in one of Nalini’s fan groups on Facebook, “every time I open one of the books, I find myself completely and utterly immersed in the Guild Hunter universe and very unwilling to come back to reality.” Furthermore, as someone with both depression and anxiety, this series has given me a place to escape to during my darkest times and for that, I’ll forever be grateful to Nalini.

Anyway, onto my review of Archangel’s Sun.

I’m going to hold my hands up and say that I was initially dubious about a pairing between Sharine, aka the Hummingbird, and Titus, aka Archangel of Africa, when Nalini announced the upcoming release of this book. I don’t know if some of this hesitation arose from the fact that Sharine is Illium’s mother and is seen as this hugely maternal figure by a lot of people. Obviously, I’m not saying that anyone who’s a parent doesn’t deserve romance and passion in their life, but I think I felt a bit weird about it because I’ve only ever really seen her from the perspective of people like Illium and Raphael. I guess I was worried that it would be like reading a romance story involving my mum, which would be really weird and uncomfortable for me.

But do you know what? I was wrong in my doubts and not only that, it was also refreshing to spend a book outside of Raphael’s territory and see life post-Cascade and post-war from another archangel’s perspective.

One of the many things that I love about the Guild Hunter series is that even though it’s often dubbed paranormal romance, it’s so much more than this. I mentioned this in a recent review for another book, but all too often paranormal romance authors sacrifice plot and character development for steamy sex scenes, but this is far from the case with Nalini. As is the case with all of the books in this series, romance is but a small part of Archangel’s Sun. It’s a book that has kickass action aplenty, a good dose of drama and horror, a healthy sprinkling of humour and, of course, a cast of characters who feel as real as any person a reader might meet in their everyday life.

Let’s talk about Sharine. Sharine is one of angelkind’s most beloved figures, but is seen as a fragile being following the trauma of having Aegaeon, the father of her son, go to Sleep unannounced, an act that opened still-healing wounds anew. Among many other things, Archangel’s Sun is a story about Sharine’s recovery from this trauma and her journey to becoming the angel that she’s always wanted to be. One thing that I absolutely love about this book is that her trauma isn’t seen as weakness or failure, even by Raphael’s mother, Caliane, an Ancient archangel possessing immeasurable power. Early in the book, it’s revealed that Caliane told Sharine to visit an angelic healer, stating that a wound of the mind is no different to a physical wound. As someone with mental health issues, I think it’s fantastic that Nalini incorporated such an important message into this book. Mental health is just as important as physical health and one of the most powerful beings in the world (albeit a fictionalised version of the world) agrees. How awesome is that?

Moving onto Titus. Obviously, Titus appears in other Guild Hunter books, making his first appearance as early as Angel’s Blood, but little was known about him up until Archangel’s Sun. Raphael aside, Titus is now hands down my favourite archangel in the Cadre. He’s powerful, headstrong and strikes fear in the hearts of those who don’t know him, but he radiates this incredible warmth. He’s just so likeable and some of my favourite moments are those in which we get to listen in on his internal monologue. Sure, he’s a millennia old archangel, but there’s something extremely human and normal about him. If he wasn’t an angel, let alone an archangel, he’s someone you could imagine being friends with. Furthermore, he actively encourages Sharine’s empowerment and doesn’t seek to coddle or belittle her, and it’s this respect for women that makes him my second favourite member of the Cadre.

If you’re a fan of paranormal romance and urban fantasy and have yet to delve into the Guild Hunter universe, I really cannot recommend it enough. As I mentioned earlier in the review, the first book in the series is Angel’s Blood. I’ve spent most of today rereading it and it’s a fantastic start to an equally fantastic series.

If you hadn’t already guessed, Archangel’s Sun gets five starts from me. Hell, it gets ten out of five stars from me.

Want to read Archangel’s Sun? Head on over to Hive, Bookshop or World of Books, or order it through your local bookstore.

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