Review: ‘Archangel’s Light’ Nalini Singh

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.

To say I’ve been yearning for this book since I first delved into the Guild Hunter world nearly 10 years ago isn’t an exaggeration. I’ve adored every single book in the series thus far, even the books revolving around characters I didn’t initially think I was overly fussed about, but I’ve always been hungry for Illium’s story. I love most of the characters in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter universe (obvious exceptions being characters like Lijuan, aka the Archangel of Death), but since the day I first finished Angel’s Blood, Illium has held a special place in my heart. He’s funny, kind, thoughtful, playful, intelligent and witty…but he’s also fierce, loyal and protective. From the day I first encountered him in the pages of Angel’s Blood until this very moment and beyond, he’s captivated me (and countless others) in a way that no other fictional person ever has.

Before Archangel’s Light, Aodhan was something of a mystery to me. I felt I didn’t know him as a character at all. He was an enigma. Aside from him being Illium’s best friend and liking horror movies and art, the only other thing that I knew about him was that he was subjected to something terrible when he was a young angel. Because he was a character who, in my eyes, had been shrouded in mystery up until this point, I was beyond excited when I found out that Archangel’s Light was also going to be his book. Illium and Aodhan in one book? Damn, it felt like Christmas had come early.

I’m a member of a few Nalini Singh fan groups on Facebook and over the years, I’ve seen people hypothesising who Illium especially would end up with. I think some people thought there’d be a big time skip between his book and the book preceding it and that he’d end up with someone like Elena’s sister. That was always a weird theory to me. I mean, I get that angels partnered with mortals and even vampires are almost always going to be older than their partner (the angelic equivalent of being 18 years old is literally 100), but the thought of Illium ending up with somebody he’d watched over since their childhood didn’t sit well with me. It struck me as, well, weird. Most people seemed to be in agreement that he’d end up with a mortal woman, though, because it’s Illium and Illium finds mortals fascinating.

So when it was announced that Nalini was pairing him with Aodhan, who is A) not a woman and B) not a mortal, there was something of an uproar. Some people said that they felt Illium and Aodhan’s relationship was more a brotherly one, so they weren’t too sure about them being paired romantically, which is a perfectly okay thing to think and say…but there were some people who were opposed to the pairing because, to put it quite simply, they’re homophobic. Some people might read that and say “You can’t just accuse people who don’t agree with a pairing of being homophobic”, but I’m not. These people were being openly homophobic. I often found the comment section on posts about the book a stomach-churning place to be. Nalini actually had to turn off the comment section on some of her Instagram posts about Archangel’s Light because some individuals were, to quote Nalini herself, “acting worse than two year olds”. Thankfully, these people were very much in the minority and since the book’s release, I have literally seen nothing but love for this beautiful book and the beautiful characters it’s about.

Bluebell and Sparkle have been through a lot, both together and as individuals. There have been highs and lows and these highs and lows are revealed to readers through flashback chapters, some of which had me beaming from ear to ear, others which literally had tears spilling down my cheeks. Through the flashback chapters, I gained a better understanding of Illium and Aodhan’s relationship. They’re not just friends. They’re not just best friends. They’re, as angelic healer Keir says at one point in the book, each other’s ‘heart’s mirror’ and by coming to understand this, I realised that their pairing made complete and utter sense. Illium and Aodhan are like cheese and crackers, maple syrup and pancakes (I’m hungry, I’m sticking with the food analogies), pasta and pesto, mashed potatoes and gravy…they’re good together and they’re meant to be together.

Archangel’s Light is so many things. It’s heart-warming and funny (the kitchen scene with the angry stew genuinely made me laugh out loud). It’s sweet and tender. It’s breath-taking and beautiful. I don’t think I even know enough adjectives to describe my feelings for this book. Maybe the fact that there were moments when I actually clutched the book to my chest while reading it and whispered “My babies” will tell you how much I loved it, though.

If you hadn’t guessed already, Archangel’s Light is a solid five for me. Hell, it’s a ten out of five. It was everything I was hoping it’d be and more and I’m so happy that both these characters have finally found the happiness that they deserve.

Also, before I end this review, can we just take a moment to appreciate the sheer beauty that is the US cover for Archangel’s Light? I mean, I love the international covers for their simple elegance, but just look at this…

I actually have it set as my wallpaper on my phone and it takes my breath away every time I see it.

Are you a fan of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series? Who are your favourite characters? Let me know in the comments!

Want to read Archangel’s Light? Head on over to Hive or Bookshop to order your copy, or buy it through your local bookstore.

6 thoughts on “Review: ‘Archangel’s Light’ Nalini Singh

  1. Jazz, I was with you the whole way! I did the similar thing of clutching the book to my heart. I agree it was unexpected that Illium would be with Aodhan only because she never really dropped a hint throughout the series.

    It was beautifully done, I couldn’t stop smiling after I put it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it! I love all the books in the series, but this is most definitely my favourite. Do you have any theories on who the next book will be about? 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have two theories of who it might be about. I feel it could be about Caliane and Alexander, I always felt that she was hinting at kind of a second chance at love storyline. My other theory is that it will be another Raphael and Elena book but focusing on the lack of Archangel’s in their current climate and the issues that come with it. Maybe a pregnancy included for Raphael and Elena, but I feel like Singh has just flirted with the idea of them having a child
        What about you?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so sorry for my insanely late reply. Things have been crazy busy for me lately! I was wondering if Elena and Raphael would be welcoming a baby in the next book or two, especially since it was revealed that Elena is now able to deal with an immortal pregnancy, but I don’t know if she needs longer to settle into her immortality. The world in which she and Raphael live has been in utter chaos near enough since they met, so I’ve always thought it would be nice for them to be able to spend a few years just enjoying being a couple without the threat of Lijuan hanging over them if that makes sense. With them being immortal, starting a family doesn’t have to happen for a millennia or two. A book focusing on Caliane and Alexander would be great! Do you have any recommendations for any other series similar to the Guild Hunter series?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No stress! I get you when it comes to Elena and Raphael, though from what I have noticed throughout the series nothing ever seems to go to plan for them haha. So my recommendations of something similar would The Lords of Deliverance series by Larissa Ione or The Elder Race series by Thea Harrison 🙂

        Like

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