One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.
Book 0.6: Angels’ Pawn
Book 1: Angels’ Blood
Book 2: Archangel’s Kiss
Book 3: Archangel’s Consort
Book 4: Archangel’s Blade
Book 5: Archangel’s Storm
Book 6: Archangel’s Legion
Book 7: Archangel’s Shadows
Book 8: Archangel’s Enigma
Book 9: Archangel’s Heart
We’ve had two non-Elena/Raphael books since the game-changing battle that happened in Archangel’s Legion. And they’ve been some awesome, sweet, romantic, and heart-wrenching novels. Now we’re back to Elena and Raphael, and digging into her history more than I ever thought we would really get the chance to.
When we start Archangel’s Heart things have been relatively quiet, both on the Cascade front, and the Lijuan front, for nearly 2 years. Elena’s been waiting for the other shoe to drop this entire time. When it does, it comes in the form of a summons to the Cadre.
I started this book shocked, who dared to think they had the right to summon the most powerful beings in the world? Apparently the archangel’s arrogance is rubbing off on me. The further I delved into the Luminata life and compound the more intrigued I became. This is clearly a sect with a long history, and the search for luminescense – when pure – is a worthy intention. But there are also veins of darkness flowing beneath and within this group. Even before it becomes clear that Elena is somehow connected to the center of what’s going on, she makes it her mission to find out why fear permeates the ancient walls of this compound and the nearby city.
I loved this book for a few reasons, the politics of the Cadre meeting is fascinating to me. I find the politics and manuerving more and more interesting in recent years, and I focus on it in a lot of my reading now. The personalities of each of the ten (or eleven?) archangels, and how they interact with each other, is absolutely captivating. I like learning, and being reminded, that no archangel, indeed no immortal, is likely to have a single facet. They are complex beings with the capacity for both great good and incredibly evil. Even when I want to hate them, I find that there’s something more to them that I actually respect … except for those vague few that have crossed a few too many lines for my tastes.
The other thing that I really loved was delving into Elena’s search for more information about her history. With little to go on, she hopes that a trip to a respository of knowledge – as the Luminata is known to keep – will shed some light on who the vampire in her history may be. Or, since they’re going to be in Morocco, perhaps some small thread on who her mother’s mother was. Elena’s familial relationships are all complicated, both with those left living, and the ones that have already left her. It’s no surprise to me that she wants to get a better grip on the history of her life in order to try and balance out the known pain and upheaval.
This is a book that quietly moves the story along, while giving us more depth and understanding of the characters that we already know and love (or hate). There were times when my eyes were wide at the absolute power that the Cadre (or some singular archangels) possesses, the enormity of what they keep in check still shocks me. I really enjoyed so many of the interactions of these powerful beings, and seeing how they interact with others as well. And then there are my favorites.
I loved every single moment with Aodhan. I have to call this particular one out – though it’s far from the only character that I adored in this book. Seeing his progression was a balm to my soul. The way that he’s creating bonds and friendships, and becoming more comfortable in them, makes me happy in a way I can’t explain. Plus there’s so much more going on that I can’t wait to see come to fruition – in whatever way Nalini Singh decides to take it.
Archangel’s Heart isn’t as wildly game-changing as some of the previous books in the series, where huge happenings are occurring almost on top of one another, but it’s life-changing in a different way. Quietly, though no less drastically. There’s a moment to take a breath, before the storms. But I have no doubt the storms are coming. Now, as always, I’m left waiting for the next book in the series. Dare I hope it’s a certain someone’s?