Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5)

With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare... and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.

Archangel's Storm, by Nalina Singh, is the fifth installment in the Guild Hunter series. The story focuses on the budding relationship between Jason (one of Raphael's Seven and excellent spymaster) and Mahiya, a princess in arnchangel Neha's kingdom. With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha's consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late. Earning Neha's trust comes at a price--Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster. As deaths continue to climb and hidden secrets from the past become revealed, Jason and Mahiya must team up together to prevent an apocalyptic war with devastating consequences.

really enjoyed watching the interactions between Jason and Mahiya as they developed from just acquaintances to potential lovers. I don't think any other woman could have been more perfect for Jason. Mahiya's hidden iron will intrigued him enough to draw him in, but it was her pure heart, determination, and untainted kindness in a world of horror that kept him there. As Raphael's spymaster, Jason lives his life in the shadows as he goes undercover to garner the best intel. However, his latest charge will take him out of that comfort zone and into the light. The Archangel's Neha's consort has been brutally murdered and her rage is shaking the world. Neha was already quite unstable prior to his death from the pain of losing her daughter earlier in the series, and if she continues on the path into madness, millions of her subjects will suffer. Neha agrees in allowing Jason to enter her lands, but only with the stipulation that he bind himself to another of her bloodline. As Mahiya and Jason team up to find the killer along the way, they find a passion for one another so unexpected that it threatens to tear apart who they each are at the core.

It seems that all of the characters in the Guild Hunter series carry a plethora of secrets--and scars--from their pasts. Each character is damaged, but expresses it in a different way. This novel reveals why Jason the spymaster, who constantly hides in the shadows, is so closed off from the world. Throughout the book we are given glimpses of those harrowing events, but it is the reveal later in the book that shocked me. Since he endured so much suffering and loss in his childhood, it is truly amazing that he was able to function at all and retain his sanity. He survived this horror by completely closing off his heart to everyone, friend and enemy. Jason does not allow anyone to get close to his deepest and darkest secrets -- Mahiya finally breaks that wall. Overall, Nalini Singh has done a wonderful job in portraying Jason's character so beautifully, showing his thoughtful strength, intellect, and grace. As a side character in the series, it was refreshing to finally read his backstory and make peace with his past.

Stay tuned for the ninth novel in the Guild Hunter series, Archangel's Legion.

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