By Nalini Singh
A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world. . . .
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 . . . .
I reread Archangel’s War before reading Archangel’s Sun but I actually think this book could be read as a standalone if you don’t mind spoilers from the rest of the series. Archangel’s Sun picks up after the events in NYC during Archangel’s War. However, this story is focused in Africa and the aftermath of dealing with the reborn. Sharine, the heroine, is better known as The Hummingbird throughout the series. When we first meet her, Illium’s mom is clearly in her own world and not in touch of reality. At times, she thinks Illium was still a child and it was clear that the parent/child relationship was flipped between them. However, as the series progresses, Sharine comes out of that fog and is put in charge of healing Lumia (events in Archangel’s Heart). In Archangel’s Sun, we see her heal even more and step away from the moniker of The Hummingbird and truly be Sharine, or even better, Shari to Titus.
Sharine gets sent by the Cadre to assist at Titus’s court. The warlord and boisterous Titus isn’t happy but is taken aback when Sharine isn’t a delicate bird but a fierce woman coming into her own and determined to help. It was enjoyable to see Titus concerned about being too rough with Sharine and seeing Sharine hold her own against the loud Titus. This book, like some of ones in the series without Elena and Raphael in the center, show us different glimpses into the angelic world. Titus has three typical and annoying older sisters who completely ignore him being an archangel and continue to act as big sisters. The relationship between Titus and Sharine is a slow burn and it has to be. Initially, Titus is ashamed of the sexual thoughts he is having about angelkind’s beloved Hummingbird. But as she grows into Sharine over the course of the book, so does the relationship between the two grow. In between the slow burn is the hardships that Sharine and Titus must undertake as they try to destroy the reborn, heal Africa, and discover the truth about what the Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease created.
As much as I love the relationship between Titus and Sharine (and I especially love how it plays out in the end), this is really the story of Sharine healing, paralleled with the healing of Titus’s land. We learn of her trauma and what caused her to slip from reality, into the kaleidoscope. In this, I saw some parallels to Sahara in Heart of Obsidian. Both created mental ways to escape and cope with traumatic events. In Archangel’s Sun, Sharine is allowed a chance to confront and best one of those past traumas, in the form of her former romantic partner. Even more so, alpha Titus does not force his way in to protect her and Sharine gets to handle it on her own, showing her continued growth.
There was no doubt that I wouldn’t love this book, as I love all of Nalini Singh’s books and I did. Raphael and Elena have been the focus of two intense books lately and it was great to give them a break and a chance to heal while getting the story of two other beloved characters. Sharine and Titus don’t initially seem right for each other, being on the surface polar opposites, but beneath that beats strong hearts and ones who desperately love each other. Another beautiful story from the master of paranormal romance.
*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.