Archangel’s Light- Review
By Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: October 26,2021
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars
Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…
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.
This book. Wow. I finished it in one night and then laid awake for 2 hours just thinking about it. I went through thoughts of I expect more from Nalini Singh and this wasn’t my favorite book to this is a masterpiece. In the end, I landed on this being a 5 star read for me, because it really was even if I wanted more.
Illium and Aodhan. Two of the best and most bonded characters Nalini has created. For 13 books, all we really wanted was their story. The more we delved into them in this book, the clearer it became that their story could only be them together. For all those readers who are like, “They’re friends, I don’t want them to be together”, there was just no way that another character, hero or heroine, would ever complete Illium or Aodhan more than them together. For other to end up with someone else, honestly, the only way that would work is if Illium and Aodhan were to go their separate ways. And at points in the book, I honestly thought that was going to happen.
This was a story of healing and love. Aodhan, for the entire series, has been healing from the trauma inflicted on him in the past. We finally learn what that trauma was. This book, this series, is really no for the faint of heart. Nalini does not hold back and there were moments of this book that had shivers up my spine and me considering putting the book down till daylight. I didn’t, of course, I had to know what happened next. The plot of this book focused on Aodhan serving as Suyin’s second in a China recovering from Archangel Lijuan and Illium joining him there and them discovering some of the evil left behind by the mad archangel. In that way, this book had feels of Naasir or Venom’s books. Aodhan and Illium had a falling out earlier with Aodhan needing to spread his wings and needing Illium to see him as no longer broken from his Illium. Illium, in turn, needed to learn how to support Aodhan, seeing the new him, and not try to constantly protect him from everything. In midst of Aodhan’s healing, Illium also had to finally heal from the loss of his mortal lover centuries ago.
There was so much introspection in this book but it just felt right. Illium and Aodhan had so much to work through. That lead to this being a slow burn for the romance side of things. Funny to say when they’ve been together since they were babies so their slow burn was just this book but almost five hundred years. I’m not the biggest fan of cutaway or flashback scenes but they were done so well here. Those scenes allowed us to see Aodhan and Illium as children and growing up and how they eventual go from friends to more. As I said, the romance is light in this book. Nalini Singh has said that this is just the beginning of their love story and with this series, I’m reading that to mean they will get another book. We need to see how they navigate moving their friendship to a romantic couple as well as how that will effect the Seven.
As much as I wanted more romance and kinda felt the pressure was high on Nalini as this was her first MM romance, in the end, I trust her writing so much that I was okay with how this turned out. I know she signed on for more books in the series and that of all the authors I read, I trust her the most to have an overarching view of her series and that will include more time for the romance of Aodhan and Illium. I almost hope they become the Raphael and Elena of the series because I could honestly read about them forever.