Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Blade

Guild Hunter series book 4
a review by Jade Hounsell

I have to say Archangel’s Blade threw me a bit, I was expecting another book to be based around Archangel Raphael and Elena, however Nalini has decided that she will do what she did with her Psy-Changling series and expand on other characters found in the previous books. Cannot say that it wasn’t a pleasant surprise though and am now hanging for when she does one on the blue angel Illium.

Anyways, this book is based around the vampire Dmitri, Raphael’s second, and a Guild hunter named Honor. I cannot remember Honor being in the other books, however I could be wrong and may take the time and re-read them just to be sure.

Illium finds a male vampires severed head in the Hudson River as he is passing over one night but instead of passing the case over to the Guild, Dmitri decides to investigate this case himself. The head has a very distinctive tattoo across its cheek and something about it niggles at Dmitri and hints at someone from his past. However Dmitri is unable to decipher the language that the tattoo seems to be in and asks the Guild to send a hunter over that has training in ancient and forgotten languages. Enter Honor.

Honor is a very damaged hunter, she has been living in the Guild since being rescued after being captured by vampires and kept for two months in a basement being feed off and tortured. She has moments of crippling fear that it could happen again, due to her attackers never being found, and this time she wouldn’t have the strength to make it through. Sara, the Guild Director, reminds Honor that she is still an active hunter and that she needs to face the world instead of hiding in the institute for the rest of her life.

Honor reluctantly agrees and meets Dmitri. Although part of why Honor agrees to go is because she has had a small obsession with Dmitri, ever since she first saw him in a newspaper report, even to the point she kept a scrapbook on him. She has no idea why is feels so drawn to him, she has never met him before and she tries, unsuccessfully, to dismisses all the emotions, dreams and visions he seems to insight in her. For Dmitri’s part, Honor drags up memories from the past that he has tried very hard to forget his whole vampire life.

So begins the start of the passionate push and pull dance that all of Nalini’s characters seem to go through.

As the case goes on it does lead us into Dmitri’s past and gives the reader a very real insight as to why he is the way he is. It also reveals more and more of the horrors that Honor endured in that basement. If you are already a fan of Nalini’s work then this book is sure to please. If you haven’t liked any of her other work, then sorry but you won’t like this one either. I don’t recommend starting the series with this book either, make sure you read the rest of the series first as there are a fair few characters mentioned that may confuse you, although you could manage if you really wanted to, but why not enjoy the journey from the start?

Originally published in Dark Matter issue 6, November 2011.  This blog has been pre-dated to reflect the date of original publication.