Book review: Archangel’s Sun (Guild Hunter #13)

Guild Hunter Series | Author Nalini Singh | Published 2020 | Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Thriller, Romance

Reclaim & Shine.
If asked for two words to describe the 13th novel in one of the best urban fantasy series I’ve read, these are the words I’d use.

Archangel’s Sun picks up after the previous novel Archangel’s War (click here to read the review in IG highlights) that saw the Cadre, ancient angels and vampires join forces to battle the evil Lijuan, Archangel of China (world politics alert!) It’s the story of Hummingbird, aka Sharine, one of the most revered angels of Nalini’s Guild Hunter world and Archangel Titus, the Archangel of Africa.

At once gentle and riveting, this particular novel is one that not only brims with life and hope, it presents a female protagonist unlike one seen before. But let’s start from the beginning.

With the world struggling to recover from the debilitating effects of the war of archangels, Titus is in deep water as he works to control the undead left behind by the Archangel of Death and Archangel of Disease. With some Cadre members recuperating and others stretched in their own territories, Raphael (Archangel of New York) requests the much-revered Hummingbird to aid Titus. Hummingbird who? Only the most famous artists known to angelkind, an ancient (read born a millennia ago) and mother to the charming Illium of Raphael’s Seven.

Up until Archangel’s Prophecy (Book 11) (click here to read the review in IG highlights), the author had etched Hummingbird as an angel to be esteemed, honoured and protected. An artist with unparalleled talent with a mind fractured under the acts of cruelty by individuals, some conscious, some unconscious. In Archangel’s War, the Hummingbird was shown to begin a journey of reclaiming her identity and healing her mind with help from Raphael, Elena, Aodhan, Illium and her old friend, Caline. And in Archangel’s Sun, she overcomes the legacy of death she’s been burdened with to become Sharine.

And Archangel Titus seems to be the perfect partner-in-crime – he is honourable, brave, just, admires strength and courage, has no patience for political subtlety, is quick to laugh and anger.

Nalini Singh adopts a more robust, direct and at times cheeky tone for this book, interspersing the horrors of the present with Sharine’s past, throwing light on why the entire angel kind has been protective of the latter. As much a story of mental health as a romance, it’s intriguing that the author uses Titus to represent the world and its relation with Hummingbird, aka Sharine. Angelkind protects her, humours her and at times damages her by handling her as broken and lost. Only to be stunned when Sharine heals, grows and shines the way she was.

This book has won my heart not only for the endearing banter, mature love and devastating horrors but also because Sharine is unlike any other female protagonist seen before. She is ancient (nearly 1000 years old), is mother to a grownup angel (Illium) and is way older than her beau. I love how Nalini’s alternative universe has no regard for age.

A must-read in this particular series but best picked up after you’ve read the previous books because trust me when I say this, you’ll miss the context and not enjoy the book. Check out the list below along with links to the individual reviews posted on the blog and Instagram highlights. The review of Archangel’s Light, Book 13 of the series, a poignant M/M romance, is already on the post – click here to read it.

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