Plot summary[ edit ] Angels and mortals, who need one another but have a love-hate relationship, inhabit the land of Samaria. The angels have wings and fly, and are taller and stronger than humans. Legends state that angels were made by Jovah to oversee Samaria under the guidance of the Archangel. The angels are supposed to protect humans, answer their petitions, solve their problems, and intercede to god for them by petitioning the god Jovah through song, especially for rain when the crops need it and the sun when it is stormy. In addition, the angels must sing to Jovah at the annual Gloria held on the Plain of Sharon, otherwise god would destroy the world. The Archangel and his consort, the Angelica, lead this mass in praise of Jovah.
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Shelves: kick-ass-heroines Rating: 4. Utterly torn in fact. I woke up early today morning with plenty of time left before I really needed to be out of bed. Thus, I perused my Kindle library and stumbled upon this. Needless to say, I devoured my lunch as fast as I could, read till nearly the end of the novel, forced myself to do some productive work, and went about finishing this tale. Archangel is the first of a series of five novels that all take place in the fantasy land of Samaria.
From the surface, Archangel is nothing more than a romance. Gabriel has been chosen by Jovah, the God, to become the next Archangel, or ruler of Samaria. Every twenty years a new Archangel is installed and they assume their power when they sing during the annual Gloria ritual with their angelica, or chosen bride.
The angelica is chosen by Jovah as well and Gabriel is told that her name is Rachel. Thus, with less than six months before the Gloria, Gabriel must find his wife. Rachel, however, proves elusive to find. It is there, quite coincidentally, that Gabriel finds her. Archangel chronicles the beautiful, blooming love story between Rachel and Gabriel. It is slow, achingly realistic, and allows you more than enough time to become wholly invested in their affair. Yet, more than that, it is a novel of two people, their faith, and a nation.
Archangel switches between the third person perspectives of both Rachel and Gabriel, giving us a well-rounded picture of both our protagonists as well as their land. Samaria is a fantasy nation that Shinn has richly imagined, and her world-building is artfully crafted.
Not only are we made to understand the heavy undertone of religion that surrounds this land, without it ever becoming preachy, we are also made to witness the politics that lie in the nation.
Perhaps best of all, though, is that Shinn uses her religious country as a realistic force in the novel itself. Gabriel, as the incoming Archangel, knows the inner-workings of his country and has grown up believing in Jovah. Yet, there are doubters in the land and many of the theological discussions are fascinating, while never straying into the realm of "preach-like" in the least - a feat I was amazed to see accomplished.
Yet, what pulled me in about this novel were the characters themselves. With her past, Rachel has become stubborn, unwilling to allow anyone close to her heart and her unyielding will often does more harm to her life than good. What I love about their relationship most of all is that it is full of arguments and mistakes and very, very few tender moments, but their estrangements from one another shape their marital life and the distances they put, both literal and metaphorical, only make their relationship stronger.
So, what went wrong? Or rather, enough growth. Was it rushed? Yet, I am still flabbergasted by my rating and my overall thoughts on this one.
Samaria Chronological Order Series