Published: Gollancz 2012
Source: Local Library
With wings of midnight and an affinity for shadows, Jason courts darkness. But now, with the Archangel Neha’s consort lying murdered in the jewel-studded palace that was his prison and her rage threatening cataclysmic devastation, Jason steps into the light, knowing he must unearth the murderer before it is too late.
Earning Neha’s trust comes at a price—Jason must tie himself to her bloodline through the Princess Mahiya, a woman with secrets so dangerous, she trusts no one. Least of all an enemy spymaster.With only their relentless hunt for a violent, intelligent killer to unite them, Jason and Mahiya embark on a quest that leads to a centuries-old nightmare… and to the dark storm of an unexpected passion that threatens to drench them both in blood.
This is #5 in the Guild Hunter series. It is the story of Jason - the spymaster for Raphael. His wings are black and he has learned to walk the shadows and be invisible to those around him. He is one of the seven, and well respected by friend and foe alike. Having lost his parents at a very young age he learned to fend for himself, he grew up quickly, but his emotional life is zilch. He doesn't trust. He is sent to Neha's court to investigate the murder of Eris, Neha's consort.
At court he meets the beautiful Princess Mahiya, niece of Neha. Mahiya was ripped away from her mother at birth and Neha has been responsible for raising her. However Mahiya has not had a rosy upbringing, she is the result of her mother and Eris having an affair. Eris has been imprisoned for 300 years for the deed and Neha has disposed of Mahiya's mother. While hatred, jealousy and revenge surrounded Mahiya she has chosen to kind and loving, rather than be filled with what drives Neha.
As Mahiya and Jason work together they come to know each other, Jason recognises Mahiya for all the qualities that she has - he can't ever love her, he believes himself incapable - but he does come to want to be with her and protect her. Mahiya who is straight talking and not into court politics appreciates Jason's integrity and truth. As they work together the attraction grows until they are more and more entwined with each other. They understand each other, both having lost parents at an early age in horrific circumstances. Jason listens to Mahiya and respects her, something Mahiya has not really experienced. Her life so far has led her to believe she doesn't matter. I really liked this aspect of the book - the importance of truly listening to someone is of immense importance.
I really enjoyed this book, it was largely set in Neha's court, so there was little of the other seven in it. We were however given brief but satisfying glimpses of Dmitri and Honor, and occasional small walk ons from some of the others. There is a crime to be solved and the path to it being solved is convoluted and I can't give anything away, although eventually it becomes clear. While the final battle is bloody, I didn't find it as gruesome as some of the previous books.
I am now fully engaged in the Guild Hunter world, and while the Psy/Changeling series will always be my first preference, the Guild Hunter books will have me waiting for #7 when it comes out later this year.
Guild Hunter Series.
5. Archangel's Storm
6. Archangel's Legion
7. Untitled - out 2014