Sharon Shinn is an author that has been on my list for a few months and I just got around to her. I had never heard of her before, it is sort of confining when your reading friends around you don't read fantasy, because then you have no one to tell you about interesting authors. I have the blogging world to thank for this recommendation.
From the back of the book:
And so it came to pass...
Through science, faith and force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they conceived of as perfect. Diverse people held together by respect for each other and the prospect of swift punishment if they disobeyed their laws. Fertile land that embraced a variety of climates and seasons. Angels to guard the mortals and mystics to guard the forbidden knowledge. JEHOVAH to watch over them all...
Generations later, the armed starship Jehovah still looms over the planet of Samaria, programmed to unleash its arsenal if peace is not sustained. But an age of corruption has come to the land, threatening that peace and placing the Samarians in grave danger. Their only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel. The oracles have chosen for this honor the angel name Gabriel, and further decreed that he must first wed a mortal woman named Rachel.
It is his destiny and hers. And Gabriel is certain that she will greet the news of her betrothal with enthusiasm, and a devotion to duty equal to his own.
Rachel, however, has other ideas...
This was such a good book. It traveled with my mother from Ontario to back here, and it was so worth the trip. Sharon Shinn is not an author that bookstores around here carry, so it was either look in other bookstores or order from Amazon. Now that I have read this book, I want to order the next two off Amazon so I can see what is going to happen next. I normally have one last Amazon order before I go back to school, because I need books to read over the long winter months. So, I can see me getting the two books and reading the five books that make up the Samaria story very soon.
A brief description of the book would start with the fact that the current Archangel is corrupt. He believes that there is no god and starts down a path of defying the god. It starts on the very day that he marries his angelica and all of his 20 year term he does everything he can to go against what others believe to be the truth. His angel clan lives in anarchy, they have no moral background because they do not believe that anything that can happen to them. Enter Gabriel, who has to clean up the mess that the Archangel has put into motion.
Gabriel's life is not easy from the start. It would appear that the Archangel would like nothing more than to stay in power, so he tries and mess things up for Gabriel and Rachel twenty years before they even know their fates. Rachel's whole life has relied on what angels have done to her, she feels like she has never lived the life that she wants because they are always changing things for her. When Gabriel sets out to locate his future angelica and wife, he finds it a very difficult task because she has moved around her whole life. When he does find her, it is in a household where she has been taken as a slave and he offers her freendom.
I must tell you, Gabriel and Rachel fight for most of the novel. Neither of them are very willing to back down to the other, and Rachel is so scared of love that she will fight it at any cost. This means sparks will fly and not always the good kind. Sometimes, you might find her annoying, it is definiately not a two lovers meet, fall in love, and off to bed together sort of book. Some people considered it a romance, and it is. Just not a satisfying romance for some because they fight themselves the whole course of the novel.
I strongly recommend this book! Just writing this review is making my will-power to get the next one a very delicate thing. I finished Archangel last night and was sad, you really get to know these two and I think they are those sort of characters that when you read the last book and understand that there is no more to come, it will be hard to say good bye.