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Archangel (Samaria, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
Part of Archangel's appeal for me is inexplicable, but some can be attributed to the incredibly rich and intriguingly different world building (complete with legends, religion and economy) that never feels pointlessly detailed. Another factor was that Rachel is the one character in all my reading with whom I have best identified. I was surprised to find that I enjoyed the romance very much; it is done with extreme skill, which is a major change from multitudinous, anonymous bodice-rippers. For whatever reason, Archangel deeply affected me, and I am still thrilled every time I read it. Now all I want is to hear Rachel and Gabriel's duet...
The latter two books (Jovah's Angel, The Alleluia Files) do not match the brilliance Archangel achieves, but they are still well worth reading.
Readers of Archangel who are familiar with the Bible will see plenty of names which have Old Testament meaning and importance. Nearly all of the important angels during the past six hundred years and the humans who worked with the angels are biblically based and some of their actions reflect those of their Old Testament counterparts, but this is not a biblical retelling in a fantasy setting. How Sharon Shinn mixes the biblical into a believable fantasy setting is impressive. She builds a real story for Gabriel and Rachel and their relationship. It is something of a love story, but it is completely dysfunctional and it is very well written. Shinn's descriptions of the angels and their lives and how they pray for intercession from Jovah is more than overt Christianity.Read more ›
First of all, the plot is so engrossing that you won't be able to put it down. Gabriel is to be the next Archangel of Samaria, a world where angels can sing to Jovah (their "god") in order to change weather. They can cause rain to fall or not fall. They can cause waters to rise. They can cause lightning to fall and destroy. The Archangel is the head angel, who can be either male or female. This angel leads the Gloria, an annual day of singing that tells Jovah that harmony reigns on Samaria. If they don't sing, the god will destroy the world with a bolt of lightning.
Rachel is a slave-girl in the house of a wealthy merchant. She is also the chosen bride of the Archangel Gabriel, picked out by Jovah through the oracles. Against her will, she is taken to Eyrie to marry Gabriel and become his angelica. And so the story begins. With surprises and plenty of action, the plot unfolds.
If the plot is great, then the character development that is intricately twisted into the story is better. Rachel struggles with her new position and her relationship with Gabriel, whom she hardly talks with, except to argue. She also attempts to improve the lives of the abandoned children in Velora, a city by Eyrie. Meanwhile, Gabriel tries to fill his position as Archangel and get along with Rachel. He hopes for a smooth transition between Archangels, especially since Raphael (the former Archangel) seems to have other plans.
The setting, the different types of people in Samaria, and the traditions, religion, and history of the planet are well done, too.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book while simultaneously hating parts of it. It is definitely an engaging book--i couldn't put it down--and the world building and language are really lovely. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Jessica Sue
I read the third first awhile ago and loved it. But this one was outstanding, couldn't put it downPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The archangels eat, drink, marry and such things...... If you keep in my mind that it's nothing but fiction and entertainment it's a good read.Published 1 month ago by Ariana
I would recommend this book to all my friends. I didn't think I would like it at first. After reading just the first few chapters I knew it was not going to be what I was... Read morePublished 3 months ago by kblazor
Love this book, somebody destroyed it and I had to get it again.Published 4 months ago by Carolyn Crocker
I was so incredibly frustrated with the heroine of this novel that I couldn't see past her to anything that might have been redeemable. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I honestly couldn't make it through this book. Not because it's bad or boring; it just couldn't hold my attention. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Modern Xena