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Archangel (Samaria, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Archangel (Samaria, Book 1) + Jovah's Angel (Samaria, Book 2) + The Alleluia Files (Samaria, Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (April 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441004326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441004324
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Set in a society founded as an egalitarian utopia but now tainted with vices and inequity, Sharon Shinn's love story is plotty and calamitous. Rachel and Gabriel have nothing in common beyond wishing that the god Jovah had ordained they wed other people, yet they must cooperate in singing a mass to the god on the occasion of Gabriel's elevation to Archangel. Upright Gabriel has enemies among both mortal and angelic peoples who prefer to risk world destruction over his restoration of the old order. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Next in line to become archangel in the angel-led dominion of Samaria, Gabriel must lead the next chorale praising the god Jovah, which means he needs a wife--fast--to sing beside him. Guided by the local oracle and the light emanating from the Kiss of the Gods (a homing device in his wrist), he finds his Jovah-selected fiancee in a common Edori slave girl named Rachel. The marriage proves, however, anything but romantic. Far from rejoicing in the sudden freedom that her marriage brings, Rachel quickly becomes a thorn in Gabriel's side, using her newfound influence to help her downtrodden Edori brethren. Displaying sure command of characterization and vividly imagined settings, Shinn absorbs us in the story of how Rachel and Gabriel eventually unite in true love and respect. With place-names such as Gaza and Jordana, she tantalizingly hints at her Samaria's connection to an ancient Israeli past, and she tempers the angelic milieu with talk of her angels' technological heritage in an entertaining sf-fantasy blend that should please fans of both genres. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

Customer Reviews

Whether you like fantasy, science fiction, or just a good love story, read Archangel.
"tswlmw"
It is something of a love story, but it is completely dysfunctional and it is very well written.
Joe Sherry
The story touches on the spiritual beliefs of the characters without becoming religious.
M. by....

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Mo VINE VOICE on January 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I typically stay away from science fiction, avoid books centered around romance, and scoff at the idea of angels and other religious matters. I picked this up only because I had liked Shinn's The Shape-Changer's Wife and was badly in need of something to read. Needless to say, no one was more astonished than I was to find that I loved Archangel. It definitely ranks among my favorite five books.
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.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joe Sherry on August 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sharon Shinn has an interesting entry in the fantasy genre with Archangel. The book jacket gives away a little bit more than the novel does (though there are hints at something else going on behind the scenes), but some six hundred years ago God/Jovah brought humans to Samaria along with the angels which can pray to God for intercession. Since then the Archangel rules over all the angels and over all of Samaria. This year Gabriel will sing the Gloria, a yearly event which must take place or Jovah will smite the world, but he must sing it with his wife, the angelica. There is perhaps six months until the Gloria and Gabriel has not taken the time to learn the identity of who Jovah selected for his wife and when he finally locates her he learns that she has been a slave for the past five years and before that was part of a tribe which isn't known for orthodox beliefs regarding God and the angels. Her name is Rachel. She wants nothing of Gabriel, the angels, or Jovah. She is an angry woman, and understandably so.

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.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Crabtree on April 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is a love song. A song of romantic love and a love song to the god that the author has created to watch over her fictional world. As a singer, I was drawn into the power of singing that Shinn invokes in Archangel. If you are reading my review before you read the book and want a spoiler alert, DON'T READ THE BACK COVER OF THE BOOK. I was a little upset when I did so because a VERY important fact is revealed there that is not revealed in the book. I can only assume that it is revealed in part 2 or 3 of the trilogy which I will certainly read. Now that I have read it, I can appreciate what Shinn is calling the reader to ponder: What is prayer?, what is god?, what is love? I found myself considering these questions in the journey of this book. Shinn heightens the anticipation toward the end making this a real page-turner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Evangelio on April 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I stumbled across the book Archangel as a result of wandering around aimlessly at my local bookstore and somehow finding myself, not in the romance section, but instead in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genre. In no time at all I had read this book, its sequel, and much of Sharon Shinn's backlist, which is, unfortunately, not nearly long enough. Sharon Shinn is a buried treasure and someone to watch. She writes beautifully and thoughtfully, and her books are equally satisfying to both fantasy and romance readers. Archangel is an excellent example of her storytelling prowess.

Archangel-elect Gabriel is preparing to begin his twenty-year term as ruler of Samaria, and he has any number of problems to solve. Under current Archangel Raphael's rule, the country has become divided into factions; the rich have grown richer and the poor poorer. Also a repugnant slave trade has arisen and prospered, and many disenfranchised peoples are being murdered, or captured and sold as a result of it. It also looks like Raphael may not be so eager to step down from his position of power. But most pressing, Gabriel must locate his wife-to-be, his angelica, because he must marry her before the next Gloria, the ceremony at which he will officially become Archangel. Every year all of Samaria gathers to sing praises to the god, Jovah, to prove that Samaria is still in harmony so that Jovah will not destroy it.

Up until this point Gabriel has had enough on his mind without having to deal with a wife not of his choosing. But the angelica is required to lead the singing at the Gloria, and the Gloria is only six months away, so he goes to see the oracle to find out who she is. He expects that she will be of noble blood, of angel lineage and easy enough to find and woo.
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