Pros: Wonderful tale of two fascinating characters and an unlikely relationship
Cons: Not as removed from everyday paranormal romance fare as the other books have been
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review book courtesy of Penguin Group
Dmitri is the Archangel Raphael’s right-hand man—or rather, vampire. He has a reputation as a ruthless, cold son of a bitch, so old that no one is even sure when he was born. And that makes him very, very powerful. In his work for Raphael he has come across a severed head with a distinctive tattoo on the cheek, a tattoo that seems familiar to him—so he calls in a Guild expert on ancient languages, Honor.
Honor is terrified of vampires ever since the several months during which she was captured, held, and tortured by them, but it’s time for her to leave the safety of the Guild’s complex and get back to work. She wasn’t expecting to work with Dmitri himself—a vampire she used to be nearly obsessed with, and one whose power and sexuality threaten what peace she’s managed to stitch together for herself.
Things take a turn for the strange as soon as the two meet. Dmitri becomes obsessed with hunting down the vampires who harmed Honor. Honor finds herself able to elicit details of Dmitri’s past that no one else knows of. And both of them find each other strangely familiar.
Dmitri is one of the more fascinating other characters from Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series—he’s fiercely loyal to Raphael, and because of that, has seen Elena as a weakness that makes Raphael more vulnerable to his enemies. This has set them at odds on more than one occasion. Dmitri possesses an odd scent lure that the Hunter-born are susceptible to, and that they react to sexually. Because Honor has only the barest trace of Hunter blood in her ancestry, and because Honor has no love for vampires, tempting her will be much more difficult than usual for Dmitri. Of course this only causes him to relish the challenge, but it isn’t long before he finds himself drawn to her as well—strongly enough that his compatriots notice his protectiveness.
We get to see a great deal of Dmitri’s history both before and after he was Made, as well as how he came to know Raphael, and how he came and went from Raphael’s employ since then. He has certainly made enemies, and one of them seems to be coming back to haunt him now. Meanwhile, Honor struggles to regain her balance in the world she used to be a part of, finding her feet again as she helps Dmitri track down some very dangerous vampires. The character interplay and history is wonderful. My only regret is that one of the things I’ve particularly adored about this series is the fact that the romantic interactions have been rather different from the mainstream in the paranormal romance genre, and this returns to something a little more normal.
There’s plenty of action, danger, and tension to go with the romantic and sexual content, and an absolutely gorgeous love story at the heart of it all. Archangel’s Blade might fall slightly behind the other books in the series so far, but it’s still beautiful, mesmerizing, and tantalizing.