Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
Series: Guild Hunter #14
Also in this series: Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Blade, Archangel's Consort, Archangel's Storm, Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter #5), Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter #6), Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel's Enigma (Guild Hunter, #8), Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter #1), Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart, Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9), Archangel's Kiss, Angels' Blood, Archangel's Viper (Guild Hunter, #10), Archangel's Viper, Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3), Archangel's Prophecy, Archangel's War, Archangel's War , Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Sun, Archangel's Light
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Nalini Singh returns to the world of the Guild Hunters for the most highly anticipated novel of the beloved series—a love story so epic it’s been half a millennia in the making…
Illium and Aodhan. Aodhan and Illium. For centuries they’ve been inseparable: the best of friends, closer than brothers, companions of the heart. But that was before—before darkness befell Aodhan and shattered him, body, mind, and soul. Now, at long last, Aodhan is healing, but his new-found strength and independence may come at a devastating cost—his relationship with Illium.
As they serve side by side in China, a territory yet marked by the evil of its former archangel, the secret it holds nightmarish beyond imagining, things come to an explosive decision point. Illium and Aodhan must either walk away from the relationship that has defined them—or step forward into a future that promises a bond infinitely precious in the life of an immortal…but that demands a terrifying vulnerability from two badly bruised hearts.
Excerpt from Archangel’s Light by Nalini Singh
They walked in silence. It should’ve been comfortable, just two warriors heading down to speak to their archangel, but it was like prickles on his skin. Illium was never like this with him. So charming and lighthearted without giving away the smallest piece of himself.
Pretty and amiable and so false that Aodhan wanted to yell at him, have it out in a knock-down, drag-out fight to end all fights. And Aodhan didn’t yell or pick fights. Except it appeared, with everyone’s favorite Bluebell.
“Nice décor.” Illium pointed at a painting of a masked ball manic in its use of color, the brushstrokes going in countless serrated directions. “Good thing I didn’t see that before turning in. Imagine my dreams.”
“We haven’t had the time to worry about aesthetics,” Aodhan muttered, sounding like one of the stiff-assed old angels even to himself.
Illium didn’t roll his eyes and tease him about his abrupt descent into crotchety old age. He didn’t even scowl or make an annoyed face. He just carried on.
As if nothing Aodhan did or said mattered.
Aodhan’s hand fisted at his side, his lips parting before he clamped them shut. This wasn’t the time to confront Illium about his behavior.
Having reached the edge of the railingless mezzanine, he dropped down to the lower floor of the stronghold. As with most angelic residences, the central core of the place was open, giving him plenty of room to spread his wings to slow his descent.
He caught Illium coming down next to him—plenty far enough away that their wings didn’t as much as brush at the tips. Polite, so damn polite when Illium was never polite to Aodhan. He was affectionate, irritating at times, wicked always. Polite between them was a calculated rudeness.
Teeth gritted, he led Illium through a side door and into the untamed garden that flourished despite the biting cold that foretold bitter snows. According to Suyin’s scholars, this region wasn’t one for severe winters, but no one knew what Lijuan’s death fog had done to the land.
They wouldn’t know the whole of it for years, decades even.
Aodhan had advised Suyin to prepare her people for a hard winter when she first chose the stronghold as her interim base, and she’d immediately put a survival plan into action. No one would freeze or starve even if the entire landscape became a sea of endless white.
Illium whistled, the sound low and musical. “Now this is more like it.”
Having glanced at him in the split second before he breathed out that statement, Aodhan saw his first true glimpse of his friend. Illium’s eyes sparked with unconcealed wonder as he reached out toward a lush white flower so big and heavy that it drooped from its own weight.
Aodhan instinctively shot out his arm, blocking Illium from making contact with the flower—without ever touching the other man. Illium had made it clear that such contact was unwanted. “It has a narcotic-like liquid on its petals,” he explained. “Does actually affect angels if we forget we’ve touched it then rub our eyes or get it into our mouth. Visions, distortions of reality for an hour or so.”
Illium sighed, his expression morose. “Why did I think Her Evilness would have a normal garden?”
Aodhan’s lips wanted to twitch, the words were so Illium—though the moniker had come from Elena. “All of the plants in this garden are both lovely and peculiar.”
When Illium said nothing further, Aodhan took him down a path bordered by trees that had been swamped by sweetly fragrant vines with shiny leaves of dark green and tiny white blooms. At the feet of the trees grew mushrooms in an array of colors unnatural and striking.
“We don’t know the effects of all the plants, just the ones where an unfortunate member of the court has unintentionally made themselves a guinea pig.” The subject held no emotional weight for Aodhan, was an easy one to use to fill the painful silence between them. “There’s a pond deeper inside, the water a clear and cool green that’s now filmed by ice in the mornings.”
“Is it infested with flesh-eating fish?” Illium said sourly.
Aodhan did laugh then; it burst out of him without warning. He hadn’t laughed since he’d come to this land, the sadness of it overwhelming. But Illium . . . Illium had always known how to make him laugh, make him remember what it was to be happy.
From ARCHANGEL’S LIGHT published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2021 by Nalini Singh.
Guild Hunter Series
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