When an archangel disappears, it becomes clear there’s more at stake than just power.
After years of war, Archangel Raphael and his once-mortal consort, Elena, have experienced a period of relative peace in New York, but Raphael must attend to global affairs when Zhou Lijuan, the Archangel of China and self-professed Goddess of Death, fails to make an appearance for two years and her lands begin to show signs of distress. The Cadre—the archangelic rulers of Earth—must decide what to do with her territory and are summoned by the Luminata, an ancient, neutral sect of angels charged with bringing the Cadre together when an archangel hasn't been seen in some time. Once Elena and Raphael join the rest of the archangels in the remote Moroccan Luminata compound, everyone agrees that things are not as they should be in a region ruled by people who are supposed to be seekers of “luminescence"—a sort of spiritual enlightenment—and perhaps it’s not only the question of Lijuan they should be deciding, but also that of the Luminata themselves. Things get personal when Gian, the charming but somehow creepy sect leader, develops a distinctly unnatural interest in Elena. Spending time in the nearby mortal village, Elena realizes the residents have been terrorized by the Luminata. After she meets an elderly couple who tells her stories of a woman who disappeared decades ago and who shared Elena’s unique coloring, she uncovers an abundance of disturbing secrets, some of which have directly and horrifically affected her own family. Singh's Guild Hunter novels are known for their darkly intense worldbuilding and for their exquisite romanticism, especially between the couple at the heart of the series, Raphael and Elena. This eighth novel highlights the author’s ability to weave threads of devastation and hopefulness together; it is emotionally jarring and at times grim yet ultimately fulfilling, resonating with the conviction that love is the strongest force in the universe.
Singh explores power, love, and redemption with her typical consummate skill.