Angelica (Samaria #4)
by Sharon Shinn
What is it about:
Two hundred years ago, the god Jovah created a legion of land dwelling angels, led by an appointed Archangel. Now, Jovah has a new appointee: Archangel Gaaron.
For his life-mate, his Angelica, Jovah has chosen a woman named Susannah. Slowly, an unspoken affection develops between the two. But there is a terrible threat besetting the land-and the true hearts of Archangel and Angelica may never be known.
What did I think of it:
This was a reread, but I never reviewed the book before so it's high time I did.
This is chronologically the first story set in Samaria, but it's book #4 in the series. And to new readers I can advice to start with either book #1 (Archangel), or better yet book #2 (Jovah's Angel), because my copy of Archangel pretty much ruins the suspense of Jovah's Angel in the cover blurb. But then again I started reading this series with Jovah's Angel, so I might be prejudiced.
Anyway, I think this book is best enjoyed after reading the first three books and knowing a bit more about the world of Samaria.
I really love this world and this story is very enjoyable although of all the books it's my least favorite. I think that is because the romance between Gaaron and Susannah is too understated. True: it's a realistic romance in that it's no instalove or even instalust, but two people getting to know each other and respect each other. Still I think there's not enough actual interaction between the two to believe they get to know each other enough to fall in love.
Next to their story is the story of Gaaron's willful sister Miriam and this part of the book is my favorite part. Miriam is a handful and the things she does would drive most people crazy. It was fun to see her struggle to find her place in the world and when she does she shines.
The world building in this series is mostly based on biblical and middle eastern culture. And here we find the one thing that bugs me about this series: The Jansai.
The Jansai are half nomadic people who keep their women veiled and mostly hidden from other people. I think it's easy to see where the inspiration for the Jansai comes from, therefor I'm disappointed by the one sided nature of the Jansai. Basically all male Jansai are painted as sneaky, untrustworthy & abusive. I would have liked a bit more diversity there, and no: that one exception in Angel Seeker (which I'll be rereading and reviewing soon) doesn't count imo.
All in all this is an enjoyable read, and I liked revisiting it, although of the books in this series it's the one I've reread the least.
Why should you read it:
It's a very enjoyable Biblical Fantasy read.
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