Saturday, October 02, 2004


Shortly after 1am, I read the last page of Angel-Seeker by Sharon Shinn, making it the first book to be logged for October.

Although this is the fifth book in Shinn's Samaria series, the story in Angel-Seeker follows immediately after that of Archangel, the first book. Remember that Archangel ended with the catastrophic destruction of the angel hold led by Rafael, resulting in the deaths of many of his followers, both angel and mortal. Gabriel had been elevated to Archangel and had set about rebuilding the hold. Now, a year later, Gabriel sends Obadiah to the new angel hold of Cedar Hills with the responsibility of reestablishing relationships with the Jansai, a people who are rigid in their customs and hostile to the angels.

Following a short, and unproductive visit with the Jansai leadership in their capital city of Breven, Obadiah is seriously injured during his flight back to Cedar Hills. He is found in the desert by Rebekah, a daughter of the Jansai whose customs forbid women from speaking to or even being seen by men not of their own family. Fortunately for Obadiah, Rebekah chooses to ignore the rules of her people and nurses Obadiah for several days until he is out of danger. Unfortunately for Rebekah, she and Obadiah discover a mutual attraction which will eventually put her in grave danger.

The third leading character in this novel is Elizabeth, the Angel-Seeker of the title. Angel-Seekers are young women who flock to the towns surrounding the angel holds in hopes of taking an angel as a lover and bearing an angelic child so that they will be taken into the angel holds and live a life of great luxury. One big problem is that few pregnancies result from these liaisons and the majority of babies are mortal rather than angelic.

This was a delightful book. I was glad that I had already read all the other books in this series so that I understood the political and cultural references in Shinn's story.

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