Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter world is one of beastly brutality and unmatched beauty where larger-than-life immortals rule with iron fists. Angels are at the top of the pyramid with their vampire minions. Especially brutal are the archangels, beings with such powers that their physical battles actually scar the Earth’s landscape. But interestingly, these beings use human as hunters to enforce vampiric contracts and servitude. These Guild Hunters are the pivotal characters in this series. While Raphael and Elena have been the primary focus of the books, “Angels' Flight” features other characters from Singh’s world – characters that round out the world and humanize it.
In the first story “Angels' Pawn,” hunter Ashwini is assigned to retrieve a young vampire who has been kidnapped in a power play between two older vampires who serve a powerful angel, Nazarach. Ashwini seeks the help of Janvier, a vampire with whom she has an odd relationship. Ashwini has had to hunt Janvier in the past after he ticked off an angel or two. They have a combative and adversarial relationship that serves as foreplay for the couple who can’t deny their attraction. This is a very short story – one that comes across as a bit of a tease as it introduces Ashwini and Janvier and hints at more to come. It is well done because I absolutely want more of these two.
“Angels' Judgment” offers an intriguing glimpse at the Guild Hunter organization as its leader retires and hands over the reins to Sara Haziz. Knowing that the ruling angels will test his appointed successor, the director assigns Deacon, the lone-wolf slayer of the hunters, to shadow Sara on a hunt to find a murderer. The two work very well together, figuring out who is indiscriminately killing vampires and passing the tests designed to challenger Sara’s ability to lead the Guild Hunters. Oh yes, and Sara and Deacon find a passion that leads to love. This story gives readers an important look into the life of the new Guild Hunter director and best friend to Elena, the hunter heroine of the first three books in the series. I also appreciated getting to know Deacon and learning his story.
Those who can’t get enough of angels will enjoy “Angel’s Wolf,” a story in which a tortured and damages vampire, Noel, finds peace in the court of Nimra, an angel with a uniquely scary gift (think of a power that can do unto others as done unto it). Nimra has a problem in her court; someone close to her tried to kill her. Raphael sends Noel to her as an impartial person who can help ferret out the mystery. The two loners find so much more, however. They are kindred spirits. Noel is looking for someplace where he belongs and someplace where he can heal, while Nimra needs someone to keep her grounded, especially when she loses someone close to her.
“Angels' Dance” is the last and longest story and features two angels, Jessamy, an angel with a broken wing who has been stuck in The Refuge (angelic plane of existence) all of her life finding joy in teaching the young and recording angelic history, and Galen, an angel who has recently pledged his loyalty to Raphael. Immediately taken with the fragile-looking Jessamy, Galen pushes her limits, takes her flying and brings her to the human realm for the first time. In the cruel and deadly world of angels and vampires, Jessamy is a beacon of gentleness and goodness – one who can always be counted on to nurture the young. Galen is a warrior who is used to battle, death and destruction. However, he is determined to let Jessamy test her boundaries and experience new things in life – even if that includes other men. This story shows a more tender side of the Guild Hunter world. It is my favorite of the four stories.
Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter world is phenomenal and should not be missed. The stories in “Angels' Flight” offer some different views of this world that fit in wonderfully with the full-length books. This volume would also be a great introduction to the series for those who may not be familiar with it. I dare people to read this series and not get hooked on this world, where it is true love that reminds the entitled and the powerful of their humanity.
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Book Disclosure: A book was provided by the publisher