Archangel (Samaria Series #1)

Archangel (Samaria Series #1)

4.6 55
by Sharon Shinn, Sharon Smith
     
 

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From the acclaimed author of The Shape-Changer's Wife comes a stunningly beautiful novel of a distant future--where the fate of the world rests in the voice of an angel. An age of corruption has come to the planet of Samaria, threatening that peace and placing the Samaritans in grave danger. Their only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel.

Overview

From the acclaimed author of The Shape-Changer's Wife comes a stunningly beautiful novel of a distant future--where the fate of the world rests in the voice of an angel. An age of corruption has come to the planet of Samaria, threatening that peace and placing the Samaritans in grave danger. Their only hope lies in the crowning of a new Archangel.

Editorial Reviews

Carl Hays
Next in line to become archangel in the angel-led dominion of Samaria, Gabriel must lead the next chorale praising the god Jovah, which means he needs a wife--fast--to sing beside him. Guided by the local oracle and the light emanating from the Kiss of the Gods (a homing device in his wrist), he finds his Jovah-selected fiancee in a common Edori slave girl named Rachel. The marriage proves, however, anything but romantic. Far from rejoicing in the sudden freedom that her marriage brings, Rachel quickly becomes a thorn in Gabriel's side, using her newfound influence to help her downtrodden Edori brethren. Displaying sure command of characterization and vividly imagined settings, Shinn absorbs us in the story of how Rachel and Gabriel eventually unite in true love and respect. With place-names such as Gaza and Jordana, she tantalizingly hints at her Samaria's connection to an ancient Israeli past, and she tempers the angelic milieu with talk of her angels' technological heritage in an entertaining sf-fantasy blend that should please fans of both genres.
Kirkus Reviews
An odd, science fiction/fantasy hybrid from the author of the 1995 paperback The Shape-Changer's Wife. Flying angels have been ordained by the god Jovah to watch over the people of Samaria. At the next Gloria, or festival of song, the angel Gabriel will take over the duties of archangel from old Raphael, so he asks the oracle Josiah, who Jovah has decided will be his bride. Josiah announces that Gabriel's bride shall be Rachel. But when Gabriel goes to claim her, he finds the remote village long destroyed, with no sign of Rachel. Then, quite by accident, he comes upon her in the house of a rich nobleman, where she is a slave. Though Gabriel plucks her from slavery, the two fight at once, since Rachel sides with the servants and Samaria's downtrodden folk and distrusts angels; neither will she reveal whether she can sing, a talent vital to a successful Gloria (Gabriel, of course, sings like a dream). Raphael, meanwhile, no longer believing in Jovah, refuses to watch over the people and encourages every sort of wickedness; to prevent the Gloria, he is willing to capture or even kill Rachel. Gabriel, who knows that Jovah will hurl firebolts should the Gloria fail, has other ideas. And the big question remains: Will Gabriel and Rachel ever stop fighting and get together?

Taut, inventive, often mesmerizing, with a splendid pair of disaffected, predestined lovers. Only in the final quarter does Shinn's control slip into flabby, annoying repetitions. Highly encouraging work overall.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441004324
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/28/1997
Series:
Samaria Series, #1
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
257,562
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Anne McCaffrey
I was fascinated by Archangel. Its premise is unusual, to say the least, with characters as provocative as the action. I was truly and deeply delighted.

Meet the Author

Sharon Shinn is a journalist who works for a trade magazine. Her first novel, The Shapechanger's Wife, was selected by  Locus as the best first fantasy novel of 1995. She has won the William C. Crawford Award for Outstanding New Fantasy Writer, and was twice nominated for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has lived in the Midwest most of her life.

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Archangel (Samaria Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is the point of buying a nook if I can't freaking buy every book I want to read FOR MY NOOK!
NemesisYO More than 1 year ago
Even though Rachel's character is annoying and extremely selfish, I was delighted by the plot. Again, Shinn's descriptions are just a hint of how beautifully the scene is conducted. My only problem with this series is the sequence, for some reason I just got lost...this is supposed to be Book #1, we see Gabriel, Rachel and the others in Book #4... Any sense? Other than that, I am just enchanted by these angels...
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Angel Gabriel has known for many years that he will be the next Archangel and that he must go to the oracle to discover who Jovah has chosen to be his Angelica or human bride. In Samaria, Archangels are a sort of divine chosen ruler over the land, changing every fifteen years. They lead Samaria in the Gloria (a sort of sung mass) each year, reminding the people of their dependence and love for Jovah. Gabriel has put off the task of finding his bride until he only has six months until his inaugural Gloria - so when he discovers his Angelica Rachel is a young woman from a family of peasant farmers he is shocked and more than a little surprised. Rachel herself has not led an easy life and is not too happy when Gabriel shows up declaring that he will be her husband. All her life her choices have been taken from her and she is not about to let Gabriel take them away from her again. Let me start off by saying what in the heck is going on with this cover? Is Rachel cringing? Singing? Sighing? None really match her personality so I can't really figure it out. Not to mention the odd little ball - is it supposed to be the Kiss which not only allows Jovah to track you but tells you when you've found your one and only? I thought that was supposed to be embedded in your skin? Weird. Too weird. Other than the oddness of the art, I really enjoyed this unusual story of religion mixed with politics set in a brand new world. And once again Shinn does not disappoint with her wonderfully crafted characters. A competely believable hero and heroine and some nasty villains who really are a little larger than life. The narrative switches back and forth between Rachel and Gabriel, which at times seemed a bit redundant since they would cover each situation twice, but overall served to really give a good understand of each's personality. Inventive and very readable, I can't wait to pick up the rest of this fabulous series. seemichelleread.blogspot.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Diwms More than 1 year ago
loved the whole series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book combines the perfect combination of romance and science fiction and the characters melt your heart. I wish she sharon shinn would write even more set in this world!
cat584 More than 1 year ago
Very interesting story and world building. Really enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!! It is a unique take on the role of angel and their interaction with normal human beings. It also shows that at the highest position, one can be corrupted. Moreover, the book touches on issues of slavery, class, and power struggles. It is exceptional. The touch of romance is an added bonus.
AeroHudson More than 1 year ago
This book marks my first experience with Sharon Shinn. I had flirted with picking up one of her books for quite some time, but, invariably, always picked something else up to read. I then heard of her first series after her first published book "The Shape Changer's Wife" and decided to give them a try, thinking they seemed unique. I am glad I did. "Archangel" is quite different from really anything I have ever read. It is a genre bend, somewhat of a cross between Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, and even Historical Fiction. The essence of the story is how the incoming Archangel, Gabriel, and Rachel, a former slave destined to become his Angelica, fall in love. It is a long and arduous journey that the two take riddled with political struggles, prophecies, questions regarding God, and host of other trials. But, at the end of the day, this story is about them. Sharon is an excellent writer and there are many things within these pages to emulate for aspiring writers. One of the reasons I selected it is due to my penchant for writing stories with action. I wanted to be told a story that didn't rely on these devices and instead completely relied on building tension between characters without violent action. I learned quite a bit. I already picked up the next two Samaria books as well as Book One of her Twelve Houses saga. I would recommend Fantasy and Science Fiction fans to pick her up if they are looking for character driven stories that are engaging and quite a bit unique from the stable of series out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow I read this the other day and quite frankly, I was stunned! The setting is very unique. The book was captivating; I couldn't put it down! I especially enjoyed the evolution of Gabriel's and Rachel's relationship, although I expected it to go a little farther. The only thing that bothers me is Rachel's immense selfishness. I understand that her life wasn't easy, but that said, her actions are pretty immature (ex. the bracelets scene, deserting Gabriel after the Gloria). I also don't really understand the cover... Nonetheless, I loved this book--it's by far the best in the Samaria series!
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