Sarah's Stars

Sharon Shinn. Archangel
Ace Books  $10.99  ISBN 0-441-00432-6  390 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

For a long time she stood to one side and a little back from the window, unwilling to look out because she feared the view. She had never, to this day, had the courage to gaze from her one window in the Eyrie, terrified of the vertigo and nausea the height would evoke. She was not sure she could stand to peer out through this misty glass and see nothing but the gray tumble of rock down toward the blackness of some unimaginable ravine. And yet she had to look; she had to know what her chances of escape were. So she crept closer to the glass, and, splaying her hands over her eyes to filter out the worst of the vision, she glanced quickly out and then back in. But all she had seen was stone. Tall stone, slaty and streaked, rising instead of falling. She peered through the glass again, more fully. Her window looked out onto a view of the jagged mountain face as it clawed its way up to the uneven apex. She, Raheli sia a Manderra, erstwhile Edori, erstwhile slave and future angelica, was imprisoned in her enemy’s castle at the very top of the world.

Rachel has dreamed of freedom every day during the five years she has been a slave. But when her wish is finally granted, it comes for the source least expected. The angel Gabriel is well known, of good family, politically connected and chosen to be the next spiritual leader of Samaria. So when he informs Rachel that her destiny is to be his wife, she’s more than shocked, she refuses outright to accept. Forced into marriage and trapped in the lofty Eyrie by her fear of heights, Rachel struggles to find her rightful place, in Samarian politics, in the Eyrie, but most of all, in her husband’s affections. But this promises to be no bed of roses, for Raphael the current Archangel, refuses to cede his power to Gabriel and is determined to cause rebellion in Samaria. Rachel and Gabriel will need to overcome their differences to band together and save Samaria. But will they be able to do it?

Sharon Shinn delivers yet another of her amazing masterpieces. For previous Shinn readers, you know what to expect. For newcomers all I will say is that you are in for a treat. Sharon Shinn is right up there in the ranks of master fiction writers. Her stories are a fascinating blend of science-fiction, fantasy and romance with just a dash of theology which all adds up to a marvelous book. I highly recommend the rest of the Samaria series (Angelica, Jovah’s Angel, The Alleluia Files, Angel-Seeker) as well as the many other books by Sharon Shinn (Wrapt in Crystal, Summers at Castle Auburn). I recommend Archangel for girls and women, ages 13/14 and up. Some of the content is slightly more mature but most teens should be able to handle it no problem.

I’d give Archangel five stars out of five (if I was allowed, I’d give it ten).


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