Home / Books / Book Review: Archangel by Sharon Shinn

Book Review: Archangel by Sharon Shinn

Anyone wanting a good romantic fantasy, should absolutely without a doubt, read this book…

Title/Author: Archangel by Sharon Shinn

Genre: Romantic Fantasy, Science Fantasy

Series: Samaria, Book 1

Published: April 1, 1997

GoodReads Description:

“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.”

Rachel is a head-strong women with mind of her own. She won’t suffer being told what to do, even as a slave. Gabriel is the soon-to-be Archangel of Samaria, and he needs a wife to sing the Gloria, the uplifting of songs to Jovah that saves Samaria from destruction every year. Rachel has been predestined to be Gabriel’s wife and, although she agrees to marry Gabriel, she doesn’t go quietly.

Amazing Dynamic

The tension between Rachel and Gabriel is just delicious. In the beginning, it’s more like a hate/hate relationship but slowly develops into something neither of them expect. The push and pull of their strong wills and the sudden moments of vulnerability add suspense and longing to the romance.

Stubbornness in characters is a trait that I always seem to relate to (my poor hubs). Rachel rebuffs Gabriel’s attempts at kindness but she also refuses to be cowed by his arrogance and personal agenda. There are so many obstacles that come between Rachel and Gabriel, and I felt invested and rooted in the their story throughout the whole novel.

Subtle Spirituality

Throughout Archangel, there are veiled and no-so veiled religious references.

Some of the Biblical references were:

  • Locations like Mt. Sinai, Jordana, Gaza and the Galilee River
  • A host (haha!) of Biblical names like Raphael, Mary, Josiah and Obadiah
  • Manna
  • Angels (duh)

The element of faith is intertwined throughout the entire story but somehow never feels overwhelming. As someone who is spiritual, I loved the references and aspects of faith represented in the novel. I have rarely read a book that dealt so clearly with questions like, Does God really exist? Does he know or care we’re alive? What would happen if I broke God’s rules?

The idea of angels that aren’t perfect and love that is divine really captured my attention. Archangel is sweet, lovely and captivating.


I loved every moment of this book. I highly recommend it and hope everyone else loves it as much as I did! The remaining books in the series are: Jovah’s Angels (which I bought at Borders), The Alleluia Files, Angelica and Angel-Seeker.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.