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 Sharon 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.
series reading order:
~ Jovah's Angel
~ Alleluia Files
~ Angel Seeker