Angels and mortals inhabit the land of Samaria; though Samaria is meant to live in harmony angels and mortals entertain a complicated relationship. Legends state that the God Jovah created Samaria and brought humans and angels from another place where conflict ruled the world. It also indicates that angels were made by Jovah to oversee Samaria under the guidance of the Archangel: they are supposed to protect humans, answer their petitions and intercede for them by petitioning the God Jovah through song. More often than not in Samaria the petitions concern weather or health.
To maintain that harmony between all members of Samaria – from the many different human tribes and from all angels’ holding – must meet and sing the Gloria once a year. The Archangel and his consort, the Angelica, lead this mass in praise of Jovah otherwise he will destroy the world. Archangels do not serve for life, but every twenty years Jovah selects a new Archangel. The Archangel’s spouse is always a mortal.
Samaria is divided into three regions, Gaza, Bethel and Jordana, separated by rivers. Each region has an angel hold or fortress that acts as the governing center for the region. The Oracle has declared that the angel Gabriel is to be the next Archangel. But Gabriel has procrastinated getting married and when he finally tracks down the mortal that God has selected be his wife, she has her own thoughts about the marriage and the expectations of her as the archangel’s consort.
As I mentioned in one of the first posts I wrote on this blog I enjoy Sharon Shinn’s writings tremendously. I like her fresh style; she is extremely easy to read. And I loved her take on religion on this story, how it is an essential part of the story without being its centre. Out of the entire Samaria series, this one is my favourite. I actually had to buy the book a second time because I tore the first. It’s convincing and clever. I loved the lead characters and their complexities.
I would recommend it to anyone I know. A great read.