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Archangel (Samaria Published Order #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  7,420 ratings  ·  594 reviews
And so it came to pass...

Through science, faith and force of will, the Harmonics carved out for themselves a society that they conceived of as perfect. Diverse peoples held together by respect for each other and the prospect of swift punishment if they disobeyed their laws. Fertile land that embraced a variety of climates and seasons. Angels to guard the mortals and mysti
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by Ace (first published May 1st 1996)
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Mystic and Rider by Sharon ShinnSummers at Castle Auburn by Sharon ShinnArchangel by Sharon ShinnTroubled Waters by Sharon ShinnDark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn
Best Sharon Shinn Books
3rd out of 26 books — 59 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Best Fantasy Series, Trilogies, and Duologies
144th out of 1,919 books — 8,015 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
There are five books out in this series, though each can be read as stand-alone novels. I think this is the first one (I wanted to start at the beginning, if I could), and very intriguing and well-written it is. I read it in a day. I'm a new fan of Shinn!

Archangel is set on another world, on a land called Samaria which is divided up into three realms: Gaza, Bethel and Jordanna. They aren't the only place names that sound familiar, there's also Mount Sinai, the Plain of Sharon and the Galilee Ri
Oct 05, 2008 SheWunders rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to SheWunders by: Shannon
Shelves: fantasy, 2008-10
Fabulous book! Very creative and different. The characters were compelling and deep (but sometimes annoying). Great world building. I can’t wait to continue on with this series. I couldn’t put it down.

Note - Archangel is not a Romance novel. This is a Fantasy novel with romantic elements, but do not expect your traditional Romance themes & behaviors – you will most likely be disappointed.

Another Note – I’ve heard some complaints about the religious elements in the book. That said the religio
Dec 05, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: freedom and its owner
Recommended to Mariel by: love is no big truth
Sharon Shinn carries the torch of Joss Whedon for fantasy and science fiction. Oops not everyone is a fan, Mariel. Cliff's notes version: the world is great but what hits close to home has everything to do with the emotional joys and horrors. What resonates and vibrates like an internal chord being struck is the this is what I can feel too stuff because it's the things we're all in it together for. Shinn is kindred spirit to Peter S. Beagle. Her stories make me feel that she could be related to ...more
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I'm at a loss for words when it comes to Sharon Shinn's Archangel. Utterly torn in fact. I was so sure this novel would earn a hearty 5 Stars from me and make its way to my 'favorites' shelf, but alas, I couldn't bring myself to fall in love with this as I thought I would.

I suppose I'll start at the beginning. I woke up early today morning with plenty of time left before I really needed to be out of bed. Thus, I perused my Kindle library and stumbled upon this. I thought I'd r
Oh, you know, it’s your typical book about another planet where an angel rescues a woman from slavery and forces her to marry him because his god/an AI told him to. Oh, and he wears leather. The angel, not the AI.

This is actually not as batshit as I’m making it sound, though it’s still decidedly . . . Pernlike. Id vortex or bust, if you know what I mean, and it was mostly a bust for me. I don’t have an arranged marriage kink or an angel kink or any of the other seventeen kinks this book was hurl
LOVE this series so much. Predates a lot of the fantasy/romance out there that's so popular now. Angels in an alternate universe. Weird to explain but really really good!
In the world of Samaria, there are angels and people. The angels being very powerful, with the the Archangel as the most powerful of them. The current Archangel will soon step down from his position and be taken over by the angel Gabriel. Gabriel has known from a young age that he is to become an Archangel but waits until 5 months before he is to take the position to find his angelica. An angelica is a human woman paired with a male angel. Angels can only be produced from a pairing of an angel a ...more
Sep 24, 2013 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality Feb 2012 Selection
The world building was interesting, the story drew me in and even when I wanted to give up, I held on hoping that things would get better. This story gets a three star rating because of the details and music description but that's about it.

The story started off with Gabriel and Rachel being irritating. But as the story went on, I began to sympathize and feel so sorry for Gabriel. Rachel was a really immature shrew. Not once did she stop to consider Gabriel's point of view. I get that she had her
Jess Haines
Oct 13, 2010 Jess Haines rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Light paranormal romance fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
One of my new favorite authors. She does a nice fantasy/romance thing, but this series also has interesting theology. And her characters are distinct and likeable.

But the best part is the worldbuilding. I really feel like she knows the geography of her worlds inside and out, like it's a living breathing place that really could exist somewhere out there.
About 60 pages in the book drew me in and it was a very fast and pleasant read. Good writing style. There were moments where I was slightly annoyed with Rachel for being stubborn for stubborness sake. She admited often that she did thinks purely to be contrary and after awhile that gets tiresome. Over all I did like her. The plot was interesting, the other characters as well and the setting has a lot of promise in this weird religious/sci-fi way.

I didn't terribly like that the Edori were univer
Sep 16, 2007 Inara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fantasy and angel lovers
Angel Gabriel, being next in the line to become Archangel and lead the annual Gloria to assure God everything is in harmony has a problem. He needs to find his chosen bride by God – the Angelica – within six months to assist him with the Gloria or desaster will strike. He isnt happy about Rachel being a farmers daughter und probably untutored to lead the Gloria with him. But Gods will has to be obeyed. When Gabriel arrives at the village where Rachel is supposed to live he finds everything is de ...more
I've been meaning to read this one forevvvvver. I think I'm bumping the rating up a little, but ohhh. I really loved the characters and the world. And I really liked how it addresses issues of belief and faith. I am so excited to read more.

Mostly I guess it's just two things holding me back:

1. The romantic relationship didn't quite work for me until the VERY end. I needed them to spend more time together to really believe in their love. But because I WAS on board at the end, I think I'd like it
"The angelica," he said, through tight lips, "holds the position of highest honor on Samaria. She sings beside the Archangel at the Gloria. She hears petitions that men and women fear to put before the Archangel himself. She can, if she chooses, be a great force for good among mortals, among angels. Many angelicas have had special relationships with Jovah, asking from him boons and favors which have been divinely granted. The angelica is one step from the god."

"The angelica, you said," she resp
Originally posted here.

Before I write anything else, I just want to ask what's up with the cover? I'm going to go ahead and assume that that's Rachel but what is she holding in her hands, a feather and a glowing ball of some sort? It's not part of the story at all. I'm glad I've heard so many good things about this book because otherwise, I wouldn't have picked it up based on the strength of its cover alone.

I loved the worldbuilding in this book. The setting is a fictional country called Samaria
Jo ★The Book Sloth★
In the land of Samaria angels are the ruling class. They have the ear of the god and his favour. They can make rain fall, sun come out, medicine fall from the sky. Angels are led by the Archangel, an angel either male or female who is picked every 20 years by the Jovah(their God). The Archangel is a type of spiritual and political leader for the masses. He(or she) is the one people turn to solve their problems, he has the God listening to his every prayer. At this years Gloria(some kind of relig ...more
There are interesting ideas in this book, and interesting discussions of good versus evil, the nature of God, and faith. (Surprisingly, for a book with obvious religious overtones, the novel didn't put me off as many other "romances" oriented toward women based on the Bible do, such as The Red Tent, which I hated, by the way). The characterization is actually rather good, but in the end, I felt like Shinn copped out, or at the very least couldn't find a way to give closure to her novel. In my op ...more
A pretty good story set in a uniquely crafted world based on biblical mythology. I've never encountered this sort of setting in a romance or fantasy novel before, so it was fairly striking, and from the style of the writing, Shinn really seems to know how the bible reads.

Gabriel, an angel, is about the be appointed Archangel, leader of the angels of Samaria. He will become Archangel at a ceremony called the Gloria, in which he and his wife must sing. Of course, that means he has to find his bri
Jemma Gutierrez
I can't do this anymore. I refuse to suffer like this.

I'm sad to say, but the heroine is an immature, biased, spiteful bitch. Can somebody please smack some sense into her! Please! She's ruining the whole story! Everytime she does something good, she ruins it by being such a stubborn bitch! The concept of angels and God is intriguing but all of those thing is overshadowed by how immature the freaking heroine is!

Does she have to be so hateful? Does she have to be angry and bitter and UGHGGGGH
After seeing this book at a used book store a year ago, it was in my mind to read it. Finally, I got it from the library and read it. It's an odd book. It appears to be fantasy at first glance - it's about a world of angels and men, living on what appears to be earth, with many of the place names and people's names straight from the Bible. Everyone worships Jovah. There is really no technology, so people live as you might expect people to live in the middle ages.

There's something strange, thoug
The first time I read this, I must have been aroun 14. I remember being very underwhelmed. Now, seven years later, my opinion has changed dramatically. This book is perfection. First of all, it it subtle. It's romance is not over dramatic or cheesy. The couple has real problems and has to work through them in a believable and difficult way. Secondly, the writing is gorgeous. Sharon Shinn has a gift for words. Thirdly, I enjoyed the world building. I didn't find the religious themes too nauseatin ...more
I bought this book on a whim after reading about it on a blog I didn't know that it was mainly a romance novel, it caught my interest because the twist on the fantasy setting seemed intriguing.

As a romance novel it more or less follows Formula 1A (not that I'm a big fan of the genre, but I've read enough to recognize the clichés). Head-strong and willful, yet amazingly beautiful and talented servant girl meets proud and brooding noble lord, and there is some sort of connection. Initially they ha
Althea Ann
Samaria Series

If all romance books were like these, I might consider myself to be a fan of romance novels in general.
The 'Samaria' series is primarily romance - but it's balanced with enough other plot elements that it doesn't get too tedious. They're even frequently... romantic!... in a way that doesn't (usually) make me want to strangle the characters! (They're never explicit/erotic, though.)
I did read all five books back-to-back, which meant that some of the elements did get a little repetiti
Caleb Liu
A beautiful fantasy novel about the love that grows between Sarah, a mortal and Gabriel who is soon to become the archangel.

I leant this to a friend only to have it returned suddenly with comments that she couldn't read it because it was 'satanic'. I discovered that it was the work of the devil because it depicted Angels and Men copulating together (notwithstanding the fact that there are biblical descriptions of the same). This just added to my misgivings about fundamentalist Christians.
This was a great book, but I feel like I've never been so frustrated with the main character.

The world strongly resembles the early biblical times and is very heavy on Christian mythology -- but does not in any way represent Christianity. In this world angels live with humans on Earth, look after them, listen to the will of god and praise him. Of course there are some corrupt angels who don't believe in God and decide to use their powers for evil. It's all very interesting and somewhat unique. E
3.5 stars

A unique, restrained love story set in a fantasy world.

Being a story about angels, you'd expect the religious overtones. But what's unexpected is the link between music and religion. All of their prayers are sung, and the characters have a strong affinity with harmonic music.

I think the focus on religion could put a lot of people off…but I'm agnostic and I didn't find it overpowering. Actually, one of the key struggles in the book was the struggle between believers and non-believers…wh
I was fascinated by Archangel. Through highly creative and unusual premises, provocative characters and actions that are always surprising the reader, Sharon Shinn is deeply delightful. She was able to create a beautiful story about love, magic, power and honor and has done it so well that I found myself escaping into her world, living it through her amazing protagonists, so strong in their imperfections and conflicting desires.

Archangel is set in Samaria, divided into three domains Gaza, Bet
Feb 09, 2015 William rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to William by: Aaron Davis
Archangel could be summed up as a surprising experience. As I think many people are these days, there are a couple fantasy foils I'm immediately wary of in books: things like vampires, werewolves, and angels - especially if the story revolves around a romance involving one or more of these creatures. So my first steps into Sharon Shinn's world were definitely tentative; I was worried I would grow tired and bored of laboring through another dull, unimaginative landscape.

However, Shinn's world is
Sylvia Vale
Very intriguing world building by Sharon Shinn. I really liked how she was able to present a universe in which technological advances and religious aspects compliment each other. The fact that Jovah's priests received their godly commands from a "computer panel" was not only fascinating but amusing.
Unfortunately the story dragged a little bit in places and the relationship between Rachel and Gabriel never seemed to be more than a back and forth between two stubborn little teenagers. I thought s
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I’ve been writing stories and poems since I was eight years old. My first poem was about Halloween: "What is tonight? What is tonight?/Try to guess and you’ll guess right." Perhaps this inauspicious beginning explains why it took me till I was in my thirties to sell a novel. It occurred to me early on that it might take some time and a lot of tries before I was able to publish any of my creative w ...more
More about Sharon Shinn...

Other Books in the Series

Samaria Published Order (5 books)
  • Jovah's Angel (Samaria, #2)
  • The Alleluia Files (Samaria, #3)
  • Angelica (Samaria, #4)
  • Angel-Seeker (Samaria, #5)

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“Are you asking me if there is a god?' he said, still in that soft voice. 'All I can say is, I believe there is. I feel him when I sing. He has responded to my prayers countless times. He guides my actions and he dwells in my heart. I know he is there.” 34 likes
“Everybody's afraid of love, because love is what hurts the most.” 34 likes
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