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Angel-Seeker (Angel (Candlewick)) [Mass Market Paperback]

Sharon Shinn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Angel-Seeker (Angel (Candlewick)) + Angelica (Angel (Candlewick)) + Samaria Trilogy: 3: The Alleluia Files (Angel (Candlewick))
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reissue edition (Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012602
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 10.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 748,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book by Shinn Sharon

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It was still dark when Elizabeth rose, moving silently through the sleeping house. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return to Samaria 7 May 2004
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
Angel-Seeker is the fifth Samaria book from Sharon Shinn. It takes readers back to the familiar territory of Gabriel and Rachel, set shortly after the events of Archangel. For readers unfamiliar with Samaria, it is a future colonisation of a distant planet. The settlers turned their back on technology, and now the inhabitants of the planet worship the distant god Jovah (fuller explanations are in Jovah's Angel and the Alleluia Files). The inhabitants are split between mortal and angel - angels are still mortal but have big wings and the ability to fly, plus glorious voices that their god can hear and respond to when they sing in prayer. Angels are in the minority, so women who give birth to angels are looked after for life by the angel holds. This has led to the rise of angel-seekers, the women who live only to snare an angel and have his child.
Shinn has probably wisely decided not to develop the story of the two stubborn lovers much further, and instead turns her attention to the slightly glimpsed and fairly flippant character of Obadiah.
Leaving the Eyrie and the out-of-reach Rachel behind him, Obadiah travels to the new angel settlement of Cedar Hills to take up a difficult diplomatic position working with the hidebound, misogynistic and often downright nasty Jansai. In the process, Obadiah is injured, and finally meets someone who may help him to forget his infatuation with his leader's wife, and move on with his own life.
As usual with Shinn, there are well-drawn characters for readers to identify with. The primary new faces are the rebellious Jansai teenager Rebekah, and Elizabeth, the angel-seeker of the title.
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5.0 out of 5 stars read and enjoy!! 28 Aug 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
fab series, read and enjoy!!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent beach book. 5 July 2004
By rba - Published on Amazon.com
This book makes a great beach book. It follows each of the three narrators for a chapter or so at a time, providing the reader with plenty of places to stop without hurting the suspense. There is significantly less political and religious debate in this book than in the previous Samaria novels; instead, Shinn focused on the differences and similarities between two supposidly powerless women, Elizabeth and Rebekah, and the methods they use to affect their lots in life.
Elizabeth, a pampered Mandavvi daughter turned ignored, embittered servent, takes a laundress job at the Angel hold of Cedar Hills in the hopes that she can catch the eye of an angel. Instead her hard work earns her the attention of a proment doctor who wants to train her as an assistant - a more satisfying and dignifying job than that of angel-seeker but one that has much less job security than that of the mother of an angel.
Rebekah is an opinionated Jansai daughter about to be married off. Shinn is not very subtle in her distain for any culture that would cut women off from ouside contact and the Jansai life comes off sounding like Afghanistan under the Taliban. Rebekah's mildly discontent at her lot in life but can't imagine a different one. She rebels in small ways by arguing with her mother, sneaking out of her compound, and raising her younger brother to be kind and respectful to the women he will have complete authority over one day.
Obadiah is an angel recently sent to Cedar Falls as an ambassador to the Jansai at Breven. He is lonely and frustrated to find that he has little standing or authority among the Jansai. When he is attacked and injured flying between Breven and Cedar Hills, he makes an emergency landing 3 miles from Rebekah's caravan. She sneaks out to help him and the two begin a secret, dangerous relationship. Back at Cedar Hills, it is Obadiah's injuries that prompt the doctor to request Elizabeth's assistance, also giving her a taste of Samarian politics as the hold leaders meet trying to figure out how to respond to the attack.
Angel-Seeker is the 5th book in the Samaria series, for all that it occurs 3rd chronologically. It is a stand alone book in the sense that Shinn offers readers an unending number of characters ready to offer up exposition at every turn. If it has been years since you've read Archangel, you do not need to reread it before picking up this book. If you have never read a Samaria novel, however, I would recommend reading them in publication order. Not because Angel-Seeker needs it but because in it, certain aspects of Samarian life, land, and history are revealed that might lessen the suspense of the previous books.
41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Laid Plans ... 2 Mar 2004
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Angel-Seeker (2004) is the fifth novel in the Samaria series, but is the sequel to Archangel in internal sequence. In the previous volume, Raphael was the archangel of Samaria. From his hold at Windy Point, he ruled over both humans and angels, changing traditions and corrupting his followers. Raphael married a Jansai women and took other Jansai as followers, even allowing them to enslave the Edori.

Finally, Raphael denied any need to sing praises to Jovah and brought his followers to Mount Galo to wait out the entire day which had been appointed for singing the Gloria. After the sun went down, Raphael announced that he was their god and the thunderbolts sizzled out of the sky to destroy him and all who were with him. A great storm blew over Samaria, the skies opened up, rain fell in torrents, and the rivers began to flood.

The next day, Gabriel lead the survivors in singing the Gloria and the skies calmed and peace returned to Samaria. Gabriel was chosen as the Archangel as foreseen by the oracles. He even convinced Rachel to marry him and become the Angelica.

In this novel, the angels have abandoned Windy Point and have begun to build another city of angels in Jordana. Cedar Hills is unlike any other angel hold, for it is down on the plains, easily accessible by ordinary humans. Gabriel appoints Nathan to rule the new city and so Nathan takes Magdalena, his new bride, and a group of Monteverde angels there to reestablish proper relations with the landholders who have been slighted for so long.

Gabriel has banned the enslavement of Edori and freed all the slaves. Now the Jansai are moaning about their economic difficulties. Since Nathan already has enough problems to handle, Gabriel sends Obadiah to handle relations with the Jansai. Shortly after moving to Cedar Hills, Obadiah flies to Breven and meets with Uriah, the acknowledged leader of the Jansai. After concluding his visit, Obadiah is flying back to Cedar Hills when, suddenly, he is shot out of the sky.

Obadiah manages to crash into a small oasis, but hasn't got the strength to attend to his wounds. He is found there by a young Jansai woman, Rebekah, and she covertly tends him for several days while he recovers, but eventually she has to leave with her family. Shortly thereafter, Obadiah flies out of the desert, but has a relapse in mid-air and crashes once again, causing additional injuries. He has been seen falling out of the sky and is quickly found and placed in a trader wagon to be taken for treatment in Cedar Hills.

Elizabeth is a young women who has come to Cedar Hills as an angel-seeker, a woman trying to become pregnant by an angel in order to bear an angel child. Mothers of angels are very well treated, but most pregnancies between angels and ordinary humans do not produce angel progeny. She has met Obadiah briefly and soon comes to know him rather well after she helps tend his wounds and then is assigned the additional duties of periodically checking his condition and tending his needs.

In this story, the lives of these two women are opposed in many ways. Elizabeth is an orphan who comes from a wealthy family who fell upon hard times; she was living with a distant relative and working as a cook before she fled to Cedar Hills. Elizabeth wants to become pregnant by an angel, but has no real affection for her paramour.

Rebekah is living with her step-father, mother, two brothers and other family members in a fair amount of comfort. She is leery of Jansai men, but believes that her betrothed is kindly enough. Yet she has begun to develop warm feelings, even longings, toward the angel Obadiah.

Elizabeth is a very independent woman who has already proved her willingness to change her circumstances according to her own desires. Rebekah, while is a fairly liberal thinker for a Jansai woman, just cannot convince herself that she could possibly withstand the heartaches of leaving her family and circumstances. What surprises will destiny bring?

The author continues her accounts of intercultural conflicts on Samaria and its consequences. As with Archangel, the pairings herein suffer from inadvertent miscues and other misunderstandings, adding a layer of comedy to the actions of the protagonists. While the major characters have entirely admirable personas, they are contrasted with all sorts of unfeeling and corrupted individuals, from Elizabeth's relative James and his wife Angeletta to the angel David to the Jansai men of Breven. Once again, the author has provided an intricate portrayal of an exotic society and its populace, with special emphasis on their romantic involvements.

Highly recommended for Shinn fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of exotic cultures and strange ways.

-Arthur W. Jordin
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Must Have Read 'Archangel' First - This Is A DIRECT SEQUEL 14 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
'Angel-Seeker' is a direct follow-up book to 'Archangel', taking place a year after 'Archangel' ends, and following the angel Obadiah as he lives at the new angel-hold of Cedar Hills. We see the main characters of 'Archangel' - Rachel and Gabriel - but briefly. Here the focus is upon Obadiah and the impact Gabriel's decisions in 'Archangel' have had upon Samaria.
We definitely get to see the 'dark side' of angels in this book, since the focus is upon the lives of women involved with the angels, particularly 'angel-seekers': women who desperately seek to seduce angels in the hopes of bearing angel children. So we see many of the male angels at their worst, treating these woman like whores. However, this is a Sharon Shinn book, so the unfaltering belief that True-Love-Is-Attainable-For-Everyone is upheld.
There are two women contrasted in this book: The angel-seeker Elizabeth, who comes to Cedar Hills hoping to better her future, and the Jansai woman Rebekah, who within the veiled and cloistered existence of women among the Jansai manages to maintain a relationship with an angel in secret. Both women's lives turn out differently than they expected as they strive to make their future in the new Samaria under the rule of the archangel Gabriel.
Since I loved the book 'Archangel', I enjoyed reading this postscript to that novel about the futures of its minor characters. However, without any knowledge of 'Archangel' this book would be of no interest at all. It doesn't stand well on its own, having nowhere near the depth and complexity of 'Archangel'. It reminds me of reading Anne McCaffrey's 'Nerilka's Story' after having read 'Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern'; the first a book about minor characters from the second book. 'Nerilka's Story' was more a postscript to 'Moreta', while 'Moreta' was a science fiction classic. Indeed, with 'Angel-Seeker' I felt like I was reading fan fiction set on the world of Samaria. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing; like I said, it makes good reading for fans of the Samaria novels. However, the book does not stand on its own. If you haven't read Sharon Shinn's Samaria novels, this book will be a waste of your time.
I gave the book only '3' stars because, while it is 'okay', it isn't 'great'. For an unknown author, I might have given this '4' stars, but since I know what Shinn is capable of (see 'Archangel', 'The Shape-Changer's Wife', 'Wrapt in Crystal', and 'Jenna Starborn' especially), I find it just isn't up to her best. Light reading, nothing deep, characters predictable... you'll read this once, then probably never look or think about it again. For Samaria fans ONLY.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never a disappointment 17 Mar 2004
By Randlehouse - Published on Amazon.com
I must disagree with a couple of the reviews I have read here. Though the names of some of the characters in this book are familiar, the focus on the Jansai is fresh - and timely (they do not remind me of gypsies).
The characters in this book are not simple-they are flawed, all of them, and the conflict has to do with our halting experiences as human-beings of free choice. The study of the Jansai women, who live in a cultural situation not unlike many in our own contemporary world, was very interesting to me. ( Why does a woman choose to stay in hell? When does safety become imprisonment?) I'm with Sharon - I want to read stories that tell me in the end, we can be honorable, we can work against what is unjust, we can make mistakes and find redemption and real love is worth sacrifice. But the choices in this book are not facile - the conflict not easily resolved. For those who read for meaning, there is much to mull over in this bit of work. I haven't got a whole lot of time, but this story was worth what I invested in it. Besides, I got a kick out of reading it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fasinating 13 April 2004
By Neker - Published on Amazon.com
This series has always been a spell-binding read for me. The original trilogy was fantastic. From there it became a little repetitive. This latest addition was a welcomed change. One of my problems with previous novels was the extreme description of music. Shinn could spend an entire chapter describing the rise and fall of angel voices in song. Almost all her novels were concerned about the archangel. In this case, she concentrates on two women (not angels at all) and their perspectives. A Jansai woman and an angel-seeker. In both women she shows the trials and tribulations of misunderstood and persecuted women doing what they have to do to survive, truely live, and love. Shinn twines these two women's lives together in an unexpected and touching way.
It's a long novel, but you will find it hard to put down. I finished mine in two days.
Good reading!
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