“Taut, inventive, often mesmerizing, with a splendid pair of predestined lovers.”—Kirkus Reviews
Every twenty years, a new Archangel is chosen to govern the land of Samaria. The new Archangel is introduced during a great musical chorale to honor the god Jovah. But Gabriel, the Archangel-elect, finds himself constantly feuding with Rachel, the bride who has been chosen for him by Jovah—and he is slowly coming to realize that the aging Archangel Raphael has no intention of giving up his power, even if it means all of Samaria could be destroyed.
Published as a trade paperback in 1996 and a mass market paperback in 1997. Available in British and German editions as well. One of the reasons I was nominated for the William Campbell Award for best new writer for two years in a row. Still my most popular book.
I was singing Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in a community choir while I was writing this book, which is clearly where I got the inspiration for all the choral sequences.
My favorite scene
The one where Rachel wakes up under Gabriel’s wing. That’s actually the scene I had in my head most clearly before I started writing the book, so it’s the scene that I worked backward and forward from as I came up with t e rest of the story.
I always think it’s best to read the Samaria books in the order in which they were written: Archangel, Jovah’s Angel, The Alleluia Files, Angelica, and Angel-Seeker. But I know some readers have enjoyed reading them according to the chronology of the stories: Angelica,Archangel, Angel-Seeker, Jovah’s Angel, Alleluia Files. There are also three novellas set in Samaria. Chronologically, “Flight” would take place shortly before Archangel, “Fallen Angel” directly after Angel-Seeker, and “Nocturne” about seventy years after that.