The war between the Angels of Judgment and the Vampiric Succae – a race of honour-bound demons – ended in a fragile peace accord but the forces of disorder and misrule still lurk in the shadows.
ANGEL. SOLDIER. ASSASSIN. DIPLOMAT. TRUTH SEEKER.
Following an unprecedented day of mysterious protest by the Bonded – the former gods and heroes of judged worlds, a young Angel from a sect of conscientious objectors lies dead, slain by a rare Succae weapon and a piece of the Archangel Prince Anael's ceremonial regalia is missing, presumed stolen
.Outcast Angel Azshael soon finds himself embroiled in a search for answers that takes him from the towers of the White Citadel to the roosts of the Low-Nin in the subterranean warrens on the vampire moon of Scarpe and down to the abandoned former Succae capital on the dying planet Cerule.
As evidence mounts that the two crimes are connected and that the missing ceremonial staff, the White Rood, could have devastating powers, Azshael and the Succae Serrate Lytta find themselves caught up in the machinations of a secretive sect of Angelic Watchers, an Angel of Death and the deadly plans of a mad god intent on seizing power and ruling both races.
Can Azsh and Lytta find answers in time or is this the start of a new dark era on both sides of the Tether?
Angel Rising is the second book in the Ambassador Azshael series, a follow-up book to Angel Falling (but can be read relatively as a standalone), written by A.D. Landor. As we could see in the first book, Landor invites us to immerse in a new neo-noir fantasy story, with our main character, the Angel Azshael having to use his knowledge of the Succae world to unravel the mysteries behind the theft of the White Rood.
The assassination of a young Angel by a rare Succae weapon and the disappearing of the White Rood (part of the Archangel Prince's ceremonial regalia) the same day can't be a coincidence, and Azshael's time with the Succae makes him the perfect individual to investigate and discover the reasons behind. Our character will be forced to travel between the Succae's and the Angel's world, entering into contact with unknown and dark parts of those, like an Angel of Death, a quite sinister character.
With the foundations of the universe established in the first book, Landor manages to expand and explore several new places in it, delving deeper into how the Succae's society works and visiting many places that were angular for them. Some secrets of the Angels are also revealed, but leaving more questions open than the ones answered.
In general, this book shows the growth of Landor as a writer; while the first book was a good read, this one takes all those details that made it enjoyable and fathom into them. The pacing is more agile, and it balances better between frenetic action scenes with more contemplative ones which can be really dark (the whole visit to the Mausoleum might be one of my favourites).
If you liked the Alexander Southerland P.I. series, I think Ambassador Azshael is the kind of neo-noir book you would enjoy: a thriller case that is encased in a fantasy world. I'm quite curious to see how the series will continue evolving and growing.
When it became apparent that Knight Errant and Sorcerer to the Queen were no longer valid career choices, Adam worked his way through 37 other jobs before arriving at writer. Along the way, he looked after seals and bears at London Zoo, taught small children how to stay on a horse, wrote competition scripts for radio stations and told tall tales to anyone who would listen. He now lives outside London, with the sort of book and music collection guaranteed to ensure the neighbours never stay long for coffee.