ANGELICA is Sharon Shinn's return to the beloved fantasy world of Samaria, where winged angels sing and the god answers. The crystal Kiss embedded shortly after birth in the upper arms of all angels and their mortal families allows the god to monitor its subjects' well-being. Known to few Samarians, the god directs a second Kiss embedded in someone once every three generations.

Susannah sia Tachita, a mortal woman with an angelic voice, is secretly doubly blessed. She is chosen to be the new Archangel Gaaron's mate. Susannah accepts her role but refuses to be subservient. She will be an equal partner, and he'll just have to live with it. He might be protector their people, but the god's plans for her include protecting the planet.

Not only is this for your keeper shelf, this superbly crafted stand-alone inspires a need to get the other Samaria books. Endearing characters, meticulous world-building and a melodic whisper that threads its way throughout the narrative create a page-turning treat. (Mar., 496 pp., $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper