Allegiance of Honor
Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is now sixteen books strong and I do mean strong. Every one of the books has exhibited consistent quality, with excellent world building going hand in hand with good character development and sweet, sensual romance. Allegiance of Honor carries on that tradition and is a wonderful addition to the saga.
This book is slightly different from the other Psy-Changeling books in that we are not introduced to a new pair of lovers. Instead we visit with the many couples from the previous novels and novellas that make up this series. Due to that fact and because the story here continues to move forward our central plot revolving around the Psy/human/Changeling politics, this tale (and possibly this review) contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.
It starts with a message in a bottle. While a group of cubs from DarkRiver are playing on a local pier they see something interesting in the water and fish it out. Inside is a note from Leila Savea an ocean Changeling who has been taken prisoner and is being experimented on. BlackSea, the aquatic pack, receives the information with a sense of anger and despair. The oceans of the world are huge, so since their people often prefer to swim alone rather than in schools, it has been easy for their enemies to pick them off. The sheer amount of water on the planet also makes it easy to hide a captured aquatic Changeling. The only clue Leila was able to give them regarding where she is being held is a drawing of some kind of corporate symbol.
Neither BlackSea nor DarkRiver have the kind of gifts that can triangulate her location from that type of hint so they reach out to SnowDancer, the wolf pack near their borders. Fortunately, SnowDancer has a powerful teleport capable telekinetic in Lt. Judd Lauren. Unfortunately, the drawing isn’t specific enough to give him an entry point. The Arrows, the elitist Psy soldiers, are then brought into the loop in the hopes that one of them will have powers sufficient to locate the girl. As the Trinity Accord turn their considerable might towards the hunt, an enemy emerges from the shadows.
All of the above will make sense to you only if you have read the series; if you haven’t read any of the other books, this is not the place to start. Everything about this story is about closing loose threads from previous tales and taking the saga in a new, if comfortably familiar, direction. The author does a fabulous job of bringing characters from her previous novels and novellas into this one via the hunt for Leila and making the interactions feel natural and seamless. We are updated on all the marriages, pregnancies and babies and get to meet some new little ones as well. Original characters are also introduced and some new interactions come into play as alliances are formed or strengthened but most of the emphasis is on the people we already know. The Trinity Accord members are squaring off against a dangerous new adversary and everyone gets to prove how marvelous they are once more. It was tremendous fun to revisit with these old friends and watch them with their significant others, seeing how strong the relationships are and how firmly they remain HEAs.
If you’re a little nervous you’ve forgotten too many details from past books to enjoy this, don’t worry. The author gives us enough information to remind us of who each character is and there is a handy list at the start if you still can’t remember. And as mentioned at the beginning of my review, the prose, character building, and plotting are all excellent.
Allegiance of Honor is in many ways a tribute book. It is a celebration of the stories that have gone before and a reassurance to the fans that everything is right in the little world we have shared with Ms. Singh for the last ten years. I absolutely loved it and I think her other fans will as well.
I've been an avid reader since 2nd grade and discovered romance when my cousin lent me Lord of La Pampa by Kay Thorpe in 7th grade. I currently read approximately 150 books a year, comprised of a mix of Young Adult, romance, mystery, women's fiction, and science fiction/fantasy.