Book Review: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Posted February 20, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling #15
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Berkley on June 14, 2016
Pages: 492
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also in this series: Wild Embrace

Also by this author: Archangel's Legion, Archangel's Shadows, Archangel’s Enigma, Shards of Hope, “Fairy Balloons”, "An Unexpected Guest”, "The Song of the Wolf", Silver Silence, Archangel’s Heart, Archangel’s Viper, Ocean Light, "Elena's School of Horror", Cherish Hard, "Ain’t No Party Like A Bear Party", Archangel's Prophecy, "One Night At The Refuge", "Secret Things", Rebel Hard, Rock Hard, Wolf Rain, "Clean and Dirty", "Wolf School", "Naya’s Most Important Visitors", "Grocery Shopping", "A Gift for Kit", "Movie Night", "Kaleb and Sahara’s Meeting with Sascha and Lucas", "Housewarming at the Orchard", "Christmas in the Kitchen", "Stalking Hawke", "Romancing Drew", "Sunday Morning", "Rowan", "Baubles & Ben", Wild Embrace, Love Hard, Rock Addiction, "Music Awards", Rock Courtship , "Rock Courtship Memo"s, Rock Redemption, "Sunshine", Rock Wedding, "With This Memo", A Madness of Sunshine, "Beary Tiny Ghosts", Alpha Night, "A Wedding Breakfast", "Poker Night", "Knives and Sheaths", "Seedlings", "Star Kissed", "A Walk on the Cliffs", "Wild Cat Blues", Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice, Visions of Heat

Fifteenth in the Psy-Changeling paranormal romance series and revolving around three distinct groups in the year 2082: changelings, psychics, and humans. The primary focus is on Lucas Hunter.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Psy-Changeling books on my website.

My Take

Singh noted in her Author’s Note that Shards of Hope, 14, closed the first arc of the series and opens the second with Allegiance of Honor looking back over what has happened so far and where everyone is now, a catch-up novel. Think of it as taking a deep breath and settling in with everyone in the aftermath of Shards of Hope.

The entire story revolves around Lucas, Sascha, and Naya. Being involved in their intimate family life is such a treat as we get to play with Naya and discover what a sweetheart she is in both her skins. Well, okay, there’s also that sneaky, underhanded plot on Hawke’s part to take down Ming and more trauma in trying to find Leila. But Lucas is the center with all the subplots spinning back to him as the core whom everyone trusts.

The story primarily uses third-person omniscient while Father Perez’s letters use an epistolary point-of-view which pops up every now and again. And we FINALLY get Father Perez’s back history and how he allied with Judd and Kaleb.

Oh, lord. I love the paragraph in which Singh describes the home Dorian designed. I. Want. I just don’t want the heating bill, lol.

It is a blow to discover how much Nikita cared, especially compared to how she showed it. Her approach did make sense at the time. And it’s still breathtaking as Nikita continues to compare herself against her daughter.

My favorite part of this series is how supportive the changelings are of their children and each other. I want to be adopted in!

It’s a time of bonding, cementing alliances, working through concerns, as the good guys solidify their trust in each other. The children are blending through their playdates and learning from each other. The various packs of changelings, humans, and different Psy groups are discovering the benefits of cooperation and friendship…and, lol, party-planning is an essential. It’s absolutely beautiful.

The Story

The Psy-Changeling world has undergone a staggering transformation and now stands at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups, a beacon of hope, even as it teeters.

As always when more than one person is involved, with decades of distrust and suspicion, there is wariness. Attitudes that aren’t helped when a bottle washes ashore in San Francisco with a cry for help and tiny Naya is targeted.

But no one can stand alone, and vulnerability proves the value of friendship and loyalty. A time to weave bonds between the disparate groups.

The Characters

Lucas Hunter, a black panther, is the alpha for the DarkRiver leopards and the first to mate with a Psy, Sascha Duncan, a cardinal empath. They have an almost-one-year-old daughter, Nadiya “Naya“, the only Psy-Changeling child in the world. Carlo and Shayla had been Lucas’ parents.

DarkRiver is…
…a cat pack based outside San Francisco while their corporate headquarters is in Chinatown. Clay is the chief construction supervisor for DarkRiver Construction and a pack sentinel. He’s mated to Talin, “Tally”, a submissive (Mine to Possess, 4). They’ve adopted Jon, one of the Forgotten with a new ability, and Noor (Home“, 9.7).

Nathan Ryder is the most senior sentinel and mated to Tamsyn, the pack healer. They have the most mischievous twin sons, Roman and Julian. Ferocious is their pet kitty. Tamsyn has taken Jason on as a medical assistant.

Faith “Red” NightStar, a Psy cardinal foreseer of the PsyClan NightStar, who can create hyper-realistic illusions, is mated to Vaughn D’Angelo, a jaguar changeling who sculpts (Visions of Heat, 2). Skye had been Vaughn’s baby sister. Tanique Gray is Faith’s younger half-brother, a Ps-Psy Gradient-9 with a psychometric ability. Marine had been the half-sister Faith lost to a psychopath.

The pregnant Mercy Smith, a DarkRiver sentinel, is mated to Riley “The Wall” Kincaid, a SnowDancer senior lieutenant, (Branded by Fire, 6). Bastien Smith, the DarkRiver financial shark and leopard changeling, who is mated to Kirby, a lynx changeling (Night Shift: “Secrets at Midnight”, 12.5); Grey with his strong future in the pack; and, Sage are Mercy’s brothers.

Kit is a baby cat alpha friend of Sienna’s; Rina is his sister. Cory and Nico will be roaming soon. Jamie is a senior soldier whose day job is as a tech specializing in sound and holo-imaging at CTX; Desiree is another senior soldier. Anu has a two-year-old. Zach Quinn, a senior soldier, and his human mate and elementary schoolteacher, Annie Kildare, have an infant son, Rowan (Magical Christmas Cat: “Stroke of Enticement”, 3.5). And Annie meets the man who saved her in that train wreck. Bryan is Zach’s nephew.

Dorian Christensen, a Sentinel and sniper, is mated to Ashaya Aleine, a Psy scientist with a twin (Hostage to Pleasure, 5). Keenan is their six-and-a-half-year-old (Dorian adopted him). His new teacher is Shonda. I love how the pack is about kids!! Ashaya’s twin is Amara Aleine, also a Psy scientist, and a bit on the psychotic side.

SnowDancer is…
…a wolf changeling pack, neighbors to DarkRiver, led by Hawke who is mated to Sienna Walker, a cardinal with a Psy-X rating (Kiss of Snow, 10). Judd Lauren is a former Arrow, a powerful telekinetic, and a SnowDancer lieutenant who is mated to Brenna Kincaid (Caressed by Ice, 3). Judd is Marlee and Toby’s uncle and Walker’s brother. Walker Lauren is Psy and mated to Lara, one of their Healers. Marlee is his daughter, and he’s an uncle to Toby and Sienna. Toby has a slight empathic gift and is Sienna’s brother.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere is mated to the pack tracker, Drew Kincaid (Play of Passion, 9). Evie Riviere is Indigo’s younger, submissive sister. Cooper is a lieutenant and mated to Grace (Wild Invitation: “Declaration of Courtship”, 9.5). More lieutenants include Tomás, Jem, Matthias, and Alexei. Yuki is one of the pack lawyers, I think, and is mated to Elias. Heather and Dani take it too far.

SnowDancer lieutenants Kenji and Riaz Delgado (he’s mated to Adria Morgan; Tangle of Need, 11) work most closely with BlackSea. Riaz and Adria have a daughter, Sakura.

Alice Eldridge is a brilliant human scientist who has been in forced cryonic suspension for over one hundred years and is still trying to adjust (Tangle of Need, 11). Ben and Elodie (Ava and Spencer‘s son and daughter), Issy, and Behali are some of the cubs. Emmett is mated to Ria who is Lucas’ executive administrative assistant, and they have a daughter, Mialin Corrina.

The Rat Pack are…
…based in San Franciscio and have an alliance with DarkRiver and do a lot of intelligence work. Teijan is their alpha (“A Conversation“, 4.1). Zane is his nervous second-in-command. Aneca is one of their children.

BlackSea are…
…water changelings based in Lantia, an undersea city in the Atlantic, and led by Miane Levèque, their First. Malachai Rhys is her second-in-command. Cifica is the closest BlackWater city to Canada. Leila Savea is a marine biologist who was kidnapped. Persephone is still recovering from her kidnapping. Olivia is her mother. Cary had been her mate and Persephone’s father. Costas is another child.

WindHaven are…
…Falcons, an avian flock, also allied with DarkRiver and SnowDancer.

RainFire are…
…a new pack of leopards with Remi as their alpha.

SkyElm is…
…an ocelot pack in southern Texas that lost 86 members overnight. Their situation provides a nice spot for including information without info-dumping it. Monroe Halliston is the alpha.

IceRock is…
…Kirby’s lynx pack in Calgary, Canada. Kiya Teague is their alpha.

AzureSun is…
…in South America, I think, and is a leopard pack allied with DarkRiver and SnowDancer. Isabella Garcia is the alpha, the grandmother of a DarkRiver sentinel.

The Psy…

…evolved into psychically gifted people who see themselves as superior to everyone. There are a variety of Gifts at different levels with a cardinal being the highest. Es are empaths who had been lost until events in Shards of Hope.

Kaleb Krycheck, a dual cardinal: telekinetic and a teleporter, is mated to Sahara Kyriastos of the PsyClan NightStar, whose ability allows her to see the past and project what she sees into another person’s mind with a secondary ability to change their mind, their memories (Heart of Obsidian, 12). Lol, the sex is good…since the earth moves, *more laughter*

The Duncan family group is…
…led by Nikita Duncan, Sascha’s formidable mother, a former Councilor, and a current member of the Ruling Coalition of the Psy. Reina Duncan had been Sascha’s grandmother. Max Shannon is a former human cop and Nikita’s chief of security; his wife, Sophia Russo, is an ex-Justice Psy who is comfortable going up against Nikita.

NightStar is…
…a PsyClan that specializes in finance with the family’s base ability in foretelling. Anthony Kyriakus, the head of the Clan, is Sahara’s uncle and Faith’s father. Seems he and Nikita Duncan are developing…a thing. Leon Kyriakus is Sahara’s father, who treats his scary son-in-law with paternal affection.

Mercant is…
…a powerful shadow PsyClan. Ena Mercant is the family matriarch. Silver is her heir and granddaughter and Kaleb’s senior aide. She also coordinates the worldwide Emergency Response Network (EmNet).

Marshall is…
…another PsyClan led by Pax Marshall, a Gradient 9 telepath.

Liu family group is…
…led by Jen Liu.

The PsyNet is a psychic network that is both an “encyclopedia” of all Psy knowledge and links them, keeping them sane. Since Silence, it split into the NetMind which is both guardian and librarian of the PsyNet. And it has a DarkMind, a twisted, homicidal side. The Honeycomb is new, created by the Es, to keep the PsyNet from crumbling. Pure Psy had been a violent pro-Silence group. Silence was an experiment implemented in 1979 in stamping out the violent tendencies of Psy by eliminating all emotion.

The Arrow Squad is…
…a group of Psy with lethal abilities who are assassins and black ops soldiers whose home base is Venice; all Arrows are welcome. Aden Kai, a Gradient 4.3 telepath with a minor 3.2 M ability, and the mirror gift he unveiled, is their leader and hooked up with Zaira Neve, a Gradient 9.8 telepath, combat Psy, and a senior commander of the Arrows (Shards of Hope). Marjorie Kai and Naoshi Ayze are Aden’s parents.

Vasic Duvnjak Zen, an Arrow missing his left arm, is second-in-command to Aden, and he and Ivy Jane, an E who heads up the Empathic Collective, are married (Shield of Winter, 13) and live on a farm. Rabbit is their dog. Tavish is an Arrow child settled with Vasic and Ivy Jane. Grandfather is Zie Zen, Vasic’s great-grandfather, a Tp, a telepath, and Psy elder. Gwen Jane is Ivy’s mother.

Abbot is an Arrow who married Jaya, a Med-E whose specialization is helping people trapped in their minds, in comas. Stefan Berg lives on Alaris, an undersea base. Yuri is one of the senior Arrows who worry Aden. Carolina is a six-year-old Arrow-in-training.

“A single act of kindness can change a life.” In both directions…

Father Xavier Perez, Kaleb and Judd’s human ally, makes an appearance through an epistolary point-of-view as he hunts for his lost love, Nina. The blind Ani works from village to village, helping out.

Ming LeBon is a psychopathic cardinal, a combat telepath, ex-Councilor, and former leader of the Arrows. His area of influence is Europe. Santano Enrique had been another psychopathic Psy. And Kaleb’s real father.

The Forgotten are…
…Psy who defected at the dawn of Silence a hundred years ago. They have evolved differently from the more “pure” Psy, and for the better. Devraj Santos is their leader; Katya Haas is his wife (Blaze of Memory, 7). Their PsyNet is blazing with health. Glen is the doctor monitoring Dev’s progress. Cruz and William (he’ll stay with Judd when the Forgotten move to a remote part of New York) are children.

Haven is…
…a home for fragmented F-Psy and is run by Clara Alvarez, an ex-Justice Psy. Her husband, Patrick, is human and a respected prosecutor. Samuel Rain is a robotics and biofusion scientist totally absorbed in finding a workable prosthetic for Vasic.

The Human Alliance is…

…based in Venice. Bowen “Bo” Knight is the security chief and leader with a possible death sentence. Lily is his chosen sister. Her newest boyfriend is a tattooed doctor who likes fast vehicles. Isaac Beauclair owns Beauclair Trucking out of Vancouver, Canada. Jessie is his wife. Once he finally got her away from Michael Benoit.

The Consortium is…

…a shadow organization intent on destabilizing the world. The Architect is their leader. There are Psy, changelings, a Forgotten, humans.

The Trinity Accord is a cooperation agreement between humans, psy, and changelings that was initiated by Aden. United Earth Federation. Maureen is a human neighbor to DarkRiver. Death Mask is a mercenary group of four Psy and three changelings who took on the wrong job. They’re led by a lioness changeling.

The Cover and Title

The cover makes me think of a star chart with astrology signs with its blues and lilacs. A lilac fingerprint is in the right upper corner. A swirl of lilac looks like a tail on the center left side while a blueish panther is stalking out from the right. In the center a divided circle is in yet another blue with Milky Way-like swirls emanating from a star constellation in the very center. The author’s name is large at the top in white while the title is also in white at the bottom with script in the two initial capital letters. Both are sided in purple. The series info is at the very bottom.

The title sums up the attitude of those Psy, humans, and changelings on the good side in an Allegiance of Honor.

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