Allegiance of Honor (Nalini Singh)

Allegiance of Honor is the 15th Psy-Changeling novel by Nalini Singh. It concludes the first “season” of the series, with the second season known as the Psy-Changeling-Trinity-Series.
Finished on: 17.2.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other books in the series.]

Plot:
The Trinity Accord between Psy, Changeling and Humans is supposed to be a stabilizing factor that brings the world together after Silence has fallen. But not everybody is happy with that solution. The symbol for the new world order is Naya, the daughter of Lucas Hunter – leopard changeling and leader of DarkRiver, one of the biggest changeling groups – and Sascha – cardinal empath psy and the first to publically defect from Silence. So the Consortium – Trinity’s biggest opponent – want to kidnap her. But Naya is not the only (proposed) victim. Many changelings have already gone missing, especially the loose-knit water changelings. When a new clue to the disappearance of one of them appears, water changeling alpha Miane asks the other changeling DarkRiver and SnowDancer for help.

Allegiance of Honor deviates a little from the usual Psy-Changeling formula (and it is a formula) as it is an ensemble book. And I have to say, I greatly enjoyed the look back at many of the characters that haven’t featured so prominently since their own books.

While most of the people know each other in the book and are connected to each other, and there is a consistent, overarching plot to the entire series, each of the books in the series (and the novellas) are focused on one couple and how they find love with each other. That means the cast of characters has grown susbstantially over the books so far and there is simply no chance on checking in on everybody in every single book. At least not without throwing the central couple overboard.

And that’s what Singh has done here: there’s no new love story, but a quick check on everybody – all while the plot unfolds further. And while the plot development does leave enough open for the second season of the series, there is a definite sense of something coming to a close, an era ending, in all the bittersweetness that comes with that.

But I for one loved seeing all the familiar faces again. Since the books usually are pretty formulaic and Singh’s language, while crisp, has some favorite words that make an appearance regularly (“visceral” comes to mind), the first books of the series (and the couples that come with them), where everything was still fresh, do hold a special place in my heart and seeing them again was absolutely perfect.

I’m looking forward to reading the second season and see where the world continues to go. And the hope lives on that Singh will break through her pattern of heteronormativity and will feature at least one queer couple at some point (still my biggest complaint).

Summarizing: You don’t start with Number 15 of a series, but if you’ve come this far, you know what you’re getting into and Singh delivers consistently as usual.

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