As a huge fan of Nalini Singh’s books, I was super excited to get to review Allegiance of Honor. Even more exciting? Getting some insider info into the incredible world she’s created. I’m talking about Nalini Singh’s bestselling Psy-Changeling books, of course. Now let’s get to it!
The Review by SJ
4 Blue Ribbons
Nalini Singh has done it again, bringing a new chapter to her Psy-Changeling series with ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR. This is the 18th book in the series and should not be read as an introduction to the series, but rather as a rich addition to the storyline. It definitely falls after the last book, and there are a multitude of characters mentioned throughout.
Though not as action-packed as the other books in the series, this feels more like a book moving the storyline along. As Singh has mentioned, this story is transitional, edging the reader past the first arc, which completed in the last book, Shards of Hope. In ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR, readers are treated to snippets of previous characters’ lives and their cubs, seeing how they get on from earlier stories.
There is a missing changeling thread, as well as instability within the Psy Net to continue the storyline, but the book really belongs to the families developed in prior books. (Note, there is no central romance in this story, rather the continuation of previous romances already mentioned.)
We see Mercy and Riley and their eventual cubs, Sascha and Lucas with Naya, and more changeling and psy couples as they adapt to a new, tenuous form of alliances with Trinity, a conglomeration of changelings, psy, and humans working together to promote peace and harmony. There’s also a deeper look into the Black Sea changelings, as one of their own has gone missing.
It’s an entertaining read, and a must for die-hard Singh fans. But much of the story dwells in reviewing who’s who and what the characters have been through. For me, it was fun to look back at all the characters I’ve come to know and love throughout the books, but new readers may be confused at so many different characters and relationships.
As a continuity book, ALLEGIANCE OF HONOR offers satisfaction and a chance to delve deeper into the world of the changelings, which I always enjoy. The author is a gifted storyteller, apparent in what feels like an interminable time between her books. I can’t wait to see where Nalini Singh takes her amazing series next.
Now the extras…and from Nalini Singh herself!
Nalini Singh on the future of the Psy-Changeling series
Is Allegiance of Honor the end of the Psy-Changeling series?
No, it’s not. 🙂 I ADORE this world and the characters and I have so many Psy-Changeling stories yet to tell. (I’ve often joked that I’ll be writing this series until I’m ninety-eight!)
Where do you see the Psy-Changeling world going from here? Who is the next book about?
(Slightly spoilery answer to follow if you’re just starting the series).
Allegiance of Honor sets up a lot of possibilities for the future. There are many avenues I could take. However, for me, this arc is all about what happens not just to the Psy, but to the world, now that Silence has fallen and all the rules have changed.
We’ve had the immediate aftermath books, both of which focused on the Psy race (Shield of Winter & Shards of Hope), but what about the wider long-term future? Because Silence existed for a reason. The Psy still have these incredible abilities that have the potential to drive them murderously insane, and the world is still a fractured triumvirate. And there are players about whom we know very little, like the falcons and BlackSea.
As for whose book is next, I’m not ready to announce it yet because I want to be certain this character is ready – but I think you’ll be pleased. 😉
Excerpt from Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh
Lucas had had to chase Naya around the aerie at bedtime last night—her walk might still be a little shaky, but she was a rocket when it came to crawling. Dressed only in a diaper, she’d laughed uproariously and said a loud, firm “No” each time Lucas caught her and put her in her crib.
After which she’d clamber out—she’d figured out how to escape a month earlier—and the game would begin again. Of course, since Lucas was a cat, he’d been having just as much fun as their daughter. Sascha, meanwhile, had sat in the living room with a cup of hot chocolate and just indulged in the sight of her mate playing with their cub.
She’d had to pretend to be stern when Naya ran over and pleaded her case with loud sounds and wild gesticulations of her hands. “No, Naya,” she’d said, biting her tongue in an effort not to laugh. “It’s time for bed. Go with Papa.”
At which point, Naya had growled at her, eyes sparkling with mischief.
And Sascha had cracked, laughing so hard she’d had to put down her hot chocolate before she spilled it. Lucas had shaken his head as Naya plopped down on her diaper-covered butt and joined in, clapping her hands at having made her mommy laugh. “No discipline.” Lucas had mock-growled at her before picking up their misbehaving baby. “And you”—a growly nuzzle that made Naya laugh harder and pat his stubbled cheek—“time for bed.”
He’d finally got her to sleep—by walking around with her pressed up against his bare chest.
Today, their cub was playing in the living area just outside the kitchen nook. Sascha had locked the aerie door to ensure Naya wouldn’t undo the latch and go out onto the balcony, and Lucas had childproofed the entire main area of the aerie, so Naya was free to roam as she liked. A lot of the time she practiced her walking skills. And no matter how often she fell down, she started back up again after a little break.
Stubborn, determined baby.
Peeking out from the kitchen, Sascha found her concentrating on stacking the colored alphabet blocks Faith and Vaughn had given her as a gift. Beside her sat a more than slightly ragged wolf plush toy, aka “The Toy That Shall Not Be Named.” Hawke had given that to Naya when she was a newborn, and it remained her favorite snuggle toy, much to her father’s despair.
Though Lucas did enjoy it when Naya went leopard on the toy, growling and “fighting” with the wolf. Then he’d smile and say, “That’s my girl.”
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nalini Singh, 2016.