Destiny (Rogue Angel #1) by Alex Archer
The first instalment of the Rogue Angel series brings together mystical history with an unassuming professional archaeologist. Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft with a mystical weapon might be a good comparison, but so would Jason Bourne meets Indiana Jones. Either way the first book in the series sets up a wild ride involving known history with an action edge.
The Rogue Angel series is about Annja Creed, a world-travelling archaeologist who has been given the sword of St. Joan of Arc. Raised by an orphanage, she travels the earth seeking adventure and relics. Destiny begins with Annja searching in the Cevennes Mountains of France for evidence of an 18th century monster known as “The Beast”. Although a trained Archaeologist, she earns her coin working for a cable TV show called Chasing History’s Monsters, which sensationalizes her work. Unfortunately for her, other people are searching for the remains of The Beast, including a French gangster known as Lesauvage and a mysterious order of monks. While trekking through the mountain chain, an earthquake splits the ground open, sending Annja into a cave beneath the earth. There she finds evidence of The Beast’s death at the hands of a warrior. On the run from the bad guys, she takes a medallion from the cave before the earth seals it back up.
She escapes to her apartment in Brooklyn with a rubbing of the medallion, but the same forces trying to prevent her from finding The Beast pursue her to the United States. By the conclusion of the novel, the reader learns how the sword of St. Joan can be summoned by Annja and what it can do in combat. The gangsters are punished and the innocent rewarded. But Annja has learned there are people still out there who are very interested in her and the sword.
Destiny also introduces two characters pivotal to the series: Garin and Roux. Both have been afflicted with immortality since witnessing the death of St. Joan. Roux was an alchemist who acted as the saint’s adviser, and Garin, the bastard son of a knight, his apprentice. They both were too late to stop the execution of the saint. They distrust each other and have maintained a tense relationship over the past half-millennia.
This is the first of an exciting series you don’t want to miss.
Words: Umar Mohammed