Rogue Angel is a paperback series of novels produced bi-monthly since July 2006 by Harlequin Enterprises, published under a succession of imprints and written under the house name of "Alex Archer". Actual authors are credited with small notes inside the books, but not on the front covers or spines. The main character is Annja Creed. Each novel offers an adventure based on history or mythology, with a heavy fantasy slant.
- 1 Background
- 2 Characters
- 3 Series listing
- 4 Adaptations
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Although these books can be read individually as discrete adventures, when read in order some continuity of character development and sub-plots is apparent.
Typically, each volume is named for a historical or mythological artifact around which the plot revolves. The plot structure tends to be formulaic: The heroine discovers the item in question, only to have it stolen by, or be herself abducted by, the villain or a more nebulous third party, motivated by their believing that it holds some special power or significance. In the course of the story, the heroine and the reader often learn a little more about some historical period and the people who lived in it.
The series was first envisioned by Randall Toye, a Harlequin executive who fell in love with the history concerning Joan of Arc and wanted to develop the idea of a present-day Joan. Veteran action-adventure editors Feroze Mohammed and Nicole Brebner teamed up with Mel Odom to flesh out their series.
Rogue Angel's premise and execution displays similarities with earlier franchises such as the Witchblade comic book (published since 1995) and TV series (2001-02), Tomb Raider (1996-present), and Outlanders (1997–present).
Annja Creed is a world-traveling archaeologist with a penchant for arcane history and adventure. Heir to Joan of Arc's mystic sword and a nebulous heroic destiny, she frequently finds herself exposed to both. She is portrayed as beautiful and intelligent.
Growing up in an orphanage, Annja, partly due to her lack of knowledge of her own origins, developed a love of history, as well as an interest in martial arts. She then earned a college scholarship and achieved a Masters in Archeology, concentrating on medieval and renaissance time periods, while also acquiring specialized knowledge in anthropology and art. She has written several scholarly as well as popular-scientific articles and books.
Not long after graduating, Annja was offered a job working as a host on Chasing History’s Monsters, a syndicated television show investigating all manner of cryptids drawn from pop culture, folklore, and mythology, and occasionally less far-fetched types of "monsters" such as serial killers. She tries to bring a certain amount of factual material to the episodes she hosts, but the show's producer insists on a more sensationalist and speculative slant. This regularly frustrates her, but the salary and expense account involved allow her to travel freely, and she often puts her status as a minor celebrity to good use.
She resides in a loft in Brooklyn, New York.
When Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy, her sword was shattered by an English soldier, and the fragments were widely dispersed. However, Roux and Garin, two of the knights in her personal retinue, were cursed with immortality in order to be able to eventually track down and reassemble the artifact.
Annja was present when this came to pass, and at her touch, the blade magically reformed, making her its new bearer. It cannot be taken from her against her will, and she has the power to remove it to and retrieve it from a supernatural location referred to as "the Otherwhere". This process works regardless of the Sword's current location, giving her the ability to, for example, use the weapon as a projectile and then immediately recall it to her hand.
Moreover, it also enhances her general constitution and helps her recover from injuries.
Roux is apparently in his sixties, but has actually been alive for more than five hundred years. The precise extent of his immortality has not been revealed, though one of the later books (River of Nightmares) shows that it is not merely longevity but imbues him with an ability to recover from wounds that outstrips even Annja's.
He and Annja are in a mentor-protege relationship, however reluctant and long-distance. At the same time, he has his own agenda, such as tracking down a variety of other purportedly magical items for reasons ranging from simple personal ambition to the genuine desire to keep them out of hands that would use them for harm, and he is not above manipulating others, including Annja, to accomplish this.
Garin Braden was Roux's apprentice in Joan's day. Physically, he falls squarely into the "tall, dark, and handsome" category, and he has grown considerably wealthy and powerful, with a wide range of employees and resources at his beck and call. He is arrogant and ruthless, but also experiences and acts on the occasional selfless impulse.
His relationships with both Roux and Annja are complicated. He was initially afraid that the reforming of the Sword would put an end to his longevity and consequently made several attempts to destroy or at least separate Annja and the artifact. This concern lessens over time, though, and he increasingly develops fondness of and respect for her. His feelings towards Roux appear to be a mix of deep-rooted attachment and resentment.
His main residence is in Germany, but his lifestyle is even more cosmopolitan than Annja's.
Doug Morrell produces Chasing History's Monsters and is a stereotypical media personality - young, supremely self-involved, and with a staggering disregard for facts, especially when they threaten to get in the way of ratings. His relationship with Annja is sufficiently solid to survive the frequent disagreements this causes, though.
- Renaissance (2008) collects
- Destiny (July 2006) (written by Mel Odom)
- Solomon's Jar (September 2006) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Spider Stone (November 2006) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Chosen (January 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- Forbidden City (March 2007) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Lost Scrolls (May 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- God of Thunder (July 2007) (written by Mel Odom)
- Secret of the Slaves (September 2007) (written by Victor Milán)
- Warrior Spirit (November 2007) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Serpent's Kiss (January 2008) (written by Mel Odom)
- Provenance (March 2008) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Soul Stealer (May 2008) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Gabriel's Horn (July 2008) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Golden Elephant (September 2008) (written by Victor Milán)
- Swordsman's Legacy (November 2008) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Polar Quest (January 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Eternal Journey (March 2009) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Sacrifice (May 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Seeker's Curse (July 2009) (written by Victor Milán)
- Footprints (September 2009) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Paradox (November 2009) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Spirit Banner (January 2010) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Sacred Ground (March 2010) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- The Bone Conjurer (May 2010) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Tribal Ways (July 2010) (written by Victor Milán)
- The Dragon's Mark (September 2010) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Phantom Prospect (November 2010) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Restless Soul (January 2011) (written by Jean Rabe)
- False Horizon (March 2011) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- The Other Crowd (May 2011) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Tear of the Gods (July 2011) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Oracle's Message (September 2011) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Cradle of Solitude (November 2011) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Labyrinth (January 2012) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Fury's Goddess (March 2012) (written by Jon F. Merz)
- Magic Lantern (May 2012) (written by Mel Odom)
- Library of Gold (July 2012) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Matador's Crown (September 2012) (written by Michele Hauf)
- City of Swords (November 2012) (written by Jean Rabe)
- The Third Caliph (January 2013) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Staff of Judea (March 2013) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- The Vanishing Tribe (May 2013) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- Clockwork Doomsday (July 2013) (written by Mel Odom)
- The Babel Codex (September 2013) (free novella, written by Mel Odom)
- Blood Cursed (September 2013) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Sunken Pyramid (November 2013) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Treasure of Lima (January 2014) (written by Joseph Nassise)
- River of Nightmares (March 2014) (written by Jean Rabe)
- Grendel's Curse (May 2014) (written by Steven Savile)
- The Devil's Chord (July 2014) (written by Michele Hauf)
- Celtic Fire (September 2014) (written by Steven Savile)
- Pretender's Gambit (November 2014)
- Deathmask (January 2015)
- Bathed in Blood (March 2015)
In January 2007, GraphicAudio began releasing the books in a dramatized audio format, starting at issue #1.
As of October 2014 they've produced the whole series up to Rogue Angel #48 "Grendel's Curse", which can be bought on the North American Continent. They continue to produce the series, it's unknown if worldwide will be forthcoming.
- Series listing @ harlequin.com.
- Series listing @ graphicaudio.net (for the dramatized audio adaptations).
- Rogue Angel series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
- Detailed listing @ jamesaxler.com (unofficial site for another of Harlequin's corporate personas).