Published by HarperVoyager on July 2nd 2015
Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven. But her half-brother Myrren – true heir to the throne – hasn’t inherited their family gift, forcing her to take his place.When this gift leads to Ayla being accused of killing her father, Myrren is the only one to believe her innocent. Does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?Now on the run, Ayla must fight to clear her name if she is ever to wear the crown she never wanted and be allowed to return to the home she has always loved.
You know the feeling; you open a new book with that everlasting hope that you’ll experience one that’s beautifully descriptive with lush storytelling, compelling characters and an amazing plotline that you just wish for every time you crack open a new read and on occasion are fortunate enough to experience.
DARKHAVEN is one of those books.
I loved every single minute of this compulsively readable book. Fantasy can be a tricky genre, at times it can get weighted down by the need for a back-story that strangles the plot or it can go to the other extreme where there’s a vague sense of the fantastical without any real evidence or structure to back it up. DARKHAVEN strikes the perfect balance, dropping just enough info throughout the book to give the reader a real sense of the world Smith has created without letting it overwhelm the proceedings and coming across as clunky and strangling the storyline.
With wonderfully realised characters and boatloads of development, Darkhaven provides the reader with multiple POVs that are each distinct in voice and personality. Layering elements of darkness and twisted plot devices that keep the readers on their toes, while providing real human emotion and heart at the centre of its storyline, I was hooked from the very first page.
The intricacies of the Changers mythology, their bloodline and tenuous grip on the power and control of the people along with a story that was at times bleak yet hopeful, sordid yet heart-warming and fast paced, witty writing that will leave you panting for more made this book one of my favourites I have read this year.
Action packed, with a mysterious and suspenseful tone that will always keep you guessing, DARKHAVEN has made A.F.E Smith an auto-buy author for the future.
Scavenger Hunt Clue!
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. So far, she hasn’t mixed up the two. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that someone built to be as creaky as possible – getting to bed without waking the baby is like crossing a nightingale floor. Though she doesn’t have much spare time, she makes space for reading, mainly by not getting enough sleep (she’s powered by chocolate). Her physical bookshelves were stacked two deep long ago, so now she’s busy filling up her e-reader.
What A.F.E. stands for is a closely guarded secret, but you might get it out of her if you offer her enough snacks.
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