Darkhaven (The Darkhaven Novels, Book 1)
A. F. E. Smith
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Ayla Nightshade never wanted to rule Darkhaven.
Yet her half-brother Myrren hasn’t inherited the family’s ability to shapeshift, so their father, Florentyn, forces Ayla to take over as heir to the throne.
When Ayla is accused of Florentyn’s brutal murder only Myrren believes her innocent and aids her escape. A fugitive from her own guard, Ayla must now 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.
But does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?
‘DARKHAVEN hooked me quickly with its assured prose, nonstandard secondary world, and willingness to explore shapeshifting from another angle … The prose remains elegant and assured throughout, and the story’s charms are enough to keep the reader engaged and interested’ In the Forest of Stories
‘I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and I was looking forward to finding out more about the shifter’s abilities and whether or not there were more shifters to be discovered. Overall, I loved the writing style … whilst the blend of characters complemented each other well and helped the story to flow at a good pace’ Book Chick City
‘The reader cannot help but be drawn in by such an amazing world in which the characters wander. The city runs on symbolism and ritual. Each person has a place, and each place has a meaning. The backdrop is beautiful, the characters are engaging, and although you might see the third act twist coming, Smith still provides plenty of surprises and intrigue to leave me eagerly waiting for what’s next’ Fangirls Read it First
‘What a very enjoyable start to series … a very engaging read that I really enjoyed and it ended on a perfect set up for the next book’ Lynn’s Books
About the author
A. F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that was apparently built to be as creaky as possible. She can be found on Twitter @afesmith
A fast paced and enjoyable read. Part fantasy, part murder mystery and with more than a dash of romance, it keeps you turning the pages. I think the best bit is the cast of complex and believable characters, who are all flawed in different ways but likable with it. I would definitely recommend this book.