Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith

Synopsis: 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.

Review: I was quite curious about the novel after reading the synopsis. It must be said that the mixture of fantasy and shifters is also intriguing. I quickly wondered elsewhere if the fantasy side would not take over the story and what level of it the author would use here. Yet, I find that this side remains fairly light, which was very pleasant for me as it is something I prefer. Besides, I can tell you right away that I was surprised by the story and I had a great time with the whole thing.

Ayla and her brother Myrren have always been the disappointment of their father. The first because of the form she takes and the second because of his inability to take just any form. But now their father now wants to choose his heir, and although Myrren is the one who should become the new king, he wants Ayla to take his place. Alas, the girl doesn’t seem really interested by that and when she is accused of an attack, she is placed in prison until she changes her mind about the situation or she is proven guilty. Escaping during her father’s murder night, all tracks are turning toward her and everyone wants to find her to lock her again. But now, for the first time in her life, Ayla will be able to explore the world and to understand what she had missed so far! Accompanied by the man who left her mother to die younger, she will try to understand who is at the origin of her problem and she will try to find the killer of her father. Yet this quest might lead her to discover much more than she thought.

Yes the author perfectly manages to lead us by the nose and to surprise us throughout history. I loved Ayla. Although she knows very little of the world she is discovering about, she remains committed and tries to do the best. We also understand her doubts and fears, but we hope she will succeed in solving her problems. She begins to ask questions about the people she thought close to her and evolves dramatically over history in this way. I enjoyed Myrren too, he has no bad feelings about Ayla or about the fact that their father had decided to make her queen. Their commitment to each other is quite touching as this is not necessarily something that can be found in this type of books.

Yes I had a great time with the whole story and the characters. It is very easy to focus on all of them and I confess that I did not expect this end, I was really surprised. We find a mixture of conspiracies, love and mystery. I’m quite curious to see what will happen now. A very good first book to discover!

4

mellianefini

35 thoughts on “Darkhaven by A.F.E. Smith

  1. Not sure if my comment went through the first time so I’m going to try it again.

    Is this the first book of the series? This does sound like a very intriguing book and I’m really glad you liked it. 🙂 I have a thing for characters that go out for the first time and explore the world around them. Awesome review!:)

  2. The author contacted me about this book being on NetGalley but sadly it didn’t look as if it would be available for US reviewers, so I didn’t try to request. I’m glad it’s good though, maybe I’ll try to get a copy 🙂

  3. I love being surprised, although I noticed that it happens less and less. So I feel motivated to try out this one. And, like you said, there’s an interesting mix in there… Love the review <3

  4. This sounds like a great read. This is my first time seeing it. I look forward to finding out if it is a series. I love series, but I most definitely have more room on my reading schedule for some standalones. I will probably give this one a go either way.

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