Darkhaven is a surprising and suspenseful fantasy in a uniquely drawn world. I was very drawn into the Changer myth, the forms that they can take and how the change manifests. I’m glad that Serenna did research into the Changers so that they were well explained. The characters are all engaging and thoughtful. I was captivated by Ayla unwavering devotion to her brother and steadfast character when she would rather be imprisoned than take her brother’s place on the throne. She also grew tremendously as a person when she was on the run with Tomas. Myrren was mysterious and strong, I admired that he did not hold a grudge about not inheriting the Changer gift or the throne; although I did figure out part of his mystery pretty early on. The best characters for me were the supporting characters, Serrena, Tomas and Sorrow added depth, personality and attitude. The mystery and suspense of Ayla’s escape, the extra Changer attacks and the mixed motives of the characters kept this book fast-paced, exciting and hard to put down.
This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review.
Goldenfire (Darkhaven #2)
Three years after Ayla Nightshade has inherited the throne to Darkhaven, trouble is brewing on all fronts. Ayla is finally more confident in her ability to change into her shapeshifter form, and taking care of everyday affairs for her kingdom. Tomas has been reinstated as the Captain of the Helm and has begun training new recruits. However, with the beginning of training comes a threat against Ayla herself, Tomas and the other shifters alive, Ayla’s nephew and brother. With the help of Tomas, Miles, Sorrow and some new recruits, Ayla will find a way to stop the assassin and bring some peace back to Darkhaven.
I loved jumping back into the world of Darkhaven with Ayla and Tomas. From the beginning, I could tell that Ayla has grown in confidence within herself and her changer form and I loved when she took charge using her brains and brawn. I’m glad that Ayla got to discover more about her form with Miles. The recruitment and Helm training was also interesting to learn about and I like that more of the Fifth ring was explored. The new recruits and the mystery assassin add danger and excitement. Ree quickly became another favourite strong female character and I can see her and Ayla becoming quite a team. I really hope that there will be more adventures in this fun, epic, and well-developed fantasy world of Darkhaven.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Windsinger (Darkhaven #3)
This is the third installment in the Darkhaven series. Windsinger provided a fast-paced, action filled and suspenseful ride in the wonderful world of Darkhaven. I was very pleased to see Ayla grow into a confident ruler, expand her powers, be comfortable in her Changer form and have nurturing relationships with her husband and children. The suspense and intrigue grows right from the start as Ayla meets with the Kardise ambassador. A twisted political scheme is set forth that involves many of the characters that I have gotten to know over the course of the series. I was glad to see Sorrow, Zander, Ree and Art have important roles. As the war rages on, I was also impressed to see Ayla in Alicorn form use her powers. As the end approaches, the tension rose to the point that I did not want to put the book down. I was surprised at all of the players tangled up in the scheme and how they thought everything would play out. Another awesome installment into the fantasy world of Changers and Darkhaven.
This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
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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