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Darkhaven Paperback – 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
For mystery fans out there, this book is perfectly structured. It switches its point-of-view from character to character, including the villain (who is not necessarily the killer- no spoilers here!) In the hands of a lesser writer, such a delicate balancing act might fall to pieces, but not here. Darkhaven gives up its secrets one at a time, with a truly compelling final act.
The characters are vivid, fully realized people. Smith takes special care to ensure that the reader completely understands every person in the story- what they want and what they're willing to do to get it- and no two characters are alike. I could go on and on!!! This book is so good!
I was instantly caught up in Darkhaven's lush storytelling. Darkhaven is told in multiple POVs, and I loved the insight from all the characters. It made it like a web of information, all the paths consistently intertwining. A.F.E. Smith really has a gift for story telling.
I loved the characters - Ayla, Serenna, Myrron, Caraway, the whole cast was fantastic. It is rare that I love the entire cast of characters this much, especially in a fantasy world where there were so many primary characters. Regardless, I found myself rather attached to them and was sad to see the book come to an end.
I loved the intricacies of the Changers and the gift that surrounded them. It was fresh and new, yet still melded with many of the classical components of fantastical creatures.
The ending was so good, yet I want more. I would love to revisit this wonderful world and see what will come to past next, especially as the final chapters unravel a lot of answers and confirmed some suspicions I had.
I am very excited to see what A.F.E. Smith writes next. I personally am hoping for more fantasy, as Darkhaven was just brilliant.
Amazing. That’s the only word I can think of to describe this book. From the moment I began reading, I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading the last half of the book in one sitting. Yes, it’s that good! This book has everything – fantasy, sword battles, mythical creatures, shapeshifting, and more. All these elements are blended together perfectly in the world Smith has created. When you add in the cast of well-written, believable, likable (and not-so-likable) characters, you’ve got the perfect combination, at least in my opinion. I’m a sucker for complicated, multifaceted characters, and that’s what I’ve found in this book.
I would recommend this book to just about everyone. There’s so much that sets this book apart and makes it wonderfully unique. You won’t find better world-building and you won’t find better characters. I can’t wait to read more from this author!
Darkhaven has always been ruled by the Nightshades, a long line of Changers. But Ayla Nightshade, second-born and half-blood, never expected to be one of those rulers. Her brother’s gift has not yet manifested, leaving their father to declare Ayla as his heir, despite her objection and outright refusal to take the throne. And when a Changer is implicated in a series of attacks, suspicion falls squarely on Ayla as the only person capable of committing them. But Ayla swears her innocence and sets out to find out who is responsible. Her brother, Myrren, is convinced Ayla cannot be behind the attacks and sets out on his own quest for the truth. But sometimes the truth is more fantastical than one might expect, and even when it’s unexpected, can the truth still set you free?
This is a very well-written fantasy adventure and whodunnit that reads incredibly smoothly. It honestly did not feel at all like it was 400 pages–I was enthralled and entertained. The world that the author has created is rich and the characters are both endearing and frustrating at the same time.
The revelation of the Changer responsible for the attacks didn’t thrill me, but mostly because I’ve never been a fan of stories that resolve like that (trying very hard to avoid spoilers). That said, I did enjoy this one and recommend it to fans of fantasy and paranormal…with a hint of mystery and adventure rolled in.
Tomas quickly became my favorite character. He made the story for me! I loved the interaction between Ayla and Tomas. It added just the touch of romance for me.