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Darkhaven Paperback – 1985

4.3 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Darkhaven Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Australian Government Publishing Service. (1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008120730
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008120733
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,111,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I was obsessed with this book from the first page. Deceit, danger, betrayal, and a lot of danger set within a magical realm - Darkhaven has it all!

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When Ayla escapes captivity, she finds herself in greater danger than she ever imagined possible. She can’t return to Darkhaven – not without facing punishment for a crime she didn’t commit. Myrren, desperate to investigate his father’s murder and clear his sister’s name, finds more questions than answers. Ayla teams up with the person she swore she’d never forgive, while Myrren has to determine who he can and cannot trust as he endeavors to investigate a string of attacks. When the mystery is solved, the implications are shocking and one thing is certain- Ayla’s and Myrren’s lives will never be the same.

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!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book really took off for me when Ayla is on the run from Darkhaven and collides with Tomas, the guard thrown out years ago for failing to save her mother from a landslide. Ayla always blamed him for her mother's death, and now he might be the only thing keeping Ayla alive. If he can stay away from the drink long enough.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.]

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a brilliant blend of dark fairy tale, epic fantasy, and murder mystery, featuring a tight cast of intriguing, nuanced characters. Had a hard time putting it down once it got going. And the conclusion managed to wrap everything up in a bittersweet bow, while still leaving room for so much more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Darkhaven is a fantastic read- one of my absolute favorites of 2015. It's got everything- action, mystery, romance- but the story is uncompromised in spite of drawing from such varied elements.
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!
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