Hey Librarians! Long time to see but I just *had* to post about this book! And after you read about it, I’m sure you’ll see why 😉 Don’t forget to enter the tour-wide GIVEAWAY at the bottom and check out the start of the tour to begin the SCAVENGER HUNT!
Author: A.F.E. Smith
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: 2 July 2015 (ebook), 14 January 2016 (paperback)
Price: £1.99/$3.99 (ebook)
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.
The priestess was an attractive woman. Myrren eyed her sideways as they walked together through the corridors of Darkhaven, their pace slow and steady to make allowance for her injured ankle. Despite the thin veil covering her head – required costume for a priestess outside her own temple – her hair shone like polished bronze in the light from the gas lamps. He couldn’t make out the freckles that he knew were scattered across the bridge of her nose like seeds on a fresh-baked roll, but the curves of her body were clear enough through her high-necked gown. There were very few women in Darkhaven; it was a place for men, hard-eyed and dour. Serenna was like a bright bird caught within its walls, something vibrant and incongruous.
As though sensing his hungry stare, she turned her head to look at him. Quickly, he averted his gaze. During their previous conversation, her frank grey eyes had met his without any hint of judgement.
He had liked that; he was used to people judging him. He didn’t want to spoil it by making her uncomfortable.
‘I hope I haven’t caused you too much inconvenience by asking you to come here, Sister Serenna,’ he said. ‘The high priestess seemed happy enough when I spoke to her, but I know how these things can be.’
‘No inconvenience, my lord.’ Her voice rose and fell in measured cadences, like the bells of her temple; he’d noted that about her on their first meeting. ‘The Altar of Flame is always open to those who seek advice – though admittedly, it’s rare for us to leave the temple in order to give it. The high priestess was glad to be of service to Darkhaven.’
‘You can stay in Ayla’s room,’ Myrren said. ‘I hope that will be all right. Our guest rooms are really not in a usable state.’ He shot her another sideways glance. ‘The Nightshade line doesn’t receive many visitors. I can’t think why.’
He saw the lifted curve of her cheek; she was smiling beneath the flimsy veil. But her voice remained as cool and even as always.
‘I assure you, Ayla’s room will be more than sufficient. I am used to far more ascetic surroundings.’ She stopped, leaning on her cane. ‘But first, I think it would be a good idea for me to see your father’s body.’
Surprised and rather dismayed, Myrren tried to make out her expression beneath the veil. ‘Are you sure that’s –’
‘If I am to help you, I need to know as much as possible,’ she said. ‘And that includes seeing with my own eyes how your father died.’
About A.F.E. SMITH
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.
Find A.F.E. Smith Online
Click here to go to follow the tour and get all of the letters for the Scavenger Hunt: www.afesmith.com/darkhaven-blog-tour Speaking of the scavenger hunt…here is my letter! (My letter is ‘T’ in case the picture doesn’t show up!)
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..it’s
Now that you’ve read about DARKHAVEN, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!