In this dark fantasy by A.F.E. Smith, we meet brother and sister Ayla and Myrren, heirs to the Nightshade family throne. But they are not a regular royal family; but a family of shifters. Accused of attacking someone, the novel opens with Ayla fleeing the city, but things quickly become much more sinister when their father is murdered and Ayla stands accused as the last shifter remaining in her kingdom. She must prove her innocence and come to terms with the fact she may not be the only remaining shifter in the city.
Darkhaven is a book that hooks you in from the first page. You are plunged right into this world in the thick of the plot and keeps you tense and curious right up to the last page. And as this is a dark fantasy, there is a general somber feeling even when talking to a regular citizen of the city. I enjoyed experiencing this adventure with these characters; as they are interesting, conflicted, intelligently written, and grow with the story.
The end is wrapped up a little too easily in a rather messy bow; but with all the intrigue you are left wondering what the fate will be for the kingdom and the Nightshade line now. The way the shifter's abilities are handled is creative and quite beautiful and the limits imposed on this power are reasonable. If you like your fantasy with a bit of mystery, you will like this book.