In Darkhaven, peace doesn’t last long.Ayla Nightshade has ruled Darkhaven for three years since the tragedy that tore her family apart. She has left her father’s cruel legacy behind and become a leader her people can believe in – or so she hopes.Tomas Caraway is no longer disgraced; he’s Captain of the Helm and the partner of the most powerful woman in Darkhaven. He will do everything to protect Ayla and their adopted son against all possible threats.But protecting the Nightshade family is no easy task: a weapon has been discovered that is so deadly, it can kill even the powerful creatures they turn into.A weapon that has fallen into the hands of an assassin who will stop at nothing to see Ayla dead.
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It has been a tough battle to finally gain the inner strength she needed to rule Darkhaven. Ayla Nightshade has had to overcome her own insecurities, the legacy her father left behind and to come to terms with her ability to shapeshift into a much feared protector. Now, almost the last Nightshade, it is up to her to see their bloodline lives on, but these are dangerous times and her life could be forfeit to her enemies. Does she have the allegiance of her armies to keep her safe and protect the kingdom? Even with her special guard, there are ways to slip past their forces and while she becomes a prisoner in her own castle, the hunt is on to find the hired assassin as shocking discoveries are made that will make the enemy almost invincible. There now exists a weapon of death that has no mercy. The only way to fight fire with fire is to find a way to gain access to as many as possible and train her warriors in a way of battle that seems less than honorable. In a world where loyalty either comes from the heart or gold coins, it is possible a traitor is in the midst and one unlikely female steps forward to serve, protect and uncover the treachery Meanwhile Alya struggles with her own doubts about those around her, can she even trust the one who claims to love her? Goldenfire by A.F.E. Smith is a journey into a dark fantasy world where war is more common than peace, treachery more common than trust and safety is almost impossible. Follow Alya, her captain of the Helm and Naeve Sorrow as they race against time and treachery to save Darkhaven and the powers of the Darkhaven bloodline. With great care to detail, a truly “otherworldly” feel and characters too numerous to count, A.F.E. Smith’s tale comes to life with a heart that one can almost hear beating! As in great fantasy, there are plots and subplots all woven together into an intricate tale of epic proportions as reality fades away. Immerse yourself in a wondrous world and realize that, even in fantasy, there are too many parallels to our reality. I received an ARC edition from Harper Voyager in exchange for my honest review.