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.
A.F.E. Smith is an editor of academic texts by day and a fantasy writer by night. She lives with her husband and their two young children in a house that was apparently built to be as creaky as possible. She can be found on Twitter @afesmith
Ayla Nightshade prepares to meet with the Kardise ambassador to sign a treaty between Mirrorvale and Sol Kardis. However, negotiations are halted as the ambassador is discovered dead in his chambers, poisoned by the same bottle of taransey he and Ayla had shared the night before.
Ayla has been framed for murder and the peace between two kingdoms is at stake. Tomas Caraway and his Helmsmen must rush to prove her innocence before war destroys all they have fought for.
Along the way they discover the plans for a Parovian airship, the Windsinger, which reveal a chamber designed for a special cargo: a living one.
Together Ayla and Tomas set out to uncover their real enemies – a search that will lead them closer to home than they ever anticipated.
Yet her half-brother Myrren hasn’t inherited the family’s ability to shapeshift, so their father, Florentyn, forces Ayla to take over as heir to the throne.
When Ayla is accused of Florentyn’s brutal murder only Myrren believes her innocent and aids her escape. A fugitive from her own guard, Ayla must now 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.
But does something more sinister than the power to shapeshift lie at the heart of the Nightshade family line?
"A masterwork of horror."— Time
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. The journey across the highway of Charlie's twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
Then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble...and finds her way to Charlie. That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie's evil is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx hasn't stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won't slow down until he's taken his revenge. He's after something very special—something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds, Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all—or die trying.