Hey everyone! Today is my book tour stop for Anela Deen’s newest fantasy release – In the Jaded Grove! I would like to thank Caffeine Book Tours for selecting me as one of the tour hosts. I’m always looking for more fae-centered books that have darker and more sinister themes, hence I was super excited that this book came my way.
Don’t forget to also check out the other tour hosts’ content by using following the hashtags #KindredRealmsTour and #CaffeineBookTours on Instagram and Twitter!
Simith of Drifthorn is tired of war. After years of conflict between the Thistle court and the troll kingdom, even a pixie knight known for his bloodlust longs for peace. Hoping to secure a ceasefire, Simith arranges a meeting with the troll king—and is ambushed instead. Escape lies in the Jaded Grove, but the trees of the ancient Fae woodland aren’t what they seem, and in place of sanctuary, Simith tumbles through a doorway to another world.
Cutting through her neighbor’s sunflower farm in Skylark, Michigan, Jessa runs into a battle between creatures straight out of a fantasy novel. Only the blood is very real. When a lone fighter falls to his attackers, Jessa intervenes. She’s known too much death to stand idly by, but an act of kindness leads to consequences even a poet like her couldn’t imagine.
With their fates bound by magic, Simith and Jessa must keep the strife of his world from spilling into hers—except the war isn’t what it appears and neither are their enemies. Countless lives depend on whether they can face the truths of their pasts and untangle the web of lies around them. But grief casts long shadows, and even their deepening bond may not be enough to save them from its reach.
Title: In the Jaded Grove
Author: Anela Deen
Publisher: Fine Fables Press
Cover artist: Jenny Zemanek
Publication date: 15 April 2021
Age group: New AdultGenres: Fantasy
- Filipino (main character)
- Secondary sapphic characters
Trigger and Content Warnings
- Death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)
“Matibay and walis, palibhasa’y magkabigkis.”
“A broom is sturdy because its stands are tightly bound.”In the Jaded Grove, Anela Deen
I received a copy of this book from the author and Caffeine Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
I honestly did not know anything about this book aside from its gorgeous cover, and that it is a portal fantasy standalone with fae in it – and I always did like those mythical creatures in my stories. To say I was pleasantly surprised and highly entertained is an understatement.
In the Jaded Grove is a very fast-paced, lyrical fantasy standalone that features the vast world of the fae world called the Kindred Realms wherein creatures such as fae, pixies, trolls and other faeirie creatures reside. In this book, we follow a pixie warrior named Simith who finds his hands tied when the species he has served for many years has turned against him. He then unexpectedly finds himself travelling through a portal towards the human world to escape his enemies, thereby encountering a human girl named Jessa on the other side of it. Both of them are suddenly thrust into a head-spinning series of events that force them to be near each other, and find themselves in the middle of a war in the Kindred Realms.
The characters were definitely something I really enjoyed and loved. Jessa and Simith were introduced with a lot of tragedy and grief in their lives, and it was clearly evident to see these emotions in them all throughout the book. The awful stuff that happened to them in the past (and continually haunt them) had not only served as a fuel to their actions, but also see parts of them that they needed to discover yet. It was also interesting to see how those things helped both Simith and Jessa out in this book, and them overcoming those tragedies. The other side characters, such as their friends and other faerie creatures, were also a nice treat that complimented the main characters immensely. The dynamics and relationships played throughout this book was evident and prevalent, and I would have wished to see a bit more of it. While there was a clear romance play in this book, I found myself not really getting attached to it because it just felt insta-love almost immediately, though it did occur in a slow burn motion. It was cute towards the end, but I wouldn’t have minded it if it wasn’t there.
The world-building and magic system were highly enjoyable. I always did enjoy a fae-centered story that featured the very dark and twisted core of the fae, and this book delivered. No cutesy, Disney-like creatures in this novel! Everything was very easy to understand and digest, and it was painted very vividly that it gripped me immediately. On the flipside in the mortal realm, I was actually really shocked that Jessa is a Filipina (yay!) so I could immediately put myself into her shoes so easily, especially whenever she talks about the language, culture, and little nuisances of every Filipino family. The mix of the magic and non-magic worlds were something that thoroughly entertained me and added a need spice into the world, especially with how both worlds were beneficial and disastrous to one another.
The plot very action-packed and fast-paced. It wasn’t short on action, adventure, and a lot of political scheming and intrigue. While it did have its few crazy twists and turns, it didn’t exactly have the wow factor for me, but it still kept my mind whirling. I also did find the pacing to be very fast for my liking. I don’t normally mind a quick read, the story just felt a bit too rushed for my tastes, and that some transitions could have been done better. It would have been really amazing to see certain scenes and events simmered further.
Over-all, I still highly recommend this book to any readers who are looking for a quick, heart-aching yet full of hope kind of fantasy tale. The poetry featured in this book also helped to give it more interest!
About The Author
A child of two cultures, this hapa haole Hawaiian girl is currently landlocked in the Midwest. After exploring the world for a chunk of years, she hunkered down in Minnesota and now fills her days with family, fiction, and the occasional snowstorm. With a house full of lovable toddlers, a three-legged cat, and one handsome Dutchman, she prowls the keyboard late at night while the minions sleep. Coffee? Nah, she prefers tea with a generous spoonful of sarcasm.