Title: In The Jaded Grove (Kindred Realms #1) // Author: Anela Deen
Date of publication: Published March 31st 2021 by Fine Fables Press // Print length: paperback, 333 pages
You can buy this book from Amazon
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.
Trigger Warnings: Violence, Trauma, Grief, Death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)
Diversity Tags: Filipino (main character), secondary sapphic characters
Writing Quality 5/5, Character Development 4/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 3/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Diversity 5/5, Originality 5/5, Overall 4.5/5
Before diving into the review, I want to thank Caffeine Book Tours and Anela Deen for giving me a review copy in exchange for an honest review! Now because things are settled, let’s start with the basics!
“His audacity would be charming if it weren’t so inconvenient.”
The first chapter kicked off with Simith cleaning his sword of blood, and this start reminded me a bit of A Curse So Dark and Lonely. There, the main male protagonist was asking himself how many people he killed this time. I have to admit, when I get weeks in a row without reading a solid book, this is a great place to start (catchy enough to keep me engaged, but not too confusing to make me mad). In the next chapter, the second protagonist, Jessa, was introduced, and her backstory surprised me to the point where I had to reread a few paragraphs (I won’t tell you more as you have to read to find out for yourself :))). She is an award-winning poetry writer with severe anxiety (among other stuff). After the 4th chapter, the book became a blast to read; the actual magic and action kicked it, and everything went down smoothly from there. You get shoved into your face amazing developed characters, an action-packed plot and world-building that leaves you speechless. I have to admit, sometimes I wished there was more of Katie, Relle or even Ionia, but this might be just personal preference.
“He wondered what his best friend would think of that, to have gained a friendship even after death.”
Another plus of this book was the slow burn romance between the two main protagonists. While reading the book, I kept rooting for the two, and even now, I want to see more! Being an action-packed novel came with a few consequences, as some parts of the novel felt rushed. Sometimes, I couldn’t even enjoy them properly, but it was all good in the end. This is one of the reasons why I gave this book four-point-five stars instead of five.
“Hope is the thing with feathers.”
I liked this book a lot and if you are a teenager that just wants to get acquainted with new adult fantasy books, while still enjoying a fast-paced novel with turns and twists that make you wanna scream, this book is for you! i highly recommend it, and I can’t wait to see what Anela has in store for the next one!
MEET 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.
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