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In the Jaded Grove

  • Title: In the Jaded Grove
  • Author: Anela Deen
  • Publisher: Fine Fables Press
  • Cover artist: Jenny Zemanek
  • Publication date: 15 April  2021
  • Age group: New Adult
  • Genres: Fantasy


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.

On-page Representation

  • Filipino (main character)
  • Secondary sapphic characters

Trigger and Content Warnings

  • Violence
  • Trauma
  • Grief
  • Death of a loved one (in the past – not on page)

Book links:


Fantasy novels have been a major part of me growing up and I am so glad to add In the Jaded Grove to add on to this list! Ohh boy I loved reading this book! We have two main characters – Simith who’s a famous pixie-warrior serving the fairies and another one is Jessa who is an award-winning poet and has suffered through great loss in the process of which she has forgotten herself as well.

Fairies have been at war with troll kings from a lot of time and it is when Simith goes to make peace with the troll kings, he meets Jessa due to a trap which leads him into danger. It does not follow the typical ‘chosen one’ trope as seen in many other books which makes it significantly more different and far more interesting. It was amazing to read how the novel was written – it was quite balanced in its writing style, giving the right feelings at the right moment. I was genuinely intrigued by how the book started and that is actually what roped me in the book, except the fact that we have Asian casting here!

As of lately, I have been obsessed with Asian books (nothing surprising really) and I was so happy to see the ownvoices representation here. And while I don’t like it when adventure is mixed with love, this one was an amazing read and I loved the casting and shipped with my whole soul! I am eagerly waiting for the second part!

Author Info

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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