Ansleigh’s Grotto by J.T. Cheyanne ~ Book Review by Beverley

I bought this book after a release event and because I love fantasy stories…

Ansleighs-Grotto Title: Ansleigh’s Grotto

Author: J.T. Cheyanne

Publisher: Laz & Lachi Publications

Cover Artist: Tracey Weston

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

Dylan Matthews lives in a world of fantasy. As a video game designer, there are no limits on how far or wide his imagination could stretch. He loves his work and excels at bringing the visions in his head to a game console. The luck of his Irish heritage seems to touch him when his prototype Zombie ApoXalypse is bought days after he inherits a mansion in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. Life is indeed magical.
Ansleigh has waited centuries for one man, only to find him and then lose him due to his own inability to trust in their burgeoning love. The magick of Mother Earth flows within him and through him allowing him to nourish the Grotto where he makes his home. Yet, he yearns for the male that nurtures his soul. When the whims of Fate bring his Cosantoir back into his life, does he have the courage to accept his heritage?
As the fantasies in his head become reality and the monsters of nightmares crawl through the forest, can Dylan forgive broken promises to protect the Croi? There is no pause button when the Fae and human worlds collide. Will Dylan have what it takes to master the maze and win Ansleigh’s freedom?

Beverley’sView:

I bought this book because I enjoy the fantasy sub-genre, and I’m not at all adverse to stories about the Fae, Elves and other mythological beings. One of my favourite aspects is the world building; how this world differs from ours; how it interacts with ours, or if it is totally different,  I enjoy the invented rituals, religions, mores and how the fantasy world operates.

I didn’t really get any of that enjoyment with this work by J.T. Cheyanne. Most fantasy world building was avoided by setting, the entire story and action within a grotto, part of the grounds of a private mansion..bequeathed to protagonist, Dylan. At first he was unaware of his connection to this place, as his memories have been removed (one of my least favourite literary devices). The other main character is Ansleigh (Leigh) who lives in the grotto, and has in fact, been a boyhood / young manhood friend /lover of amnesiac Dylan.

There are other characters who were quite cute, tiny warring sprites and an elf couple, these beings look after the mansion and Ansleigh. Okay, my problems with this work…

There is a mismatch between the writing and story. The story feels best suited to a much younger age group maybe just about YA, yet this novel contains a sex scene definitely not for YA or younger. The story of Dylan’s boyhood friendship with Ansleigh doesn’t work.

Ansleigh is supposed to be nearly four hundred years old…this age is explained as making him about Dylan’s thirty-three in Fae terms… If this is the case why was a man, as Ansleigh would have been when human Dylan was a young boy, playing with him in meadows and on swings etc…it didn’t work. There is only so much disparity an author can blame on magic.

My other problem was the grotto and magical elements –  for most of the story these are so Disneyesque as to be a little cheesy…Dylan falls asleep in the wood with squirrels, rabbits and birds singing and scampering around him. I expected to read of tiny birds hanging up the wet washing on the line at any moment. Sex and magic is a well utilised trope and can be very intense, often dark and sexy, but not here.

The characters are heavy with stereotyping…evil is black and smells of decay – good is golden and smells of Amaryllis and grass. Plus, why does the male sprite have to speak like Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins when he had never left The States?

Now, me wings will ‘ave to dry out before I can ‘ead back to the glen. Ye better tell that female to be’ave ‘erself.

Then we had presumed exposition totally out of place. Only 15% into the book when all we know is that Dylan has inherited a mansion full of magical beings living in an idyllic grotto…the sprites are bantering merrily when we are told,

They were both skilled and experienced in battle; Grail more so than Shea or Ansleigh combined.

What battle, with whom, where? It made no sense.

This short novel read like a third rate version of many different works…We have talking trees whose names and actions recalls ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Add to that ‘soul stealers’ or ‘sluagh’  were reminiscent of the  ‘Dementers’ from Harry Potter likewise, the alliance of magical beings, who all appeared out of nowhere for the battle straight from the Narnia.

While a lot of the folklore descriptions of characters were accurate, they served no purpose. It was as though the author had flicked through a dictionary of folklore for names. There was no atmosphere of magic and the ancients , and not really a lot of sexual tension between the protagonists, as they were constantly losing each other.

I had hoped for something, which with this novel was not delivered.

 

Buy Links


Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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