Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh
Publisher: Tor Dot Com
Publication date: 18 June 2019
Page count: 112 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is a spoiler-free review.
Much to my surprise, I have been reading and loving a number of novellas this year. While it is not a format I usually gravitate toward, I am finding myself loving these shorter tales. However, I do sometimes feel that novellas deserve to be full-length novels, and this was the case with Silver in the Wood.
There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.
When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart.
This will be a short review for a short book — I basically wanted just a little more of everything, but in the best way possible for a novella. From the world building and folklore that threads through the book, to the characters and their relationships, to various plot points that are touched upon, I just wanted everything about this book expanded and elaborated on. I really loved what Tesh gave us — especially the lush and gorgeous world building and atmosphere — but there was so much that I felt was left unexplored.
Tobias is a wonderful character that feels fully-fleshed out and so three-dimensional. If this book were longer, we could have seen more from Henry, an equally interesting character, and learned more about him as well. The chemistry between the two was lovely, but they had so much less interaction than I had hoped for, especially since this is marketed as a gay romance. If the book were longer, a really wonderful relationship could have sparked and developed.
I truly did really enjoy this book, but again just wanted that little bit extra because there was so much marvelous material to work with! Tesh’s writing is absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed the story. However I really do think that this book would have been better served as a short novel. Maybe I’m just being greedy.
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