Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood feels like climbing into a fairy tale and walking around in it. It takes place in a forest somewhere in rural England at a time that is hard to pin down. The forest, the Green Hollow, is home to dryads and a frightening Lord of Summer and who knows what else. It’s also home to Tobias, a man who has been alive for a very, very long time. Who knows how long he might have gone tending his wood if Henry Silver hadn’t walked in his door?
Silver in the Wood is narrated by Tobias. As much as I relish trying to figure out backstory from clues and chance references, it’s nice to be in the head of a narrator who actually knows what’s going on. Not only does Tobias know what’s going on, he also knows what’s at stake as he grows closer to Silver. The two men share an attraction but they couldn’t be more different on the surface. Henry is talkative and a little incautious. Tobias is the dictionary definition of taciturn and, even though he is very brave, he is wary of taking chances. As much as he tries to protect Silver from the darkness in Green Hallow, he fails to save him from the sinister Lord of Summer. The rest of the novella sees Tobias trying to get back the man who brought him back from his green somnolence.
My only criticism is that Silver in the Wood is far too short. At 112 pages, this book flies by and I wanted a lot more of the world that Tesh created for her characters. I especially loved the hints about the wider world I saw when Henry Silver’s mother showed up on the scene to start taking names and kicking butts. I just inhaled this book. I sincerely hope to see more from Tesh, especially if it features Tobias and Henry.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.