Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1) by Emily Tesh #WyrdandWonder


IMAGE CREDITS: Flaming phoenix by Sujono Sujono | Decorative phoenix by Tanantachai Sirival

SilverMy five word review: Green man myth beautifully reimagined

Silver in the Wood is a book I picked up for part of the month long event Wyrd and Wonder (details here).  This book wasn’t on my original schedule to be honest, but rules and schedules are meant for breaking.  I saw this, I wanted it, I bought it, read it and here we are. Simples.

This will be a short review for a short and beautifully written story.

The story centres on a character known as Tobias Finch.  A giant of a man, wild and woolly with twigs in his hair (or is his hair twigs?), who lives in a small cottage set deep in the forest.  A cottage that is impossible to find unless Tobias and his protective dryad allow it.  Tobias is the Green Man of ancient myth.  He roams the forest (like an ent) protecting the flora and fauna.  He’s feared and revered by the local folk although in essence he is a gentle character.  His world is changed when a young and beautiful man called Henry Silver enters his domain and steals his heart.  Of course there is more to the tale but I don’t want to give too much away.

The writing is what made this story for me.  Tesh is a talented author and I love her descriptions of the forest.  I wanted, and indeed did, immerse myself fully in the place she has imagined.  On top of this there is a lyrical feel to the writing which is exactly what I expect and long for when I’m reading a retelling – in fact a fairytale retelling because this book does include a fae character known as Red Fay.  This is the sort of story that makes you want to wander into the forest and see things with fresh eyes, is that a face in the bark of that old tree? Did you just see something dart into the stream out of the corner of your eye?  It’s a book that takes you back with almost childhood wonder to a time when stories were much more simple but, at the same time, it’s a story that really looks at some of the darker elements and early beginnings of those childhood tales.  There is darkness here which isn’t to be underestimated so be aware, or, beware.

There’s also a feeling that everything is much more than it is.  Not a great description I realise, but for example the names.  They all feel like they lend themselves to the tale and in fact feel like they have much deeper meanings.  Tobias Finch, Henry Silver, Bramble, Fabian, Greenhollow Wood.  They don’t feel like names simply pulled out of a hat – they lend themselves to the story and the descriptions and give it more power somehow.

I’m not going to say too much more.  This is essentially a love story, a tale that is dark and foreboding that concludes on a hopeful note.

In terms of criticisms.  Like with all short stories and novellas, well, I wanted more and in fact I think the story told here really demanded it, particularly given the style of writing.  If this had been written more in a simple fairytale style the shortness would have been easier I think but, for me, this is screaming to be given more page time which had it been forthcoming would have given the characters and their feelings more depth.

Slight criticisms aside this was a very quick and satisfying read, even if it did leave me, like Oliver, wanting more.

I bought Silver in the Wood and the above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 out of 5 stars

I would definitely pick up more books by this author.



17 Responses to “Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1) by Emily Tesh #WyrdandWonder”

  1. Tammy

    I have a copy of the second book and I’m curious to see where the author goes next. I loved certain elements of this story but overall I think I liked it a bit less than you.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah. I liked this but I had my usual too short’ issues. I think the characters and wider plot needed more time to develop. The writing and creativity were brilliant though.

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    You know which were the magical words that prompted me to add this to my “wanted” list? “Like an Ent”… 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. evelynreads1

    I love this cover!
    Great review! Definitely adding to my TBR!


    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a very unique book and I loved the writing.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I recently got an audio copy of book this and the sequel to review, hope to knock both off the TBR soon! So glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you love them both – I had my usual ‘would have liked more’ particularly for the scope involved but the writing is beautiful and the forest really comes to life. And it has a hopeful feel too which I loved.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Ola G

    I’m really intrigued by this – it’s on my TBR and waiting for an opportune moment 🙂 Great review, Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thank you – I hope hou enjoy it when you get the chance.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Maryam (@thecurioussffreader)

    Oh it sounds like a charming read! I usually enjoy Tor.Com novellas and the cover is gorgeous so I wanted to give it a try, you review made me want to read it even more. 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks – I hope you get a chance to pick it up. To be honest, novellas are not usually my thing but this was good (although I could easily have added another 100 pages NP).
      Lynn 😀

  7. Quest Log The Last: until the next time

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  8. waytoofantasy

    Like I said on twitter, really glad you enjoyed this one. I honestly didn’t mind the length (I’m so used to novellas now) but of course I would have loved to have had more of the story. The sequel comes out in August and it’s also quite good and set from Henry’s POV so you get to see him very a drama queen a lot–that was fun. 😉

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m looking forward to the sequel – sounds really good.
      Lynn 😀

  9. Wyrd & Wonder : Event recap #WyrdAndWonder | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1) by Emily Tesh (reviewed) […]

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