Book Review: Silver in the Wood – by Emily Tesh

Standalone

Fantasy

Tor; June 18, 2019

112 pages (ebook)

3.8 / 5 ✪

Silver in the Wood is an interesting new play on the Green Man fantasy, most notably for its involvement of a man and a man. While the budding romance between Tobias—the keeper of the Greenhollow Wood—and Henry Silver—the land’s new, young owner—presents the real reason to read the book, the lore and legend given on the Green Man is… well, fairly bland.

Tobias has kept the Wood for centuries: tending the grove and its residents. He lives a simple existence with his cottage, his cat, and the Wood. But everything changes when a young, handsome, new owner Henry Silver arrives. Secrets from the past are unearthed—secrets Tobias would’ve rather just stayed buried. But once they come to life, neither Tobias nor the Wood will ever be the same.

Don’t get me wrong, the take on the Green Man (Tobias) and his story ARE interesting, but quite frankly the real reason to read is the romance. And as romances go, it’s… okay, I guess? I dunno, really. But I hardly ever—okay, I don’t read romances. Anyway, flirting gives way to the beginnings of something more, but only when the real magic of the Greenhollow reveals itself.

I’ve no issue with the man on man action in Silver in the Wood. I mean, romance is romance whether it’s between a man and woman, man and man, or woman and woman. It’s just I’m not much of a “romance as the main reason for reading” kinda guy. While the magic and mystery and lore of Greenhollow was interesting at first, ultimately it was just as hollow as the wood. Maybe if the novella had been fleshed out a bit more; the plot and setting dealt in more detail, greater description and definition given to the world itself, even more of a build-up to the outcome… maybe it could’ve been better.

I’m not sure what else to say about it. In short, the budding romance found in Silver in the Wood provides more than enough reason to entertain its readers, while the new take on the Green Man’s legend ultimately falls short due to a lack of depth and description. I really felt for the characters of the Wood, something I could not say for the world itself.