Book Review: Silver in the Wood

Emily Tesh

Rating: 4 out of 5.

published: 18th June 2019
spoilers? no


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.

Galley provided by publisher

If you’re like me, sometimes you just don’t have the patience to read a full length novel. Sometimes, all you want to do is read novellas because you can get through them quicker when your concentration is shot. So, really, Silver in the Wood was the perfect story.

It’s about Tobias, a man who lives on the edge of the wood. He isn’t an ordinary man – he knows dryads and keeps the people of the village safe when he needs to. And then one day Henry Silver, the new owner of the Hall, shows up at his cottage. And keeps coming back.

What I loved most about this book was how quietly magical it is. It’s based on some folklore, but it’s in the background for a lot of the book. I’m not entirely sure how to describe it best – it’s like the magic is an undercurrent to the rest of the book, but even when it comes more to the fore, it’s still quietly magical.

For the most part, it’s a very character-driven novella, which is great, because I loved all of the characters. (And also I think novellas work best when they’re character-driven else you’re trying to fit too much in, but that’s a whole different thing.) The major characters are obviously Tobias and Silver, but Silver’s mother is wonderful so, ultimately, the characters were what made the book.

The one tiny complaint I would have? Just over 100 pages is not nearly enough time to immerse myself in this world the way I wanted to.

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