Title: Silver in the Wood
Author: Emily Tesh
Publisher: Tor Publishing
Length: 112 Pages
Category: Fairy Tale/Fantasy
At a Glance: Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood is a Green Man story, a little bit fairy tale and a whole lot of magic wrapped up in a writing style that flows like poetry off the page, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it left me a bit heart-heavy too.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: 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.
Review: Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood is a Green Man story, a little bit fairy tale and a whole lot of magic wrapped up in a writing style that flows like poetry off the page. This isn’t a story of man vs. nature as much as it is a story of man is nature, and though I don’t have synesthesia in any form, this story made me feel the color green and sense the divinity of the forest in the way we know things from instinct.
Tobias Finch is the forest. For four-hundred years he’s been its keeper and caretaker, living like a hermit in his little cottage protected by the ancient giant oak as well as his friend Bramble, a dryad. Tobias is the Wild Man the villagers have been taught about through their oral and written traditions passed down over the centuries. When a curious human by the name of Henry Silver lands on Tobias’s doorstep one rainy day, Henry sets in motion a series of events, including an awakening in Tobias. And in time, as the seasons change, Henry also unwittingly invites the unwanted attention of a connection from Tobias’s past to the little cottage in the Greenhollow.
The forest has long been a harbinger of the dangerous and a guardian of the mystical in fairy tales. It’s the shadowy hallowed place in which the natural and the metaphysical coalesce, and it is a place of abstraction and self-discovery for those who wander through the dark and the light. Tesh incorporates these elements into her story while inviting readers into an arcane realm that reads like a dream we have the good fortune to be a part of. There is an evolution that takes place on the parts of both Tobias and Henry over the course of their story which figures prominently into the theme of a life well-lived being the life that one is best suited to rather than the life which appears is the only option. The story culminates in a lovely way, ending on a bittersweet note, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it left me a bit heart-heavy. Tesh’s delivery hits all the right notes.
For lovers of fairy tales, this short novel is a treat.
You can buy Silver in the Wood here:
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