Book Review: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

Rumors say a Wild Man lives in the woods, but most don't know the truth about Tobias's connection to the place. When a young man named Henry shows up and gets tangled up with something dark from Tobias's past, Tobias will have to decide how much he's willing to give up for Henry's safety.

Book Review: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh | reading, books, book reviews, fantasy, fairy tales and folklore, lgbt+
Title: Silver in the Wood
Pages: 110
My Rating: 3 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon, Publisher


*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*

I liked certain elements of this novella, but others just didn’t work for me.

I think this was just too short for anything to be very developed or for me to feel any connection to or between the characters. It’s not that novellas can’t be good, just that maybe this particular idea needed a longer book. The main character (Tobias) didn’t have much personality, the two characters hardly interacted much on-page, a lot of things weren’t explained, I was just kinda told that some things happened, and then the book was over. I felt very distanced from all of it. It was almost like a fairy tale though, now that I think about it, and maybe that was the point.

I liked the myth/folklore/fantasy element though. Tobias had an interesting connection to the woods. I also enjoyed learning the story behind the woods and Tobias and some of the supernatural stuff as it was given to the reader bit by bit. There was a dryad in the book too, and I think she was my favorite character. She was so sweet and protective.

This story had a good idea, but ultimately the execution just wasn’t right for me. Others may enjoy it more though, especially those who enjoy fairy tales, soft and somewhat open-ended romance, and woodsy magic.


Book Blurb

“A true story of the woods, of the fae, and of the heart. Deep and green and wonderful.”—New York Times bestselling author Naomi Novik

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.

Praise for Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood

“A wildly evocative and enchanting story of old forests, forgotten gods, and new love. Just magnificent.”—Jenn Lyons, author of The Ruin of Kings

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  1. Anne Clarence

    A shorter story can be fun to read because of how quick it is (less work), but that also meant that there’s a risk of underdevelopment. Were there any other shorter works that you actually enjoyed?

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree completely! I know there must have been, but I can’t seem to think of any right now except for this one series of fun m/m Christmas novellas I read one year by Charlie Cochet. And American Hippo by Sarah Gailey is a full book but it’s kind of two novellas put together.

  2. Olivia Roach

    I like a good fairytale! To me it sounds like this one suffers from something I worry every novella I read will be plagued with — being too short. It takes a lot of talent and careful planning for a story to be short and concise, but still wholesome. It sounds like this one fell short of that a bit :/

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does seem difficult to write a story that packs a punch but is on the shorter side. This one did fall for short for me, but idk, I’ve seen other people loving it, so I guess it’s all just personal taste.

  3. Jamie

    I remember seeing this book cover not long ago and thinking it was eye catching. I like novellas but the synopsis seemed so vague, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read it. I’m sorry this short didn’t work for you, while I like shorter form books I can definitely say that there is a certain art in telling a story in that small of a page count. Thank you for sharing your review!