Stephanie M. Wytovich
Walking in Greenhollow Wood with Emily Tesh
I'm picky when it comes to reading book series, mostly because I have no self-control, so if I find myself in love with a world, that’s pretty much where I’ll be spending my time for the foreseeable future. See? Dangerous. Having said that, a few years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole with Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, and it quickly became one of my favorites, the next book in line always my most anticipated read. Funny enough, when I went to preorder McGuire’s upcoming Across the Green Grass Fields, I stumbled across another book that caught my eye: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh.
Now, have I been known to buy a book solely based on the cover? Absolutely. And this was a quick buy for me because it screamed nature and paganism and fantasy, and I couldn’t get it into my head fast enough. In fact, I ended up reading it in a day and then immediately bought book two in the series. Why? Because there are so many things to love about this book.
Silver in the Wood is pure green magic, and as someone who steadily devours books on plants and flowers and trees as part of her reading diet, I quickly found myself head over hills. This book follows Tobias Finch (who plays into the role of the Green Man mythos) and joins him in GreenHollow Wood, where he meets a man by the name of Henry Silver, a mortal man with a curious mind, a love of books, and a strong belief in magic.
Reading this brought me back to the first time I read J. R. R. Tolkien in that the feel of the story was very old world, folkloric, and cozy. This is a world of herbal remedies, storytelling, dryads, and fairies, and for me, it gets kind of hard to top that because I love reading about thick, luscious, forest fantasylands. I mean, the Ents were one of my favorite parts about Lord of the Rings, and Treebeard? Come on—he was awesome.
But not only did Tesh give me a storyline about sacrifices to the old gods, pagan altars, and insights into other supernatural creatures and happenings, she also gave me a m/m romance that had some of the sweetest flirtations and intimate moments that I’ve read in some time.
Overall, Silver in the Wood was such a refreshing, enchanting read and it definitely deserves a spot on your TBR pile. My suggestion? Read it under the sun around Midsummer with a cool glass of peppermint tea and maybe some lavender cookies. Just don’t forget to leave a bowl of milk and honey out for the fae. They’ll appreciate it, and you want them on your good side.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.