Silver In The Wood by Emily Tesh Review

Silver In The Wood by Emily TeshSilver In The Wood by Emily Tesh

Publisher: Tor.com (Tor Books)

Release Date: June 18, 2019

Pages: 112

Available Through The Book Depository: Silver In The Wood

Summary: 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.

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Silver In The Wood is a captivating, enchanting, and atmospheric novella debut which follows Tobias Finch whose looked after Greenhollow woods for hundreds of years and the new owner of Greenhollow Hall, Henry Silver! Tesh delivers an introspective tale, rooted in folklore and legend!

Ever since I read Forest Of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal back in 2016, I’ve loved keeping up with the latest novellas from Tor! No matter which one I pick up I can always expect to be transported to a unique and memorable world!

Silver In The Wood was no different! In my Cozy Fall Recommendations post that I shared recently I actually featured this book, and let me just say that the lush and detailed forest imagery and focus on folklore definitely deliver on that fall atmosphere!

This was a novella I got through in one sitting and I can’t wait to read future books in this series! Despite the length, I felt there was a great understanding of the world, mythology, and its characters.

Its very much a reflective and introspective kind of story as we follow Tobias who is tethered to the Greenhollow woods, looks after its visitors and other forest creatures (dryads, etc.). Tobias’s journey changes course when a there’s a new owner of Greenhollow Hall, Henry Silver.

As the two connect, we learn more about them, alongside the mythology and folktales that have rooted themselves deeply in their world.

Apparently the story was inspired by the Green Man myth, which I didn’t know going into it. But, I felt that going into it with vague knowledge on the plot actually made the reading experience so much fun!

Continuing with the story, Henry always finds himself coming back to Greenhollow where Tobias lives. As the two grow even closer, we learn more about Tobias and his past, including the fact that Henry may be in danger!

What I appreciated about this book so much was that there were layers to the characters that get expanded on and get revealed at a steady pace. There’s questions I had about Tobias and Henry’s past, but it was at the most perfect moments where I finally got my answers.

Tobias, we learn has lived for so long that he’s grown accustomed to the world around him, but hasn’t really found a place to set down roots. Tesh explores Tobias’s internal journey so wonderfully as he reflects on the legends of the world, the forest around him, and his growing relationship/dynamic with Henry through a detailed and personal POV.

According to a blog post from Tor, Tesh’s inspiration for the setting was inspired by:

“the ancient woodlands of the British Isles, places which although they may seem wild are in fact witness to centuries if not millennia of carefully managed relationships between human beings and the natural world…”

You can sense the imagery with the way Tesh just weaves together the details of the setting and how it becomes part of the characters in a big way too!

Through Tesh’s writing there’s a sense of wonder and charm to the woods that’s delivered through the 3rd person POV! It really shines as it dives deep into the legends of the world and how it connects to our main characters.

Another elements that are woven all throughout (which I loved) were the themes of story and storytelling. The folklore of of a notorious bandit (Red Fay), Henry’s old maps of Hallowed Woods, Tobias’s dryad friend Bramble, its these details that really bring the world to life to present a folktale within a folktale. Its lush, atmospheric, and finds its roots in the folklore/legend that’s layered into the story.

What Silver In The Wood does in such a fantastic way is weaving together the legend and folklore of the past and showing how it influences the present, as seen through 23-year old Henry, who we learn is a folklorist who is eager to learn and study more of the tales of the Hallowed Hall & woods!

That also includes the tale of Fabian Rafela (which Tobias is very familiar with). I won’t spoil what happens, but that adds another layer of mystery and conflict to the story that really keeps you hooked nearing the middle to end!

The romance between Henry and Tobias is brought to life through the quiet moments they have with one another that builds so much depth and emotion to different layers of the story.

The novella does have a bit of a slow pace to it, but the writing-style really makes the pages fly by!

Also, have I mentioned that Tobias has a very loyal cat named Pearl? 🐱

I definitely recommend this novella if your looking for an atmospheric novella, rooted in folklore, legends, followed by a delightful and unique cast of characters!

Silver In The Wood is an immersive novella that is rooted deep in folklore and legends! This is an introspective and character-driven tale that also delivers lush and atmospheric forest imagery! Its Tobias and Henry’s journeys that really root you in the story and keep you hooked till the very end! You’ll be left wondering what new adventures Tesh has set in the world of Greenhollow! 

Cozy Fall Book Recommendations! 🍂📚

As we make our way through October, I felt a burst of inspiration to share a list of books that I’d recommend as cozy fall reads! Today’s bookish list consists of YA, Manga + Light Novels, Graphic Novels & SFF! 🍂📚💖

These books are perfect to read with perhaps a cup of tea or a delicious fall treat. I’ve read most of these books and from my reading experience feel they fit that feeling of the fall. But, I’ll also be sharing some books I haven’t read and recommend purely based on summary, cover or expectations, finding they fit the atmospheric fall theme!

Hope you enjoy today’s list and let me know what you think of these recommendations or feel to comment! ✨ Are there any books you think are perfect cozy fall reads? 🍂📚🍵

Graphic Novels

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O' Neill1. The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

Why: From its fall and spring scenery to the warm seasonal color palette, alongside its sweet, wholesome story, this is a perfect fall read! The art is soft and detailed giving you those cozy fall vibes in this utterly charming graphic novel! The Tea Dragon Society is story about friendship, craft, and overall is a delightful read! (Full Review)

Summary: From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own. 

The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill2. The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

Why: Once you pick up The Tea Dragon Society, you won’t want to miss this prequel! The story is filled with adventure from treks through the forest, festival planning, to the quiet moments of everyday life such a cooking, being with family and important themes of friendship and identity! What makes this a great fall read is that each panel is weaved with a beautiful array of color that brings to life the dense and whimsical forests, open fields, sunsets, open sky, and and timeless magic of nature! This addition to the series expands on the beautiful Tea Dragon world, even more! This series is SO beautiful from its diverse/inclusive representation to the wonderful messages it weaves throughout, alongside the utterly captivating stories! These are fantastic graphic novels to pick up! (Full Review)

Summary: Rinn has grown up with the Tea Dragons that inhabit their village, but stumbling across a real dragon turns out to be a different matter entirely! Aedhan is a young dragon who was appointed to protect the village but fell asleep in the forest eighty years ago.

With the aid of Rinn’s adventuring uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel, they investigate the mystery of his enchanted sleep, but Rinn’s real challenge is to help Aedhan come to terms with feeling that he cannot get back the time he has lost.

Manga & Light Novels

Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama Vol. 11. Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama

Why: The art in this manga series is a true masterpiece evoking the style of old fairy tale illustrations, its detailed and utterly breathtaking! There’s attention to detail in each panel and it offers a perfect whimsical read for fall. The story follows Coco who dreams of becoming a witch, but she and many others live in a world where magic is known by only select few! Soon, she’s given the chance to learn what it takes to be a witch and embarks on a new adventure with the help of her magical instructor Qifrey! The themes, storytelling, world-building, artwork― basically every element of this first volume are phenomenal, I highly recommend this stellar manga! (Full Review)

Summary: In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with the gift for magic. She’s resigned to her un-magical life, until a traveling magician passes through her village, and Coco learns what what everybody “knows” might not be the truth.

Restaurant To Another World by Junpei Inzuka and Katsumi Enami2. Restaurant To Another World by Junpei Inuzuka + Katsumi Enami (Illustrator)

Why: In all honesty I haven’t read this light novel, but my sister has told me such great things about it and the story sounds so unique! The cover itself and the fact it focuses on cozy + delicious dining are why I’m recommending this as a great fall read! There’s a seemingly normal restaurant called “Western Cuisine Nekoya,” however on a certain day each week, the door connects to another world where magical creatures from all over come to dine in the restaurant! The summary itself is giving me such cozy fall vibes, I can’t wait to read this + it also has illustrations (you can definitely expect a review on this in November)! 💖🍂

Summary: In Tokyo lies a small restaurant called “Western Cuisine Nekoya,” ordinary in every way—save one. Every Saturday, its door connects to another world! Follow along as a cavalcade of curious guests from half-elves to samurai, dragons, halflings and vampires enter its premises, all with the same goal in mind: to fill their stomachs with the most mouth-watering of foods.

SFF

Silver In The Wood by Emily Tesh1. Silver In The Wood by Emily Tesh

Why: I have yet to read this Tor novella, but I am SO excited! I’m recommending this purely based on the cover, what I’ve gathered briefly (I have yet to read the full summary), and it looks like a deeply atmospheric forest-fairy tale! I have a feeling there’ll be a lot of descriptive forest and nature imagery, the only other thing I know is that there’s a cottage in the woods. Looking forward to reading this one!

Summary: 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.

A Recipe For Magic by Kat Howard and Fran Wilde2. A Recipe For Magic by Fran Wilde + Kat Howard + Wendy Xu (Illustrator)

Why: I remember reading this short story when it first came out and I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover! The story follows Lux as she tries to prove herself at Esmé’s Night & Day Bakery. This is a story about seeking the balance in life, family, and of course―magic! You learn more about Lux’s past, what brought her to the bakery and the unique magic of this world and how it influences the baking! I mean, this story is about a cozy, magical bakery and the two women that work there-it just sounds like an absolutely perfect read for the fall! (Full Review)

Summary: At the Night & Day Bakery, spells are baked right into the sweets, cakes, and pies–sugar magic for joy, grains of patience, dark as chocolate. 

Lux’s mother taught her three recipes, with three spells baked inside. Ever since, she’s haunted strange cities’ sweet shops and cafés, seeking the familiar smells. When she found them, she’d lied so hard her teeth ached in the telling: “Yes, I have experience, yes I understand this is a certain kind of bakery, let me tell you my favorite original recipe.”

When Esmé agrees to give her a job at the Night & Day Bakery, Lux thinks she’s found home again. But regret clings to her like the smell of smoke, and nothing ruins a bake like the smell of regret.

Young Adult

An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson1. An Enchantment Of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

 Why: Featuring fae autumnal prince Rook and painter Isobel, she must travel to the atumnlands of the fae to clear her name. The cover and main setting of the world itself, just evokes to cozy fall vibes! As I read this book I could picture the fall leaves and lush craft of Whimsy (baking, painting, art), even the setting of the autumnlands and Fae court where Rook lives! I highly recommend this descriptive, lush fantasy! (Full Review)

Summary: A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. 

when-the-moon-was-ours-anna-marie-mclemore2.When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Why: From painted moons, to roses growing from wrists, and pumpkins (even ones made of glass), Anna-Marie McLemore crafts an immersive, lush, and captivating Magical Realism tale that will immerse you from page 1! This book in particular evokes fall vibes that you just have to read and discover for yourself, from their detailed prose to the vivid imagery you can sense through every element of the story (characters, setting, themes, story, etc.) I highly recommend this gem of a book! This book also features one of the sweetest YA couples I’ve ever read (I still think about them): Miel & Sam! 😭💖🌙🌹 Their friendship+relationship is an incredibly important foundation of the book! I highly recommend this novel if your looking for an atmospheric fall read that while also evoking dark folklore elements, but is a bright and shining light in SO many ways! Please pick up their wonderful book, you will not be disappointed (Full Review)

Summary: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town.

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

And that is my list of some cozy falls reads for your TBR! 🍂📚✨

Have you read any of these? Are there any other cozy books you recommend?