Quiet Longing as Old as the Wood: Greenhollow Duology by Emily Tesh

Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country, by Emily Tesh
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Available on Bookshop.Org*

The Greenhollow Duology is a pair of novellas centered on Greenhollow, an ancient wood where a Wild Man (one Tobias Finch) lives alone in a cottage. At the beginning of the first novella, Silver in the Wood, Tobias meets Henry Silver, the new owner of Greenhollow Hall, landlord of the wood, and amateur folklorist. When Tobias is shot in the woods alone, it is Silver that finds him and insists on nursing him back to health in the Hall.

Of course, a Wild Man is not used to flirting, let alone with the flirting comes from a man awash in finery. And, despite Tobias's love of folklore, he doesn't quite realize that he's speaking to the Wild Man. Their coming-together is a series of quiet moments that feel much like the wood: an ancient dance of yearning, desire, and doubt. It feels like an old fairy story that unfolds languidly at first. However, when danger approaches, the careful dance becomes a frenzy.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE END OF SILVER IN THE WOOD

Drowned Country picks up some time after the end of Silver in the Wood. Tobias Finch has left the wood and joined Silver's mother in her work as a supernatural investigator. Silver has become the new Wild Man of Greenhollow when he gets called away by his mother to assist with a vampire hunt.

During this hunt, Silver is forced to work with Tobias, who he hasn't spoken to in some time. The once-happy couple is clearly estranged and unable to resolve the tension separating them. This is only complicated by the fact that hunting a vampire is a dangerous sport that sometimes requires saving each other.

Compared to where Silver in the Wood left off, Drowned Country feels a little jarring. As a standalone novella, it would have been enjoyable. However, I felt as though it was missing some of the happily-ever-after moments of Silver in the Wood and instead returned the reader back to its emotional tension. Of course, if that's something that you truly want more of, Drowned Country is a perfect follow-up. Otherwise, Silver in the Wood stands alone well.

Pick It Up If:

  • You want something that feels like the trailer for The Green Knight with its dark, awe-inspiring atmosphere
  • A romance between two men (one of whom is a supernatural being) is what you truly desire
  • Yearning between two characters makes the happy-ever-after even sweeter
  • A shorter book that involves a good amount of cluelessness from both sides of the romance

Content Notes:

  • Silver in the Wood:  Kidnapping, violence, emotional abuse (by a villian, not in the relationship) and one scene of gun violence
  • Drowned Country: Death, body horror, gore

Representation Notes:

  • Romance between two men

Next Week's Review: Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

*Transgenre Books is a Bookshop Affiliate, which is an online book marketplace that supports independent bookstores with profit sharing. If you make a purchase through a link to Bookshop.org, I earn approximately 10% in commission. Choosing to buy via my affiliate link helps keep this site free and running, but I also strongly support use of your local library and used bookstores.

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