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This second volume of the Greenhollow duology once again invites readers to lose themselves in the story of Henry and Tobias, and the magic of a myth they’ve always known.

Even the Wild Man of Greenhollow can’t ignore a summons from his mother, when that mother is the indomitable Adela Silver, practical folklorist. Henry Silver does not relish what he’ll find in the grimy seaside town of Rothport, where once the ancient wood extended before it was drowned beneath the sea—a missing girl, a monster on the loose, or, worst of all, Tobias Finch, who loves him.

176 pages, Paperback

First published August 18, 2020

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About the author

Emily Tesh

6 books934 followers
Emily Tesh is a winner of the Astounding Award and of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. She is the author of the Greenhollow Duology, which begins with Silver in the Wood and concludes with Drowned Country. Some Desperate Glory, her first novel, was released in April 2023.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,247 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
321 reviews153k followers
August 21, 2022
Drowned Country is about Henry Silver, and where Tobias Finch’s voice in Silver in the Wood made me want to fold him in a big blanket worn soft with many washings and protect him from the ravages of the world, Henry Silver’s voice made me want to put my head down on a table... and possibly bang my forehead against it a few times.

Drowned Country begins with Henry Silver decidedly not sulking. In fact, Henry Silver is perfectly fine thank you very much. That is, if you ignore the way his heart is hanging open on its hinges. So what if Tobias Finch had packed up and left him, and without him, Greenhollow Hall feels huge and empty, a shipwreck hull? So what if a terrible burst of confession had washed away the camaraderie and ease he and Tobias earned over the past months, a top-down tumble from sweetness to curdled resentment that had left Henry alone and drifting inside his “thorn-girt fortress” where everything seemed to speak the awfulness of what he’s done?

Henry Silver is the lord of an ancient forest kingdom, able to bend the Wood to his will, as a bow is bent for an arrow, and he is not sulking. Because all this melancholy will pass like the ephemeral squall that it is, and Henry Silver will stay in his thorn-girt fortress where he will try not to slip off an edge into a great pool of darkness, and one day, Tobias Finch’s name will no longer feel like a stab.

But when a visit from Henry’s mother pricks the stillness after a young woman named Maud Lindhurst goes missing, and Tobias Finch believes it to be the work of a vampire, the offer Henry’s mother dangles in front of him—of not only seeing Tobias again, but that other pull, of a mystery left unsolved—flashes in front of Henry like a fishing lure on a sunny day. Henry can stop sulking long enough to find the missing Maud Lindhurst and then he can “get on with the business of becoming a half-mad monster trapped in the woods for the rest of eternity.”

Silver in the Wood saw Henry and Tobias slowly, ecstatically stumbling into happiness, and everything was right and correct. In Drowned Country, Henry and Tobias walk next to each other, carrying words neither of them will utter. The past is set in stone, and Henry Silver, for all his power, is no sculptor—he can’t go back and undo what he already did. And even if Henry could, he would not. “What is love if not selfish?” asks Henry. How many of us have done things we don’t talk about in the name of love and pretended the real unspoken reasons weren't awful, deflated of nobility or romance? How many of us have clung to the people we loved a little too hard as we choked on our fear and they choked in our grip? How many of us were left behind by someone?

Love is a wave few can keep their heads above. And Henry Silver, though he thought he could navigate it as easily as a child crossing a stream on stepping-stones, was drowning in its tide. Maybe Henry is right. Maybe love is selfish, but it’s also a lesson where one learns to curtail, and the other learns to forgive, and both learn to keep perspective—and that’s as tenderly articulated in the novel as anything this thoughtful author has put to the page.

I loved you, I love you, doesn’t that damned well matter? and also So what if I lied, so what if I was selfish—what is love if not selfish—so what if I needed you—I still need you—and really, really, Mr Finch, shouldn’t you be theone who’s sorry? Aren’t you the one who left me?

As for other thematic notes, with the introduction of a new character—the bright and ceaselessly curious Maude Lindhurst—the novel explores the furious desires that can drive one into rooting out what ought to have stayed hidden. It was a language Henry Silver (who was too busy “not sulking” in his thorn-girt fortress for two years) had almost forgotten, a few words coming back at a time. But there it was again—the fell and swoop of his stomach at the thought of something positively mad to do. The world brims with as much varied and impossible wonders as there are fish in the sea, and Henry and Maude keenly understand how the unboundedness of it all might make one feel infinitely small, but gloriously so, as if they were part of something grander than themselves.

“Do you know what that’s like—when the impossible becomes true right before your eyes?”

All in all, Drowned Country is the perfect conclusion to a wonderful tale. Tobias and Henry’s story will linger long past the last page, bristling along your spine, even when you feel its absence like an itch in your heart.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
743 reviews11.8k followers
January 9, 2021
“With a terrible crash, the black waters closed over them all.”
Yet again I really love the ability of Emily Tesh to create a very atmospheric experience within the confines of a novella. Her follow-up to the melancholically enchanting Silver in the Wood gives more of the same immersive feeling.

I was mesmerized by the setting established in the first novella, and yet unsatisfied with the amount of plot that went into it. Because, as I will redundantly state yet again, novellas are tricky beasts, and the artificial confines of the word limits do require a delicate balance between worldbuilding and plot. The first one had amazing worldbuilding of a beautiful yet a tad stifling world of green done very skillfully by obviously very talented Tesh — but plot needed more room to breathe (or should have been cut out to leave us with a fascinated sketch of the half-mythical Man of the Wood).

This one must be read after Silver in the Wood for you to appreciate it. It picks up a couple of years later, with Tobias and Silver have gone their separate ways — Tobias to hunt monsters with Silver’s monster-hunting Victorian mother, Silver to sulk in the ruins of his manor as the greenery consumes it, trying to come to terms with new status as the immortal Man of the Wood but not doing so well, with depression-fueled ennui and the heartbreak of a jilted lover combining into some serious sulk, described with lovely and immersive humor:
“Everything sprouted if he wanted it to. There was a healthy crab apple demolishing its way through the ceiling and floor of what had once been a whitewashed ground-floor bedroom in the east wing. Crooked branches laden with white blossom and sour fruit together thrust from broken windowpanes. The tree had been in both blossom and fruit for months and it was not happy. Silver was not happy either. Sometimes he went and sat in there and felt sorry for himself.

Other places Silver felt sorry for himself: his study, which as all the servants had left months ago was a mess; his library, which was hardly better; his bedroom, where mistletoe hung from the bedposts like midwinter baubles; and of course the floor of the great hall, where the cold of the ancient stones seeped into his back and the moss was spreading lusciously along the cracks between them.”

The setting is still lovely, and the plot promises more, taking us out of the wood and to the “drowned wood” and then even beyond. And yet, the plot is still more of a sketch. It would have benefited from expansion into a longer book, allowing us to actually see more of the way of life or “practical folklorists” (ahem, monster hunters) and the Abbey, and more than just a brief (although vivid) glimpse of a strange otherworldly place Silver and Co. end up in. All this needs more development, more fleshing out outside of admittedly beautiful sketch, more investment in characters besides the main duo, so that in the end I would be able to care about the fates of anyone and anything besides just the romantic entanglement of Tobias and Silver. I want to care about Maud and Mrs. Silver and Bramble and the fairy — but they are more of the outlines of the characters I know have immense potential to be interesting. Add more to your characters and plot, and it will be easier to see the ending as something well-earned.

But even with the thin plot, at least I enjoyed the atmospheric imagery:
“But to the trees of the Hallow Wood time ran differently; and for them the waters had come as one single onslaught, without mercy, swallowing the forest and all the life it contained. So it came now, the dark gulp of the sea, roaring through the Wood.”

And, just the same as after the first novella, I’m left wishing for Emily Tesh to allow her writing fill a full novel, maybe even - pretty please - set in this world, with the suffocatingly alluring forest greenery, and steampunk scientists of the supernatural phenomena, and monster hunters, and slow forest time overlapping with the industrial steampunk revolution. Let both strong plot and delightfully haunting atmosphere in — and I’ll be gulping it down like there’s no tomorrow.
“Silver had never dared to ask her if she was really still mourning his father or if she just found the sober attire of the widow convenient for her purposes. Hunting monsters could be a messy business. Bloodstains hardly showed on black.”

Add this to the actual plot, not just promises of it — and I’m all yours.

3.5 stars.

I’ll be curious to see what Emily Tesh writes next. She certainly has great potential which I’m sure will be fully realized with time.

My review of the first book in the series, Silver in the Wood, is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for MJ.
369 reviews59 followers
February 26, 2020
this book deserves a fair and coherent five star review instead of just jenny-slate-screams.gif repeated 500 times, which is what my heart wants to post, so i will try my best. full disclosure: i got access to this ARC by existing in the periphery of several fantasy authors (including the author), and also, i’ve had Some Wine ahead of a budget airline flight, but honestly given the way i tend to review, that will probably help matters.

my overall impression is: JESUS CHRIST!!!!

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it ten thousand more times: diana wynne jones’s death left what i thought was an un-fillable hole in the fantasy canon, as someone who understood not only the magical but the deeply, painfully mundane; the horrible and beautiful realities in which the fantastical could become tangible; how real people might actually cope with the ineffable. emily has taken up that mantle and with everything she does she is taking it to new places.

this novella manages to combine faery with romance, high tragedy, chaotic gay energy, the witcher, haunted churches, plucky young people with Opinions, loving sacrifice, size kink, casual roasts of arthur conan doyle, projecting onto other people as a way of preserving your legacy (and the downsides of that approach), henry silver basically going “ok boomer” every time tobias tries to lecture him, and (of course): SO MUCH TREE MAGIC BULLSHIT.

the book opens with henry silver living every single millennial’s dream of just lying down in a depressive funk re: the world and letting the forest cover his body in various mosses etc., probably while listening to hozier, which. MOOD. his mother (my favorite) then shows up, playing the role of every millennial’s older and more adult friend who’s like............. bitch get up off the floor, growing a beard full of spiders isn’t self care, you have depression and you need something to do. never have i felt so personally attacked by the first 10 pages of a novella before, is what i’m saying.


the Actual Plot of the novella kicks off because silver’s mum needs bait for a particularly old and wily vampire who has kidnapped a young woman (but also she probably feels like her son needs a bit of a re-introduction to the world of the living), and it turns on the outcome of the ensuing stakeout that silver and tobias—estranged for two years at this point, for reasons covered in the book—undertake.

if at any point while reading this story you think you know where it’s going, i’m delighted to inform you that you are wrong. instead it will take a left turn into unknown, uncharted and (literally) unchartable territory. to discuss much in the way of plot beyond the setup is to spoil a large part of the magic, so i’ll leave it there and instead focus on my favorite thing about this novella and, by extension, emily’s writing: her gift for characters who, no matter what the situation or difficulty or relationship they find themselves in, behave as nothing more or less than themselves, to my continuing delight and agony.

tobias remains a stoic, quiet beacon of action and competence, but viewed now through silver’s eyes we understand his limitations and fears in ways we couldn’t see from his own POV in book one. henry is still as selfish and funny and swotty and EXTREMELY extra as you remember from silver in the wood, but the weight of eternity sits heavily on him and he carries an incredible sadness that permeates the narrative in one of the most believable depictions of depression i’ve encountered in fiction. together, they’re... i can’t explain it exactly. but basically, tobias & henry invented love and i’m so happy for them, not just for what they had and found in book 1 but for what they create together and the ways in which they are able to grow, separately but more importantly together, in book 2.

this isn’t to say that drowned country is a pure romance; it’s really more of an adventure story with a coincidental happy ending for two people that i love very much who’ve more than earned it. in fact, henry has *several* important relationships in book 2 which, if ranked, would look something like:
1. silver & the wood (“i love you but in the way you love your family and other parts of yourself you aren’t ‘allowed’ to ever separate yourself from, and i don’t know if i am ever going to be able to overcome that sense of obligation in order to feel anything else for you”)
2. silver & his mother (“luv 2 agonize about what we owe to our parents and the unintended consequences of our actions until resentment sets in!!”)
3. silver & maud, a young and EXTREMELY enthusiastic young witcher monster/faery hunter (“wow she reminds me of myself before the whole ‘immortality’ thing, she’s so young and full of promise, she has such good opinions about the supernatural, i want her to accomplish all her dreams!!!! what? nooooooo, no way, i’m not projecting on her!!!!!! ok maybe a BIT, what are you, a cop? mind your business”)
4. silver & himself (“do i hate myself because of the things i’ve done or because i’m not sorry about them?”)
5. henry & tobias (honestly y’all i CANNOT help but think that at some point henry’s mother gleefully reported back to tobias that he was “winning” the breakup and was baffled to find out that he wasn’t overjoyed to hear this)

THIS IS NOT TO SAY that this book is not horribly romantic, or that it didn’t make me want to knock their stupid heads together the whole time, and i swear to god i got pregnant off their first eye contact after 2 years like a goddamn hysterical victorian maiden. it’s just that henry, a man who’s never really cared a lot about having relationships or people to cling to in this world unless they (eg) wrote books he wants to read, only really realizes the value of human connections after they can no longer mean the same thing. how fucked up and sad is that????? (don’t worry!!!!! there’s a happy ending!!!!!!!!)

anyway there is A LOT going on here interpersonally and the amount of ground covered, as in all emily tesh works, goes FAR beyond the page count.

it’s out in june, and i CANNOT recommend picking it up (alongside silver in the wood, if you haven’t already) enough.
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
587 reviews1,786 followers
August 21, 2020
rep: gay mc & li

If you’ve already read Silver in the Wood, you pretty much know what to expect from the second book (and if you haven’t, please do so immediately before continuing). But what you need to know up front is: this part is even better.

There’s no need to say that the characters are well fleshed out because we’ve all been in love with them for months already. But somehow they all get to shine more and brighter in Drowned Country. The switch of pov to Henry Silver was an inspired choice. He’s the most dramatic gay person you will ever meet and he’s sulking. It’s a beautiful thing to behold.

I would say this book is less focused on the plot (although of course it’s still there and it’s really nice, and offers some twists!) and more on the characters. Which means it’s also more focused on the (gay) pining and the romance in general. Not everyone will be a fan of that, but personally I couldn’t have been offered a more perfect gift.

That attention to the slightest change in emotions, to details in interactions between characters, coupled with Henry constantly thinking about Tobias - all of that means Drowned Country reminders readers of fanfiction. And that’s the highest compliment I can give any piece of writing!

But still, Drowned Country isn’t all romance. It brings us different magical lands and creatures, all of them with the same sense of mystery and ancient-ness as in the first book. If dramatic gays in love, surrounded by millennia old forests are your thing, you're in luck.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,849 followers
August 17, 2020
In some ways this follow up to SILVER IN THE WOOD, a lush reimagining of the Green Man legend, couldn't be more different than its predecessor. Tone wise, in the telling of the story, almost everything. It actually took a few chapters for me to warm upto this one because it felt like such a change. But eventually it did win me over. Not to the extent of book one, but I was solidly enjoying it.. right up until a, in my opinion, fairly abrupt ending.

The ending aside, I thought this was really well paced. I loved how the timeline since book one was explained, even if at first I wasn't sure the why or how or what had happened. As it all unfolded, I thought it worked so well. I won't say much about this, though, because spoilers.

It makes me sad this is the end because I did really enjoy the time spent with these characters, in this strange little world. I wish I had ended this series on a slightly higher note but nonetheless.. still good.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,862 reviews5,006 followers
October 6, 2020
Very different in tone from the first volume, because this is told from Silver's point of view instead of Tobias'. Where Silver in the Wood was mythopoetic, mysterious, and subtly sad, Drowned Country is flippant, shifty, and clever, wearing its feelings a little more on its sleeve. A lovely novella.
Profile Image for Boston.
404 reviews1,846 followers
April 3, 2020
A fantastic sequel to Silver in the Wood, Drowned Country takes a less atmospheric route and gives off more of a dracula/frankenstein vibe. Personally, I liked the first book a lot more as I really loved Tobias' connection to the woods. If you prefer more plot than character you'll probably like this one more, but either way fans of Silver in the Wood are sure to like this as well.
Profile Image for Beth Tabler.
Author 6 books160 followers
August 19, 2020
Last year I reviewed one of the most atmospheric books I had ever read—Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh. It was whimsical, verdant, and dark. When I think about it a year later, I still get the mental picture of a deep lustrous forest with secrets to keep. Silver in the Wood was the first book in the Greenhollow Duology. The second, Drowned Country, is as good as the first one, although the tone is slightly different.

Drowned Country brings us many of the characters from the first story, specifically of the two male leads of Tobias and Silver. Where Silver in the Wood was very much Tobias's story to tell, Drowned Country is Silvers. It has been two years since the first novel has taken place. While in the first story, the setting of the deep dark woods was a character as much as Tobias was. Now in Drowned Forest, the temperament of the story has changed too much more character-driven.

Silver has a difficult time finding his footing as the new wild man of the forest. He is sulky, petulant, and bored. Tobias has taken to working with Silver's mother, the aging monster hunter Adela Silver. Adela asks Silver to come to help her with her newest monster problem. There is a 900-year-old vampire afoot and a missing ingenue that needs rescuing. Silver is bored and wants to get back some of the excitement that he had when he was not the wild man. Thus starts their adventure. Things certainly do not pan out as we think they will.

Most of the story is the tension between Silver and Tobias. There is a certain charm between the two of them, a lightness that comes off easily and is a testament to how good Tesh's writing is. Their relationship had an effortless quality to it. I spent much of the book wishing they would work things out. The background story of elves and Maud is less important than their relationship. It is what they were doing at the time, but it is not all-encompassing.

The small detractor I found with this novel is that I wished it was longer, and the plot felt more important. I wanted it fleshed out. It had some pretty vague points that lost me as a reader. And, because of its vagueness, it lost some of the atmospheric quality. I couldn't picture it as well as her first book, Silver in the Wood.

In the end, Tesh did a great job with this book. It is a fine ending or beginning depending on how you look at it to this Duology. I loved the romance between the two of them; there is a slow burn quality to it that is almost steamy. This book gave me some warm fuzzies.

I am sad that the series is over, but in many ways, the journey of Silver and Tobias is just beginning.
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,353 reviews113 followers
April 26, 2021
It's a cute novella with some surprising moments.

I don't think I remember the previous book as well as I thought. I mean, I remembered what happened with Silver, but I didn't remember exactly what happened in his relationship with Tobias. Therefore, I have a vague feel that this short story is not a continuation of the events in the previous book, but is positioned somewhere near the end, before the final scenes. But I'm not completely sure if it's true.

Anyway, it's nice to see Silver and Tobias again. Though I'd definitely rather see them work together than when they don't get along at all. As for that, I was not satisfied.

The plot is quite interesting. The world we saw in the previous book is expanded with new elements. The ending of the story is also interesting, although everything may be a bit too fast and too simple, considering all the tragic events that led to the current situation.

I rarely mention book covers, but this time I have to, because it was the beautiful cover of the first book that made me start reading the story of Silver and Tobias. If at all possible, the cover is even prettier this time. Well done.
Profile Image for Gabi.
693 reviews120 followers
August 23, 2020
Not as charming and mythical as the first part.
This one reads more like a fanfiction including the we-were-lovers-but-of-course-we-can't-be-it-anymore trope to which I became extremely allergic during the last years.

Still a good read, but the first part feels more rounded.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
425 reviews181 followers
September 7, 2020
This pleasant and inessential sequel to Silver in the Wood has many of the same charms as its predecessor, but also most of its flaws. It does nothing to complete the half-baked feel of the first one; it's a separate story in a different setting, connected by the characters and their shared history. If the Tobias and Henry Silver romance was your favorite part of the first book, you'll probably like the sequel, which picks up after they've had a falling out and features lots of fretting from Henry about What Went Wrong. If, on the other hand, you want more of the Wood and maybe a fully fleshed plot, you might be disappointed.

Henry Silver is called away from the Wood by his indomitable mother and Tobias, who need live bait require his aid in rescuing a young woman who has been abducted by a local vampire. However, when they get to the haunted ruins of the Abbey, nothing turns out to be what it seemed - least of all the young woman.

Emily Tesh's writing is quirky and assured, sprinkled with gentle but ironic humor, and a pleasure to read. I think she's at her best in the Wood, despite the little time she spends here:
Other places Silver felt sorry for himself: [...] his bedroom, where mistletoe hung from the bedposts like midwinter baubles; and of course the floor of the great hall, where the cold of the ancient stones seeped into his back and the moss was spreading lusciously along the cracks between them. He sat up when he felt the shuddering demand go through the Wood. His outline remained on the stones where he had lain sketched in yellow-white lichen. There were several similar man-shapes scattered around the empty room.

The plot is faster paced than the first one, with maybe a bit too much jumping around from place to place and time to time for its brief 150 pages. It's easy enough to read, but I kept thinking that a longer and more fully developed version of this book would have been more satisfying. I wasn't as invested in the lovers' quarrel and . I still think that Emily Tesh is going to write a book I really love one day, but sadly, it's not this one. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for THE BIBLIOPHILE (Rituranjan).
530 reviews78 followers
August 30, 2020
Languorous, beguiling, and illusory that brings forth a story of dream-like splendour that speaks of forgotten things, things lost in the myths and shadows that beckons the reader to a dark, beautiful, and sinister realm of the fairytales. Emily Tesh's little novella is spunned with a language woven from delicate threads of moonlight, raindrop pearls, and quiet melancholy which exists in the delight of love, the seasonal changes of nature, and mortal lives.

Drowned Country is a haunting tale of old things lost in time, truths beautified in stories, a delirious vision that mixes beauty and darkness into a delightful twist of a magician's trick that entices the audience to the end. The spell cast by Emily Tesh's story stepped in the myths, folklore, superstitions, casts a misty magical pall upon the senses reveling in the uncanny, and then coming back to the normal with a delighted leap.

The beauty of the story is elusive, like the lingering notes of an elfic tune heard deep in the green woods, like wild scents of unknown blossoms tantalizing the senses before we remember the memory of it. In simple words, it's the perfect fairytale to read on an autumn evening ruminating about unseen and distant things.

Profile Image for Maria.
617 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2020
Hmm. This was good, but I think it suffered a little from the switch of narrator. I liked Tobias better.
Most of all I liked Silver's monster-hunting mother. She deserves a whopping series of her own - taking on cases and slaying things that go bump in the night. I would 100% read that.

In every way this is a fine story, but it's also all over the place. It tries to be deep, but is mostly shallow. Mainly because we see everything through Silver's eyes and he's... Well... He is what he is.
I've seen others comment that there is no chemistry between Tobias and Silver and I actually agree, which feels like a shame.

I leave this duology feeling torn by the want for more - a full, fleshed out book with a real plot and lots of exciting things happening to characters that could evolve into a glorious main cast - and a vague sense that I will probably remember Tesh's lush writing more than the actual story after a few months.

Either way, I will most likely keep an eye out for more of her stories, which is a good thing.

Profile Image for aphrodite.
388 reviews866 followers
January 11, 2022
gay forest dads protect feral child from an awakened faerie queen. love to see it
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,040 reviews3,438 followers
August 10, 2020
Drowned Country concludes a charming duology populated with fairies, satyrs, and an immortal wood. The fae tale is also a quiet gay love story. Silver is now the face of the Hallow Wood while Tobias assists his mother in her paranormal work. We get flashbacks to the dissolution of their relationship, while Silver travels to help with a new case involving a missing girl. It's a small window into a mystical land, driven by the relational conflict between Silver and Tobias.

As with the first book, the writing here is lovely. The contrast between the very normal growing pains of a relationship and the concerns of magic and immortality is an interesting one. What happens when a being of power throws a petty tantrum? We kind of get to see that here. The mystical plotline was definitely less dramatic and satisfying than the first book, but I still enjoyed it. It's a lovely little duology. I recieved an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for The Artisan Geek.
445 reviews7,251 followers
Want to read
December 10, 2019
'Drowned Country is the haunting follow-up to Emily Tesh's lush, folkoric debut, Silver in the Wood.'

I read Silver in the Wood a couple of months ago and loved it!! Can't wait to read more of Tesh's work :)

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Profile Image for Nicole.
301 reviews44 followers
May 3, 2020
Soft and dreamy, but with so many teeth, this book is just a beautiful as Silver in the Wood if not moreso. It's like the ragged, raw edges of old, soft tweed; it's full of filtered light and misted rain, eldritch gods whose magic pales against that of the humans who wander this mystical setting. It aches and I love it with my entire soul.
Profile Image for lookmairead.
453 reviews
August 30, 2020
...Trying to figure out how to rate “smirk-worthy” content. 3.75/5
Tesh’s odd-couple feels like it should be turned into a BBC miniseries.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,283 reviews174 followers
October 19, 2020
Having made a decent enough book the first time around, why not just reset and basically do the same thing again, this time from the perspective of the least interesting character from the first book? Oh, and let's sideline the most dynamic character from the first book but replace her with what is basically a younger clone?

Between books, Tobias Finch and Henry Silver have become estranged, but must come together again when a young person goes missing, possibly because of a vampire. Silver is an even mopier narrator than Finch was in the first book as he struggles with the burden of being the servant of the forest and smitten with someone who seems unreachable.

The prose is irritating and slow, the plot is predictable, and the whole thing is much too much lacking in Adela Silver.
Profile Image for Dawn F.
495 reviews68 followers
August 23, 2020
Utterly brilliant continuation of Silver in the Wood. Emily Tesh blends folklore, m/m romance, adventure, supernatural, detective story, strong, plucky women, and fairy magic completely effortlessly. Tobias, Henry and Maud have such a wonderful found family vibe to them. I loved every second of these two way too short novellas and I dearly hope ms. Tesh will write more in the same vein.
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 16 books1,438 followers
April 2, 2020
I loved the first book in this series, and gulped this one down the second it landed on my kindle. These characters are just brilliant, and the magic is unique and inventive. You could read this for the lush descriptions of nature alone and still have a great time.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,030 reviews2,605 followers
August 24, 2020
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/08/20/...

Drowned Country picks up a little while after the end of Silver in the Wood, and reintroduces our characters Tobias Finch and Henry Silver, albeit in their new roles. Henry, however, is having a little trouble adjusting, and Greenhollow Wood has suffered for it. Things got to be so bad that his mother, Mrs. Adela Silver, had to get involved. Together with Tobias, she manages to pull Henry out of his mope and convince him to help them on a monster hunt. Out on the coast, in the dingy town of Rothport, a young woman has been abducted by an ancient vampire, and they’re going to need all the help they can get to stage the rescue.

I definitely preferred this follow-up to the first book, for several reasons. First, while Silver in the Wood was more about Tobias, Drowned Country turns the focus on Henry, who has a much more charismatic, infectious personality. Sure, he can be such an absolute child at times, and I’m also pretty sure a lot of his recalcitrance was exaggerated for effect. Still, this book made me feel more connected to the characters, in a way. It made the people feel more real.

And second, this was a much more entertaining tale. Again, I think much of this had to do with Henry at the helm. He’s a talker with a way of drawing the reader into his sphere. Through his point-of-view, Emily Tesh’s knack for storytelling really got to shine in a way that it couldn’t with Tobias.

Third, we get vampires and the fae. Seriously, what more can I ask for? The story takes us to brand new realms which are both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Despite the charming voice of our protagonist, this remains a brooding tale involving themes of yearning and devastating compulsion, mirroring the darker tones of the first book.

And finally, I loved the more nuanced dynamics in Tobias and Henry’s relationship. Things are definitely much more complicated this time around, but it isn’t simply drama for the sake of drama. I don’t necessarily demand happily-ever-afters, but I do like (and on some level expect) to see emotions grow and evolve in sequels, and I was also filled with hope at the way this ended, as a sort of counterpoint to the earlier tensions and sorrow.

All in all, this was a captivating duology. There were certain aspects that were weaker at the beginning but found their feet later on in the sequel. A shift in character perspective also helped me look at the story and its overall themes in a different light. I would recommend reading Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country together if you can, because the two novellas complement each other quite nicely, providing a complete and rewarding experience.

Audiobook Comments: I had a great time with the audio edition, which conveniently contains both books in the duology so you can finish the first one and move on to the next without skipping a beat. Matthew Lloyd Davies was a phenomenal narrator, varying tone, volume, pitch and rhythm in his voices to create an incredibly immersive listening experience. He was brilliant as Tobias and even better as Henry Silver, and the way he was able to step into the personas of the different characters was beyond impressive. So if you’re thinking of checking out the Greenhollow duology, definitely keep the audiobook in mind, I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
927 reviews795 followers
October 13, 2022
3.5 stars

Atmospheric and unique, The Drowned Country is a novella with a lot of things going for it. But maybe... awkwardly too much? Awkwardly too little? There was a lot going on here.

Concept: ★★★★
Visuals: ★★★★
Plot/Pacing: ★★

It's been a while since I've read the first novella in this duology, Silver in the Wood. I'll admit, that made this read more confusing than it needed to be. If you have a chance, I'd recommend rereading the first novella or reading both of these stories close together. Because The Drowned Country references the activities of Silver in the Wood a LOT. Fair warning!

Henry Silver is the wood. Tied to the wood's ever-aged sprawl in all of its times, magics, and forms, Silver has been slowly eeking into a timeless wild man madness following the events of Silver in the Wood and his broken relationship with Tobias, the former woodsman.

But then his mother comes to call.

Even the wild wood answers to his mother...

Now on a case in a rocky coastal town with secrets, a missing woman, and in unfortunately close quarters with Tobias, Silver's ex, he's not looking forward to what comes next.

However, even the jaded Silver wasn't quite ready for Faerieland.

Strap in! It's time for a truly original magical ride.

The Drowned Country is one of those reads that I could tell I loved it, even though I thought it really fell short of its potential.

It was too long to be an ethereal 60-80 page question mark of a novella. (And it's status as a direct sequel with a LOT of references really kept it from being mysterious too, regardless of its vague magic vibes.)

It was also too short to really sink its teeth into the complex portal fantasy vs. woods fantasy vs. extremely complex ex-boyfriend/fallen relationship vibes it was trying to instill. With so much going on for Silver and Tobias on a personal level—wow, angst, plus a lot of communication and past revealing—and so much going on at the plot level, it was hard for me to feel like we got enough of either angle. I either needed less, or I needed more. It's very Goldilocks of me, I know, but sometimes a book hits you that way on a personal level and it just... doesn't... gel. Oh well.

I am still eagerly awaiting the next thing by Emily Tesh. Her grasp of the magical mixed with descriptions is perfection.

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Profile Image for Lata.
3,589 reviews191 followers
September 14, 2020
It’s two years later, and Henry Silver has been living alone, amidst the old wood, letting everything fall either into ruin or wildness. Tobias is gone, and we find out from Mrs. Silver that she and Tobias have been busy, hunting and vanquishing monsters. Mrs. Silver hopes to reignite Henry's interest in life by asking him to help with the search and rescue of a young woman. Henry grudgingly agrees, and meets up with a very competent and proper Tobias to begin their search. Henry desperately misses the man, but knows that Tobias will not appreciate any advances, especially in light of the disagreement, which is gradually revealed, that parted them.
Working together, they quickly find that Maud left her parents’ stifling expectations so she could find creatures, monsters and magic. Such as the Fae.

Henry sulking was a little difficult to tolerate, but watching his slow return to life was nicely handled, while Tobias is wonderful, as always. Maud was fun, and I loved how well things turned out by the end.
This and its previous installment have lovely atmosphere, humour and a sprinkling of horror. The women are generally fantastic, whether Mrs. Silver, Maud or dangerous Bramble. I wish the author would return to this world because I would love to spend more time with Mrs. Silver, practical folklorist. But if this is it for the Greenhollow stories, I'm still glad I've read them.
Profile Image for Ash | Wild Heart Reads.
244 reviews141 followers
July 26, 2020
Drowned Country takes us beyond the current borders of the wood, to places it once stretched to before the ocean swallowed it. On the edge of the coast a young woman has been snatched by a centuries old vampire and the longer she is with him the less likely they'll find her alive. And so Mrs Silver and Tobias enlist the help of Henry, who has most definitely not been moping back in Greenhollow. But there is more than just vampires in Rothport, and Henry and Tobias find themselves facing a much older enemy.

Tesh's follow up to Silver in the Wood is an intoxicating and lush tale. Much like Silver in the Wood, Drowned Country is mesmerising and showcases Tesh's gorgeous way with words. There's a dreamlike element to it that pulls you down a rabbit hole and into the story itself, until you are walking side by side with Henry and Tobias.

The dramatic tree gays are back in full force here and it's *chef's kiss*.  I love Henry and Tobias' dynamic. In the book two years have passed since Silver in the Wood & events have transpired that are slowly revealed as Drowned Country progresses and we learn why Henry has been trying to become one with the floor in his crumbling estate. 

It was a little bittersweet to reach the end of Henry and Tobias' story. I didn't want to say goodbye and while I'm very, very satisfied with how their story ended and wouldn't have it any other way, I would be lying if I said it wasn't a little bit painful. 

I highly recommend both Silver in the Wood and Drowned Country. It's an enchanting tale and Tesh's writing is phenomenal. There's no feeling of rushing or incompleteness in these novellas, which I sometimes find with shorter stories. You may wish for more but you definitely won't be left unsatisfied. And the pining is top notch.

"So this was what became of falling in love with a marvel out of legend."

*I received an arc of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

This review and more can be found at https://wildheartreads.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Christine Sandquist.
185 reviews59 followers
January 29, 2021
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

Drowned Country is the gorgeous sequel to the much-vaunted Silver in the Woods, completing the Greenhollow Duology. The two novellas feature a romance between a young man and a ancient being of the forest as they find love in between the spaces of their small, daily interactions.

Tesh has gorgeous, lyrical prose that makes it hard to tear yourself away from the page. She creates a vast, fairytale-esque landscape where the hills are poems and the trees are verse. It would be difficult not to adore her writing.

I’ll confess that I enjoyed Silver in the Wood slightly more than I did Drowned Country. Although I loved the prose, writing, and character, the pacing sometimes felt slightly off. Drowned Country suffered from an issue common to novellas: it ought to have been a novel. Where Silver had just the right amount of plot for its pages, Drowned Country cannot say the same.

That said, it is still very, very much worth your time if you enjoy queer fantasy romances with lush, gorgeous prose.
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