Drowned Country: An enchanting sequel

Drowned Country by Emily TeshDrowned Country by Emily TeshDrowned Country by Emily Tesh

Drowned Country (2020) is the second and concluding novella in Emily Tesh’s GREENHOLLOW DUOLOGY, following 2019’s Silver in the Wood. This review will contain some spoilers for Silver in the Wood.

When we last saw Tobias and Henry Silver, Tobias had become an ordinary mortal man, and had been reunited with Silver — who had been presumed dead, but instead had been saved by the Wood itself, becoming its guardian Wild Man in the way that Tobias once was. It turns out, though, that this idyll lasted only a few months before the two men fell out. Now Silver sulks alone in his manor house, using his powers to accelerate its ruin.

Silver’s brooding is interrupted by a visit from his mother, who is now living with an injury we haven’t seen before. She and Tobias want his help with one of their monster-hunting cases, and though Silver is reluctant to see Tobias again, he agrees. The case appears to be that of a vampire, but what the three actually find in Rothport will surprise them.

 

Emily Tesh

Emily Tesh

Silver in the Wood was written from Tobias’s point of view; Drowned Country is told from Silver’s. Tesh successfully creates a different voice and a different perspective for her other hero. This is especially evident in the two men’s different takes on Mrs. Silver. She likes and respects Tobias, and her character is endearing through his eyes. When Silver narrates, it’s easy to see why she might be a difficult parent to live with.

Their adventure takes them to an eerie realm very different from the Wood and introduces another really fun character for readers to love. Meanwhile, flashbacks to the past gradually circle back to Silver’s fateful mistake: a selfish act that both drove Tobias away and led to Mrs. Silver’s injury.

Like Silver in the Wood, though, Drowned Country is optimistic at heart, giving Silver a rebirth/renewal arc like Tobias had in the first installment and offering a second chance for their broken relationship. Tesh’s writing continues to satisfy, with beautiful descriptive passages and moments of dry wit. Readers looking for an enchanting experience without a huge time commitment need look no further than the GREENHOLLOW DUOLOGY.

Published in August 2020. From Astounding Award, Crawford Award, and World Fantasy Award Finalist Emily Tesh. A Buzzfeed Summer 2020 Must-Read. A Book Riot Must-Read Fantasy of 2020. Drowned Country is the stunning sequel to Silver in the Wood, Emily Tesh’s lush, folkloric debut. 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.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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One comment

  1. Jana Nyman /

    I enjoyed Silver in the Wood quite a lot, so I think I’ll be picking up a copy of Drowned Country sometime soon! Thanks, Kelly!

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