cover image Silver in the Wood

Silver in the Wood

Emily Tesh., $11.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-22979-3

Tesh’s exhilarating debut novel puts a queer spin on the Green Man myth, set in a time and place resembling Victorian England. Reclusive, taciturn Tobias Finch has spent over 400 years caring for Greenhollow Wood, with only his cat and dryads for company. Then attractive Henry Silver appears at his door, dripping wet. Tobias recognizes him as the new owner of the woods; Henry flirts with him, but Tobias avoids reciprocating. The two grow closer, however, when Tobias convalesces in the manor house after being shot by a young man . Tobias learns that Henry is an amateur folklorist collecting local legends, including stories of a wild man who roams the woods in summer and abducts handsome young men who are never seen again. As Henry learns more about these tales and the gruesome history behind them, he puts himself in grave danger that will test Tobias’s loyalties. Tesh’s characters and mythology are exquisitely crafted, including Henry’s assertive mother, a “practical folklorist” (monster hunter) who bucks the gender conventions of the time period. This fresh, evocative short novel heralds a welcome new voice in fantasy. (June)