cover image Drowned Country

Drowned Country

Emily Tesh., $14.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-250-75660-2

Tesh returns to the Victorian-inspired world of Silver in the Woods with this gorgeous, finespun fantasy. Henry Silver, lord of Greenhollow Hall, neglects the magical Hallow Wood he oversees, allowing the trees to consume his home while he pines for Tobias Finch, the former steward of the woods. Tobias left Henry two years before to join Henry’s mother, Adela, a “practical folklorist” (monster hunter), on her travels. Adela’s arrival at Greenhollow puts an end to Henry’s wallowing as she recruits him to help her and Tobias rescue Maud Lindhurst from a vampire. As it happens, spunky Maud has already handily dispatched the vampire herself and plans to use his supernatural lair to travel to Fairyland. When Henry and Tobias attempt to stop her, all three topple into an eerie underwater portion of the Hallow Wood. Tesh intersperses their search for an exit with emotional flashbacks to the dissolution of Tobias and Henry’s relationship. As the trio explores the “half-forgiving land in a dim and wild wood” and stumble on Fairyland, the tale swerves into taut horror. The creepy supernatural elements are pitch perfect, and the tender, frustrated romance between the dramatic Henry and taciturn Tobias shines. Tesh’s second outing is elegant, evocative, and irresistible. Agent: Kurestin Armada, Root Literary. (Aug.)