I’d been trying to get my hands on this book ever since… well, before it came out. Hodges Figgis (the Waterstones of Dublin) was unable to preorder it because it’s “a US publisher” for some reason, and other local bookshops didn’t have it on their website (lockdown and all that). I finally got it from The Portal Bookshop so many thanks to Lali for going through the trouble of posting to Ireland. Give them your business if you can!
Now, without further ado…
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.
I don’t know what I was expecting as a follow-up to Silver in the Wood. I know I wanted more of that universe but it was also very self-contained.
This novella picks up 2 years later, Silver and Tobias have broken up (I was very confused by that at first) and have to work together to investigate the disappearance of a young lady, probably kidnapped by a vampire.
Turns out the young lady has much more agency than you’d expect, and quite frankly she was the highlight of the book for me. Young Gothic woman wearing pants and bossing magical men around? Yes please!
We discover more about Silver’s character, in ways that surprised me – and I found myself actually disliking him, but still loving what I was reading. It’s rare for me to dislike a protagonist and still love the book.
Silver in the Wood gave us a glimpse of a fantastic world, but Drowned Country goes so much further to extend that universe with subtle and not so subtle worldbuilding, a whole Fairy dimension and lore, vampires and ghouls… And yet it’s not overwhelming, it’s just enough to make the story work.
It’s hard to talk about the ending without spoiling it, but I was pretty satisfied by it. I know it’s a duology but if Emily Tesh writes more in that universe, I’ll me giving her my money in a heartbeat!
Get the book!