Green Magic and Romance: Revealing Emily Tesh’s Silver in the Wood

If you like the Green Man mythos but wish it were gayer, if you’re into monster hunting and rainy days and libraries, if you love what Naomi Novik loves, Publishing has got your back in 2019. We’re proud to announce that we’ve acquired Emily Tesh’s lush, romantic debut novella Silver in the Wood. Because we love you and we know what it is to be impatient, we’ve also got its stunning cover right here for you to see!

The deal, for World English rights, was negotiated by Kurestin Armada at P.S. Literary Agency.

Naomi Novik calls it “a true story of the woods, of the fae, and of the heart. Deep and green and wonderful.”

There is a Wild Man who lives in the deep quiet of Greenhollow, and he listens to the wood. Tobias, tethered to the forest, does not dwell on his past life, but he lives a perfectly unremarkable existence with his cottage, his cat, and his dryads.

When Greenhollow Hall acquires a handsome, intensely curious new owner in Henry Silver, everything changes. Old secrets better left buried are dug up, and Tobias is forced to reckon with his troubled past—both the green magic of the woods, and the dark things that rest in its heart…

Silver in the Wood reads like Novik’s Uprooted swallowed the romance arc of C. L. Polk’s Witchmark and created something both comfortingly familiar and startlingly new. It has quietly brilliant things to say about the types of monsters that walk the world—some supernatural and some very human—and the way that entitlement poisons both people and landscapes, all done with a feather-light touch. It also features an extremely cute cat, grumpy dryads, and an indomitable matriarch you’ll wish you had to run your life. Whether it’s about the two very different but entangled leads or tame gardens and the wild wood, you’ll be whispering now kiss into these pages.

Said author Emily Tesh:

Silver in the Wood is a story with spreading roots. ‘I feel like writing a romance,’ I told a friend, ‘or a ghost story, or something.’ It turned into a story that was both romance and ghost story, as all good stories about landscapes have to be. Its real heart is in the ancient woodlands of the British Isles, places which although they may seem wild are in fact witness to centuries if not millennia of carefully managed relationships between human beings and the natural world. Other pieces of the story arose out of the landscape as if they had always been there: the scholar, the bandit, the wizard, the hunter, and above all the shadow figures of half-remembered deities. I hope other people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

David Curtis’s gorgeous cover had me gasping at my desk when I first saw it. It perfectly encompasses what author Alexandra Rowland had to say about the book:

It is easy to praise flash and sparkle, but the beauty of the simple and lighter-than-air is more difficult to capture. Silver in the Wood’s sparkle is that of clear water; its flash the snap of a crackling fire, and Tesh’s prose reads like returning to a dream long-forgotten or a song half-remembered. It is, needless to say, excellent.

Cover art and design by David Curtis


Want to come dream in the enchanted woods with us? You can pre-order here.


Applicable AO3 (Archive Of Our Own) tags:

  • Many Feelings About Trees
  • Hurt/Comfort
  • Protective Dryads
  • Monster Hunting With Your In-Laws
  • Now That You’re in Tree Jail
  • Bring Your Crossbow
  • Bad Hair Centuries
  • You Can Never Have Too Many Sharp Knives Or Warm Socks
  • What A Beautiful Library You Have
  • Faustian Bargains (Implied)


EMILY TESH grew up in London and studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago. She now lives in Hertfordshire, where she passes her time teaching Latin and Ancient Greek to schoolchildren who have done nothing to deserve it. She has a husband and a cat. Neither of them knows any Latin yet, but it is not for lack of trying.

Photo courtesy of Nicola Sanders


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