Drowned Country by Emily Tesh (The Greenhollow Duology, #2)

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.

TITLE: Drowned Country
AUTHOR: Emily Tesh
YEAR: 2020
LENGTH: 160 pages
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy, Romance

Queer Rep Summary: Gay/Achillean Main Character(s).

DROWNED COUNTRY picks up two years after SILVER IN THE WOOD to show how Silver and Tobias are adjusting to their new lives, when what begins as a hunt for a vampire twists into something stranger as the girl they were sent to rescue is no damsel in distress.

SILVER IN THE WOOD didn't really feel like it left anything hanging for DROWNED COUNTRY to pick up, so while this does bring more of a resolution than the first book did, I don't really thing it wrapped up anything left loose, per se. The main storyline begins here and was not present in the first book, and contains several major things which are both introduced and resolved here. It is the last book in the duology and while SILVER IN THE WOOD had a satisfying ending, DROWNED COUNTRY brings a more emotionally complete ending which I like much better as a stopping point for observing this story. The point-of-view character changed from the first book, rather than following Tobias we're getting Silver's perspective. The third-person parts of the narration feel very similar across both books, but the two men have very different manners of speech and thought and the text conveys that well. This wouldn't make much sense if you skipped SILVER IN THE WOOD to read this. They're both novellas and DROWNED COUNTRY simply doesn't have room to retread the ground that SILVER IN THE WOOD already covered. There's enough context to be an adequate reminder for anyone who waited between reading the two books, but it's referential instead of explanatory, and I think someone who tried to start at here would feel like many things are missing.

At first I was a bit confused by the way the book starts out with Silver and Tobias somewhat estranged, given how the previous book left things, but it does circle back to show what happened before. I like this as a follow-up, it gives a much more satisfying ending as a duology than what SILVER IN THE WOOD had on its own.  

CW for ableism, kidnapping, confinement, blood, violence, death.

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A pointed wooden gate on a circular bed of moss on top of a dark green sea, from the moss a spike of roots reaches down into the depths.


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