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

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Another gorgeous novella by Emily Tesh, and a wonderful follow up to Silver in the Wood. Drowned Country meditates on the questions of how you grapple with becoming an immortal forest servant and have a meaningful romantic relationship when you’re young and selfish. The answer to both of these questions is: not very well. Silver goes on two journeys simultaneously, one a monster-hunting adventure tale, and the other an emotional voyage to test the changing limits of his own heart and judgement. I didn’t predict how this would end, and I love Tesh for surprising me with a happy horizon at the closing.

Read on: December 28, 2020

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Silver in the Wood (The Greenhollow Duology #1) by Emily Tesh

Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love Green Man stories, and I have been looking forward to reading Silver in the Wood for months. I’m so glad I saved it for my end-of-the-year vacation, when I’m relaxed and can really enjoy how beautiful this little novella is. Tesh turns phrases and ideas that make me hum and purr like a cat, and she tells a gorgeous story of ancient magic, redemption, love, folklore, forests, and family, with humor and monster hunting peeping out of the leaves. I’m off to read the sequel Drowned Country right now.

Read on: December 27, 2020

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When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain (The Singing Hills Cycle, #2) by Nghi Vo

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Vo delivers another excellent tale via the cleric Chih, again exploring the ways in which stories change as they are told by different groups with different agendas and different ideas about who the protagonist of the story is. The tale of the scholar Dieu and the tiger Ho Thi Thao is a travel story and a love story and a myth. Chih’s own experience facing the tigers and capturing their version is a lesson and an adventure and a warning. So many layers captured in such a small book. What a gem and a treat!

Read on: December 26, 2020

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The Physicians of Vilnoc (Penric and Desdemona, #8) by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Physicians of Vilnoc by Lois McMaster Bujold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another enjoyable Penric novella! I was uncertain when I started it if I wanted to be reading about a disease outbreak right now (and on Christmas!), but I trusted Bojuld to give me a positive ending, and she delivered. (She saves the real tragedies in Penric’s stories for off camera.) In the midst of solving the riddle of the illness, Penric grapples with a troubled piece of his past we are told about in an earlier volume but don’t see, and gains new perspective on why it was considered such a problem that Desdemona ended up in him and not her intended next host in the first place. By the end of the story, Pen sees the path of his future in truly developing others and not just himself unfolding before him.

Read on: December 25, 2020

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