Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

I very rarely ready anything in the fantasy genre, but simply couldn’t resist trying Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett and I’m so glad I did and can share my blog tour review on Linda’s Book Bag today. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to participate in the blog tour.

Published by Little Brown and Hachette imprint Orbit today, 19th January 2023, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is available for purchase through the links here.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party—or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.

So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.

But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones—the most elusive of all faeries—lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all—her own heart.

My Review of Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Emily is researching the faerie world.

I do not usually enjoy reading fantasy style narratives so I think it says something about the success of Heather Fawcett’s writing that I absolutely loved Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries. However, this isn’t just fantasy, but there’s travel, mythology, romance, peril, self-knowledge and growth, community and danger too between the pages of a cracking read. 

The story is told through Emily’s conversational style that draws in the reader and makes them feel the narrative is being told just for them. In contrast to Wendell Bambleby’s more haphazard approach, Emily is assiduous in the mechanics of research, so that Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries has authenticity that I found brilliantly convincing. Footnotes add credence making the reader forgets it’s a narrative and not the real events that Emily is recording. These footnotes are often a wry or acerbic observation that helps develop Emily’s personality. I also thoroughly appreciated the narratives within the story, the folklore and stories about the fae because they added extra texture and interest. 

Emily is a fabulous character. She’s strong, somewhat blunt, not adverse to using expletives and absolutely determined to conduct her research with complete honesty. Her inability to form relationships, her lack of care about her personal appearance and her single-mindedness make her fully developed and endearing. I found her adversarial, and yet affectionate, relationship with Wendell thoroughly entertaining and I loved how their reactions to one another developed over the story. I’m delighted that there will be more about the two of them in future books.

The story itself is fast paced and exciting. It is beautifully written with Heather Fawcett blending poetic, almost ethereal landscapes with prosaic descriptions in a perfect balance. Reading Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is a very visual experience because of the vivid language used. 

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is a deliciously entertaining tale spiced by menace and humour, attraction and deviousness, that I found absorbing and entertaining. As someone not usually fond of the genre, I have a feeling Heather Fawcett has entranced my like the fae ensnare humans because I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed reading Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries and really recommend it.

About Heather Fawcett

Heather Fawcett is the author of the middle grade novels Ember and the Ice Dragons and The Language of Ghosts, as well as the young adult series Even the Darkest Stars. She has a master’s degree in English literature and has worked as an archaeologist, photographer, technical writer, and backstage assistant for a Shakespearean theatre festival. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada.

For further information, visit Heather’s website or find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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