Thank you to Del Rey and Netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not change my opinion in anyway.
Book: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Emily Wilde 1) by Heather Fawcett
Release Date: January 10th 2023
Tags: Adult | Fantasy | Faeries | Fey | Magic | Snow Landscape | Historical
Trigger/Content Warnings: Ableism | Alcohol Consumption | Blood | Self-Amputation | Murder | Animal Abuse | Kidnapping
Other books by this author I reviewed
The Language of Ghosts
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.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is an interesting story that goes from the focus on faeries to the development of our main character.
The story of Emily starts of slow. She shows herself as a professional in her diary entries that we get to read. She tries to keep her distance from the people in the town. But as she is in a very remote area, without a lot of extra help, she does need the towns people to survive. When her academic rival appears she has to step up her game. And once she does get more interaction with the towns people she finds it is not so easy to turn her back on the problems the faeries cause them.
Like I said, the story is slow and the diaries start with an air of professionalism. But around the midway mark you can see a change in her entries. They become much more personal, infused with her emotions and it adds so much more dimension to the story.
The faeries really are the backdrop to out introduction of Emily. She is not someone who is much used to other people and isn’t nessecarily good at charming people. She prefers to have her nose in a book with her trusted sideick, the dog Shadow, next to her. Interacting with other people is hard and not something she can prepare herself for so she prefers to avoid it.
When Wendell comes into the story she tries to project a form of rivals onto their relationship while it is clear from the beginning that Wendell really doesn’t feel the same way. Back in Cambridge they have breakfast and lunch together. But keeping an air of a rivalry between them from her side means that she can keep him at a distance. For those pesky feelings he seems to call up whenever he is near. Plus she thinks he is actally a court faerie who is banished. That probably doesn’t help.
And yet Emily has so much to give to others. She’s smart, blunt, honest and does have her heart in the right place. As much as the book tries to say she is only out saving the day because of academics I don’t think that is true at all.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia might have started out on faeries but it became much more about Emily Wilde.