Author: Heather Fawcett
A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love, in this heartwarming and enchanting fantasy.
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 the first novel in the Emily Wilde series. The story is written in journal format that recounts the journey of 30-years-old Cambridge professor Emily Wilde, an expert on Faeries, who travels to the small northern village of Hrafnsvik to further expand her encyclopedia in the early 1900s. In her journey she is later joined by her frenemy and colleague, 29-year-old Wendell Brambleby. Emily and Wendell are opposites, so I enjoyed when Wendell joined as it provided balance to Emily’s character. While Emily is not quite a people person and slightly socially awkward, Wendell is social and outgoing. The two approach their research on faeries differently, which brings a fun rivalry to the story.
Emily’s journey begins with her arriving in the village and trying to settle in with the locals and faeries. She is not exactly feeling welcomed, so the beginning describes her trying to adjust to her new location. The pacing is a little slower as the world is built up and picks up once Wendell arrives. Through the story, the reader follows the POV of Emily (and sometimes Wendell) on their journey to discover information about Faeries. The townspeople and faeries were all interesting and I loved learning about each. There is a mystery that takes place, which was fun and a great way to move the story along.
As the story is told through journal entries, this helped build up the world as it is described though the main entries and footnotes. There is a lot of character development throughout the story, and it was fun learning about Emily’s journey. While there is some expected romance between Emily and Wendell, there is a lot more to be told for their story. They have great chemistry, so I can’t wait to learn more about their developing romance in the sequels. While this story does seem to be wrapped up, there are hints and elements that lead to the next story and adventure. There is still a lot of potential for the sequels, so the ending makes the reader excited to read more.
**I give a special thank you to Netgalley and Del Rey Books for the opportunity to read this novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**