Saturday, January 07, 2023

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries starts Emily Wilde series of historical fantasy romances. The book is set in the early twentieth century and it follows Emily, a Cambridge scholar of faeries. She’s determined to write the definitive encyclopaedia of them and for that, she’s come to a remote island somewhere off the coast of Norway, right as the winter is starting.

Emily isn’t exactly a peoples’ person, so first thing, she manages to offend most people in the village. And her troubles only worsen when a fellow scholar Wendell Bambleby shows up and decides to take part in her research. Sharing a cottage with the boisterous man is straining for her, no matter that he smooths things over with the villagers, but then truth about him comes out, changing everything.

The winter is cold and full of adventures that put Emily and Wendell in danger time after time. But it’s all in the name of research and a paper they plan to present together at a conference of faery studies. If they can get out of the clutches of a faery king, that is.

The book is written in the form of a research diary, complete with footnotes. Everything is told after the fact, though in a very readable first-person account. A couple of times, the point of view changes to Wendell’s, when he gets his hands on her research notes. The story gets a moment to get going, but then it’s a delightful fantasy with a bit of romance between a single-minded protagonist and her suitor who is amazingly patient with her.

This is the first book in the series, but the story is complete without cliffhangers. There are enough open questions though, mostly about Wendell, for many books to come. Looking forward to reading more.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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