Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries

by Heather Fawcett

Paperback, 2023

Call number

SPEC FIC FAW

Publication

Del Rey (2023), 352 pages

Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER * 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 the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series. "So endlessly enchanting, so rich and complete and wise that you'll walk away half ensorcelled."--Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood 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, muddle 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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member spiritedstardust
This just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.
I liked the subject matter but the pacing was off - slow and then basically everything went down in the last quarter of the book.
The main character def came off neurodivergent whiz I like but it’s her coldness that didn’t do it for me - a main
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character needs to have a bit more colour.
The romance was also flat. And I think that was due to Emily’s personality more so than their dynamic - she just felt too much like a cold fish.
The writing was also dense - paired with the slow pacing it just felt like a very laborious read.
The last 1/4 of the book really saved it from a low rating but I don’t feel compelled to read the next instalment.
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LibraryThing member bibliovermis
Just fantastic, in every sense! Emily Wilde is a dedicated faerie scholar, tersely lacking in people skills or basic friendliness, and working to receive acclaim and tenure in the sexist realm of 1900s Cambridge. The story is relayed in journal entries from Professor Wilde's expedition to a
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freezing cold, physically and magically dangerous Norwegian village, where she needs to study the final faerie types to finish the first ever complete encyclopedia of faeries. And this story has got everything—fantasy! mystery! fairy tales! excellent dogs! scholarly publishing! history! action! adventure! a little romance, with Tam Lin vibes! It's one of those rare epistolary novels that works for me because Emily is so complete and exacting in her recollections and descriptions and so completely, refreshingly honest and clearsighted about her own faults and mistakes, you never feel like you're missing part of the story by just getting her daily journal perspective. I am so happy there will be a sequel.
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LibraryThing member melaniehope
This was such a unique and well written story. I loved every second of it. It takes place in the early 1900s. Emily is a very scientific professor who would rather be working on her field notes and studying fairies than having to deal with people. The story revolves around her journey from England
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to a remote part of the North. Although she struggles to fit in with the locals, she soon finds her solitude interrupted by the arrival of her academic rival, Wendell. When Emily finds her self in trouble from an encounter with the Hidden ones, she must rely on the help of the local villagers. This book is perfect for anyone who enjoys fantasy/folklore. I would love to read more about Emily and Wendell! I received a complimentary ebook from Netgalley.com
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LibraryThing member Kiaya40
I love this book. I'm still thinking about it after reading it and considering rereading it. I'm also extra hyped for the next book coming out in this series. This is just so perfect, so charming and such a lovely, cozy fantasy with some romance that's so cute, and the world and atmosphere are so,
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so enchanting and amazing.

The characters are loveable and fun and it's great to see the relationship and banter between Emily and Bambleby. I also love the little village and the place that Emily stays in. I enjoyed the perspective from Emily with her expertise on the faerie folk in her journals and seeing the world through her eyes as she goes exploring, finding things, meeting faerie folk and her dog and everything.

If you haven't read this, you're missing out. I thoroughly enjoyed and fell in love with this and cannot wait for the next book. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for letting me read and review this delightful story. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member kimkimkim
October, 1909 Professor Emily Wilde is in the completely unpronounceable place Hrafnsvik, Ljosland searching for the Hidden Ones, a species of faerie. This is to be the last chapter in a nine year project. This is her life. She is a cantakerous , careless and uncaring about her appearance, socially
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inept, standoffish, awkward, and one of the foremost authorities on those magical creatures. She travels with her old boarhound Shadow who is frightening in appearance and much much than he appears. They are inhabiting a simple cabin in a rustic village which is a far cry from her rooms in Cambridge, England. So far the story is straightforward and while marginally interesting and informative is it also dry. Enter “Bloody Brambleby” or the thought of him.

When Wendell Brambleby finally shows up things start to get more interesting because he is everything that Emily is not, He is a golden boy, literally and figuratively. He is spoiled but very sociable and is able to connect with all the villagers Emily has alienated. There is magic in the air, in the trees, in the hollows and fields. Fairy Kings entrapped in trees and brownies hiding and popping out as needed and evil tall ones lurking. There is a story here but I am not sure of its relevance only that it was fun and it appears that there may be a sequel.

Thank you Del Rey/Random House and NetGalley for a copy.
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LibraryThing member kmartin802
Emily Wilde is a Cambridge professor and an expert in the study of faeries. Her latest field expedition has taken her to Hrafnsvik, an island off the coast of Norway, where she intends to study the Hidden Ones who are an almost mythical variety of faerie. She wants to add a chapter about them to
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her great work, her encyclopedia of faeries.

She gets off to a rather bad start because she manages to alienate the local villagers. She is great with faeries but not at all great with people. When her rival scholar Wendell Brambleby comes to the same island to horn in on her study, he quickly becomes popular with the villagers.

Emily's vast knowledge of faerie and folk tales comes in handy when she finds a way to help a couple who have become the parents of a changeling child. And her knowledge is really helpful when she manages to rescue two young women who have been captured by the Hidden Ones. However, she needs some help herself when she releases a faerie king cursed into a tree and who decides to "reward" her by making her his wife after she frees him.

I enjoyed this first-person account, as told through her journal entries, of a young woman who is a wonderful scholar but vastly confused by the people around her. I found her relationship with Wendell Brambleby intriguing. I enjoyed learning his secret.

Fans of fantasy will enjoy this engaging story and be eager to follow Emily and Wendell's further adventures when the sequel is released.
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LibraryThing member Jannes
Perfectly serviceable. Engaging and easy to read, with a somewhat interesting protagonist and an obvious love and respect for the source material what it comes to the faerie lore. The romance plot feels awkward with odd pacing and nonsensical twists.
LibraryThing member shelleyraec
“Herein I intend to provide an honest account of my day-to-day activities in the field as I document an enigmatic species of faerie called “Hidden Ones.””

Offering a delightful blend of mystery, adventure, romance and magic, Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is an enchanting
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historical fantasy from Heather Fawcett.

Emily Wilde, a Cambridge Professor and dryadologist writing an encyclopaedia about the known species of Folk and their lore, arrives in the remote village of Hrafnsvik on an island off the Norwegian coast hoping to learn the secrets of its elusive indigenous fae. Related through Emily’s journal entries, Emily soon encounters her quarry, befriending a brownie she calls Poe, and meeting an unhappy changeling, but it’s after two young women vanish from the village that Emily must confront the regions rather terrifying courtly fae, and finds herself at the mercy of an imprisoned Faerie King.

Though she is uptight and has few people skills to speak of, Emily is an endearing character, who I thought intelligent, earnest and brave. Conditions are tough in Ljosland but content with just her faithful dog, Shadow, for company, Emily is looking forward to months of solitary field work, so she is not pleased by the unexpected arrival of fellow academic, Wendell Brambley.
Wendell is in many way Emily’s opposite. Cheerful and charismatic with uncommonly good sewing skills, he exasperates Emily in a manner no other does. Though Emily pretends otherwise, she recognises there is something special about Wendell. Wendell’s charm does prove to be a boon for Emily, especially in her dealings with the villagers, whom she inadvertently offends, and later in dealing with fae. I enjoyed the pair’s banter, and their friendship that hints at the development of something more.

Though the pacing may seem a little slow to begin, it does improve. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is not all light and whimsy, Fawcett’s world of Folk has its dark side. There are moments of drama, suspense and action that include faery trickery, abduction and sword fights.

I think Fawcett got the tone of the narrative right in that it reflects the formality of the period (the book is set in 1909), and Emily’s own scholarly propriety. The footnotes, which are not too extensive, also fit the style.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is a captivating read, and I’m pleased to know that a second book is expected in early 2024.
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LibraryThing member OpheliaAutumn
This book was so entertaining and well crafted - I had a great time reading it and I can't wait for Book 2.
Through her diary, we follow the footsteps of introverted academic Emily Wilde and her dog as she studies fairies in a fictional Nordic island, soon to be joined by her flamboyant colleague
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and friend (although describing him as a frenemy might be more appropriate at the beginning... no spoilers about the end!) Wendell Bambleby.
The language, archaic-ish, precise and witty at the same time, made me smile several times, and the banter between the two researchers even more. I loved all the details about the lore and fairy academia, the villagers personalities, and all the secrets that we progressively uncover.
It's unique and delightful.

I want to thank NetGalley and Little Brown Book for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member tornadox
Emily Wilde is a dryadologist, a scholar and folklorist specializing on the Fae. She loves doing field research, even in a remote village in an Iceland-like country. So remote that she couldn’t convince any of her grad students to accompany her. She will be the first to study (and publish) the
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rumored Hidden Ones.
Emily is making progress with the wee ones, but somehow offended the local humans.
And then one of her colleagues shows up. Comedy and enchantments ensue.
Side notes: Queer characters are common, not stigmatized! And there will be at least one sequel. Satisfying romances.
Written as a series of field notes/diary entries, not encyclopedia entries (I had been hoping for the latter)

Read an ARC courtesy of NetGalley
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LibraryThing member Lunarsong
This is the kind of book where as soon as you get to the end, you just want to flip back to page one and start it all over again right away. I’ve found one of my new favorite books!

A fantastic fantasy adventure with fantastic characters, realistic character growth, adult characters that actually
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act like adults, humor, witty banter, fae trickery, fae that actually act alien, multiple strong female characters, a little bit of love-triangle-free romance, and great main character.

The complex strong female protagonist (who's a scholar/researcher and actually acts like one), other great characters, and extremely clever plot make this story especially memorable.

THE PREMISE:

Emily Wilde, top scholarly expert in the Faerie Folk, travels to a remote village in Norway to study the illusive fae known as the Hidden Ones to complete the final entry of her academic Encyclopaedia of Faeries. Her and her dog have traveled around the world doing fieldwork, collecting firsthand observations, and recording stories of encounters with the Folk. She never thought she’d get caught up in the center of one of those stories.

When she accidentally offends the entire town, her charming colleague Wendell Bamblebly (who may or may not be human) unexpectedly joins her, and the Faeries of this town prove to be particularly dangerous and odd, she just might be in over her head. Soon she’s caught up in rescue missions, Courtly Fae politics, and even a little romance. (Although, all of the above prove to be incredible research opportunities.)

THE PROTAGONIST:

I absolutely love Emily Wilde. She’s so d*mn clever and crafty and quick on her feet. Who wouldn’t love a character that outsmarts a spell by tricking the spell into helping her break it? She’s so clever that it’s a little bit scary.

Emily talks like a scholar. She thinks like a scientist and researcher. But, at heart, she’s an explorer. (It’s always a rare treat to see a female scholar/researcher/expert that actually acts and thinks like a competent one in fantasy fiction.) She’s armed with finely honed instincts (for dealing with fae, she’s hopeless when it comes to people). She’s got just a bit of arrogance, the kind that comes with being highly skilled and experienced, as well as confident enough to know it. She carries the curiosity, ambition, and reckless streak of an explorer.

She reminds me of Susan Calvin from Isaac Asimov's books, but instead of figuring out how robots think and outsmarting them, she does the same with the fae. Plus, they’re both a little bit ruthless. And a little terrifying. They’re both likable, incredibly well written, and complex strong female characters. They’re both brilliant, confident, bold, intelligent, clever, and imaginative. Top experts in their fields.

She understands the Faerie Folk better than anyone else – a lot better than she understands people. If there is any order, reason, or logic that governs, predicts, organizes, or explains the actions and nature of the folk, it’s stories. She just never thought she’d get tangled in the center of one. She never thought she’d have to think her way out of one. She also never thought that she wouldn’t have to save herself alone. She never thought she’d find herself so… not alone anymore. She is still very independent, but she also learns that having some allies, a little help from some friends is… nice too. She still saves herself in the end, with a little assist from some friends. (Frankly, she probably was even clever enough to do it alone, but this time she didn’t have to.)

Ever careful to remain an impartial observer (like a social anthropologist), Emily never expected to get attached to the townsfolk or go on a mission to help them (even with the ulterior motive of it being a great research opportunity). She definitely never expected them to get attached to her. She certainly didn’t count on the distraction of possible romance with her colleague and academic rival/ally that may or may not be human.

But, people change and life surprises you. Emily goes a long way in terms of growth, making friends, opening up, and considering romance. But, she maintains her independence, ambition, strategic genius, and cunning instincts through it all. Emily’s definitely not done exploring the faerie frontier (pun intended).

THE STYLE:

The format is an unfiltered field journal documenting her research progress for her to reference when writing the last chapter of her encyclopedia. It devolves into more of a diary as her professional mission devolves into a personal quest.

Emily really does talk and write like an academic. You get to see some drafts of Encyclopedia entries, professional field notes, and relevant background research. You also see Emily bouncing theories around and simply jotting down thoughts to clear her head. You also get a few entries written by Bambleby, helping you get to know him too.

The start is a bit slow, but it was laying necessary groundwork and I was never bored. Things pick up, but never feel rushed. You get plenty of action, adventure, and clever plot twists. The plot is definitely unpredictable, but not in an irrationally ridiculous was.

A good sense of humor is infused into the whole story. There’s lots of laughter, banter, and comedic drama. It’s clear that this book was written with a good sense of humor.

THE ROMANCE:

It’s got a love-triangle-free slow burn romance that’s charming, inevitable, and healthy. Wendell is both adorable and ruthless. He and Emily are sweet together even though they’re both a bit sour as individuals. They’re good for each other, accept each other, and push each other (in the right direction) just a bit. They make sense even though they shouldn’t. They balance out each other’s weaknesses. They’re a great team. They’re each other's intellectual equal. They honor each other’s boundaries and independence. Last but not least, the pair have the great banter and hilarious debates that never fail to entertain. The romance doesn’t overshadow the plot.

THE WORLD AND OTHER GOOD THINGS:

The world and fae lore are well developed (no surprise considering the main character is a fae expert). The Faeries in this story really do think and act differently from humans, instead of just acting like humans that happen to have some magic.

The villagers will steal your heart. The village is full of strong female characters, including an impressive matriarch. The dynamics in the village are both amusing and realistic. There’s some wonderful slowly developed friendships that I loved just as much as the romance. The friendship and romance paired well to develop the theme of Emily learning that she doesn’t have to be alone anymore, even if she can take care of herself. Opening up to new friendships and romance are a big part of her character’s growth arc.

It’s got some casual LGBTQ+ rep with a lesbian couple (side characters). I loved both of those strong women and their heartwarming relationship.

Characters are adults and they act like it. There’s some drama, but no melodrama.

The story is refreshingly free of homophobia, toxic masculinity, controlling men, etc.

THE ENDING:

Perfect as a standalone. A complete story with a fitting and satisfying end. A happy ending. No loose ends that would drive you nuts. There’s still room for further books with the characters and world.

WARNINGS: kidnapping (think changings), violence (mild), mind control (think spells, nothing too creepy)

I received a free eARC via NetGalley. I am writing this review completely honestly and voluntarily.
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LibraryThing member tapestry100
Well, this is just freaking delightful. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by @heather_fawcett, from @delreybooks, is the start of a cozy new fantasy series following the exploits of plucky yet curmudgeonly Emily Wilde on her adventures to write the world’s first encyclopedia of the
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Folk.

Having discovered the Fae are real, the science of dryadology has blossomed, and one of the youngest scientists in this new field of study is Emily Wilde, who has made it her mission to catalogue all the myriad species of Fae in the world. Her latest expedition takes her to the frozen land of Hrafnsvik, in search of the Hidden Ones, a heretofore undiscovered Folk. Preferring the company of her dog, Shadow, and her books, Emily wastes no time in unintentionally alienating the local townsfolk, until her colleague, Wendell Bambleby, arrives more or less unannounced and charms them with his wit and good looks.

Through a series of (mis)adventures, Emily and Bambleby discover the mystery behind the Hidden Ones, rescue a handful of abducted villagers, and Emily finds herself more involved in her investigations into the Folk than she ever thought possible. She also may find that making friends may be easier than she had imagined.

I quite enjoyed this introduction to Emily Wilde and the eclectic cast of characters she has surrounded herself with. Fawcett’s writing is clever, telling the story via Emily’s journal entries, giving us a first person view into how she views the world around her. The descriptions of the Folk are fantastic in all their beauty and brutality; Fawcett keeps to the idea that they can’t always be trusted.

I know I’ll be picking up a copy of this when it’s released on Tuesday and am already looking forward to Emily’s next adventure.

A huge thank you to @netgalley & @delreybooks for an eARC in exchange for a review.

#EmilyWildesEncyclopaediaofFaeries #NetGalley #heatherfawcett #arc #bookreview #book #books #booksragram #bookblog #bookblogger #fantasy #fae #faerie #faeries #fairies #frommybookshelf #frommybookshelfblog
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LibraryThing member tamidale
I felt like a child again reading this imaginative book about mythical creatures and magical happenings. I’ve read many Irish and Russian folk tales about the changelings and little folk, faeries or creatures who can wreak havoc around a home and this story had them all.

Our main character, Emily
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is a professor who travels to a remote village to study the folk in order to write a professional paper on her findings. Soon after arriving, her friend and classmate (or whatever he is) arrives and proceeds to interfere with her research, which ends up helping her in a roundabout way.

I loved the back and forth between the two characters. Their interactions with the villagers was fun and sweet and I loved how they all came together for the good of the community. This is a wonderful wintertime read and fun to go back in time to reading fairy tales like I did as a child.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine for allowing me to read an advance copy. I am happy to review and recommend this to other readers.
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LibraryThing member hcnewton
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
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WHAT'S EMILY WILDE'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES ABOUT?
Emily Wilde is a dryadologist. Imagine, if you will, what post-Darwin scientists and naturalists were doing for the study of plants and animals in the late nineteenth/early twentieth
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centuries; or what Carter and the rest were doing in Egypt; but dryadologists are studying fairies (oh, in this world, they are as real as the tomb of Tutankhamun—she's not a literary theorist). Humans have been dealing with fairies for centuries, but what we know about them is really limited. Mostly left to legends, tales told around the fire or in an inn—where a third or fourth-hand account is rare and as close to an eyewitness as most people will ever get. Emily and her counterparts throughout the world are seeking to bring that to an end. She has a position at Cambridge but is hoping her current project is the kind of thing that will secure her tenure and allow her to further her research.

Her project is the first comprehensive Encyclopedia of Fairies (hence the title). She could publish what she has now and probably receive scholarly acclaim—and tenure. But she's driven. She's a completist. And, to be honest, she has a little bit of an ego and she wants more than probable acclaim. So she rents a small shack in a Norwegian village for a few months to try to find, interact with, and document the least-understood fairies in the world. The northern Hidden Ones (both the common and regal varieties) are powerful and secretive. They don't interact much with humans—and when they do, it's generally bad for the humans. If Emily can be the first to get any scholarly research done, it will definitely put her on the map.

Sadly, as good as she is at dealing with and understanding Fairy, Emily is bad with humans. She has no people skills, is aware of it, and doesn't care. But in this inhospitable climate, she really needs help to survive—much less to learn a lot about the Hidden Ones.

Thankfully (?), soon after her arrival, a colleague/competitor—and her only friend—gatecrashes her trip and takes up residence in her shack with her. Wendell Bambleby is the very picture of a Victorian gentleman-scholar. He's a charmer, and soon has the villagers eating out of his hand. He's also pampered and demanding (would probably have been considered a bit of a dandy at the time)—and has a really hard time not wrapping his head around things like cooking for himself, working to keep the fire burning, etc. He's decided that he's going to collaborate with Emily (not really caring if she agrees) and that their work in Norway will be the thing to help him reclaim some academic respectability following a scandal.

He may be under a cloud, but Wendell has connections and can open doors for Emily to get her the audience she really needs. So she accepts his proposal to collaborate, assuming she's going to do almost all of the work.

Things ensue. I really can't say more than that.

POE
The first fairy that Emily meets is a young brownie—she ends up referring to him as Poe. It's great to see her in action with him. it shows that she does know what she's doing—we don't just have to take her word for it (not that we have any reason to think she's lying, but it's good to know).

Poe really ends up showing us so much about Emily—and other characters, too. He's ultimately so integral and important to the novel—and in a very real sense, not important to the plot in any way. But through his interactions (both that the reader sees on the page and those that happen "off-screen") with various characters, so much of the plot becomes possible and the reader gains a whole lot of insight. Really, he was well, and cleverly, used by Fawcett. I can't say it better without spending a few hundred spoiler-filled words, but the more I think about him, the more impressed I am by Fawcett.

KNOWING MORE THAN EMILY
Around the time—probably a little before—I figured out that the story of the novel isn't really what you think it is, I figured out a couple of things that Emily is utterly blind to for a very long time.

Knowing more than a protagonist can be frustrating—I spend a lot of time yelling at detectives in mystery novels in particular. But sometimes, it can be fun watching them catch up to the reader. Fawcett's able to draw humor from us knowing things that Emily doesn't. It also helps us empathize with both Emily and other characters as we see her work through various situations and conversations.

And then, when Emily catches up with the reader—and reality—it's all the more satisfying. Most/all of what we know that she doesn't really wouldn't be that believable if we learned it when she does. We get to spend many pages urging, "Come on, come on, come on...open your eyes/pay attention/etc." And then, finally, cheer when she does. It's the closest many readers will get to the position of a sportsball fan yelling at their TV to communicate to someone in a stadium miles/states away.

SLAMMING ON THE BRAKES
I did have one significant problem with this book. As part of her research—part of her life, really—Emily specializes in stories about faeries. She shares some of them as part of her journal. It makes sense, they serve both the character and the overall novel. They're truly fitting.

However.

It was like slamming the brakes on. Everything that had been building, all the tension, the momentum, the development, and so on all came to a rapid stop. And then picked up again after the stories. It reminded me of a time in Kevin Hearne's Hammered when everything stopped for some of the characters to tell stories. As fun as those stories were, it really made that novel hard to get through (that series went on for 6 more books, two spin-off series, and a number of novellas and short stories—so the jarring stop was obviously not too catastrophic).

If the transition to them had been smoother—or maybe they had been more spread out. Just something, I probably wouldn't have mentioned them—or I'd have talked about what a great way it was for us to get an understanding of the Northern Fairies without an infodump. Instead, it came across as a stumble—one that the novel recovered from nicely. But in the moment, it really bugged me.

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT EMILY WILDE'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES?
Stick with me for a minute—I could tell from the opening pages that this was a well-composed and well-structured novel full of fantastic world-building. But it took longer for me to move beyond appreciation and admiration for what was being done to really care about it. I did, though, the book started out slowly and picked up momentum as it went—and as it did, I got more and more invested (and my appreciation and admiration increased, too). Somewhere around the mid-point, maybe a little later, I was as invested as is possible and only my notes tell me it took time for that.

I think I just used too many words to say—it's a slow burn of a novel in almost every conceivable way. Not unlike Emily's rented shack—it takes a while for a fire to really start heating the place, but once it has time, it's nice and toasty warm.

There's a lot I'd like to talk about, but I'm not sure how. I can see later installments being easier, but so much of the novel is about beginnings. To really talk about it would be to discuss the last 20% of the novel. And no one wants me to do that.

Just because of my own prejudices, I could spend a few paragraphs on her dog, Shadow, too. As much as he deserves them, I'm going to leave it with "he's a very good boy." I hope to see more of him in the books to come, too.

This book is rich in character, story, world-building (and world-revealing), magic, and subtlety. I'm not sure if you can be rich in subtlety, but Fawcett pulls that off. This is absolutely something I recommend and imagine the next few months are going to be filled with people gushing over this. Readers of this post might as well get in line now to be one of those gushing.
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LibraryThing member Kathl33n
Delightfully imaginative! This is a book about a scholar who studies fairies in a world just like our own except that fairies exist and everyone knows it. The fairies and magic were super unique and the different cultures and appearances of the fairies were so interesting. The main character is
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socially awkward and she knows it, which I appreciated, instead of the normal obliviousness most of these characters seem to have now a days as an excuse to act inappropriately. She knows it and owns it and tries to figure it all out. The story is told through her academic journal entries, but they are so filled with detail and conversation that I didn't really even notice. My only wish is that the book was illustrated, it would add so much charm and interest and it would have really pushed the encyclopedia concept; even if it was only rough sketches along with the journal entries - it would have been so much fun. My thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Del Rey publishing for providing me with an advance copy.
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LibraryThing member ladycato
I received an early copy through NetGalley.

What a magnificent book! This is a cozy fantasy that makes me feel like I'm snuggling into a blanket by a warm fire with a cat on my lap. You want a delightfully academic and fun approach to the well-trod trope of fairies? Done. Unique setting? Yep. A
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curmudgeonly heroine who prefers books to people? Oh yes, and I relate to her a bit much. Fantastic banter that makes you want to giggle aloud? Yes, yes, yes. I am EXCITED that the Goodreads listing says this is the first in a series. I want more Emily. More Wendell. More Folk-related chaos.
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LibraryThing member clrichm
I really enjoyed the representation of fae folk in this book! Some were indifferent, some malevolent, a few inclined to choose "favorite mortals," but in no cases were they ever portrayed as "good," which is what made me enjoy Wendell's character more than I might have: even entranced with Emily as
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he was, he still remained indifferent to the fates of most other mortals except insofar as they might be of use to him. He was absolutely true to character, and I loved that for him. Emily, too, didn't abruptly change character in some sort of "kindness is magic" brick-wall modulation; even if she came to care for the people around her more than she anticipated, it wasn't something with which she has comfortable or which she had sought. She was so single-minded in her focus that the two characters were wonderful counterparts to each other, and I'm so GLAD that this wasn't really a romance. They might eventually find their way there, but it would take a lot more time, and even then, they'd probably be as likely to kill each other as kiss. Marvelous,
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LibraryThing member jmchshannon
Books that garner that much attention make me nervous because I tend to have differing opinions of the novels popular on social media. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett is one of those novels that was all around the book world earlier this year. I hesitated to read it
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because it was THE book last winter. Thankfully, what I discovered upon reading it is a charming story that I loved.

The heart of the story is the characters, and at the very center is Emily Wilde. Emily is a character to whom any bookworm can relate. She is nerdy, awkward, single-minded in her pursuit of knowledge, extremely bookish, and prefers solitude over anything. I think we all can commiserate with Emily's uncomfortable social interactions. It is easy to fall under Emily's spell because we are her.

Bartleby is the yang to Emily's yin, providing the levity Emily needs (as do we all). Their easy banter and their words left unspoken show how in tune they are with each other. If ever two characters balance each other into one harmonious whole, it is them. While we learn a little of Bartleby's past, you know Ms. Fawcett has more to reveal about him. I am curious how it will affect their relationship.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries lives up to the excitement around it earlier this year. It is not a flashy story, but that is okay because it is well-written and has a cast of characters that make up the heart and soul of the novel. Ms. Fawcett even makes the remote setting appealing in its way. I love when a book surprises me, and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries did just that. I cannot wait to read about Emily's next adventures!
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LibraryThing member Sammelsurium
The fantasy elements of this book impressed me: they have more backbone than most books of this kind and are highly relevant to both the development of the plot and the internal life of the main character. The main character is a scholar, and her motivations--the pursuit of knowledge and scholarly
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acclaim--are made easy to understand because of how interesting and alive the world of faeries is. The novel contains no shortage of intriguing details and stories about her work, and the main character's inquisitive perspective allows the audience to see how those details can be used to construct an understanding of the nature of faeries and drive the internal logic of the novel's world.

The fantasy is well-balanced with the story's romantic elements. The nature of the two main characters' relationship is not immediately obvious from the first chapter, and as my understanding of it grew over the course of the novel, so did my interest in it. I particularly like that both of them are driven by strong internal motivations. While their relationship is not wildly passionate, it is clear that it is grounded in their mutual understanding of each other's goals and commitment to helping each other achieve them--even if those goals may eventually put them at odds. I liked that this book portrayed them first and foremost as a highly functional team, but I hope the next one digs more into those potential points of conflict between them. It's a great start to a series, and I'm looking forward to the next book!
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LibraryThing member Treebeard_404
I was on the fence about 3 or 4 stars for this book. But because I will likely read the sequel, I decided on the higher rating.
LibraryThing member lrobe190
I found it very slow to read, but interesting. It's like reading a research report with footnotes and that's probably why it's written that way...both main characters are academicians.
LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
I couldn't help but be charmed by this tale. Emily Wilde is a curmudgeonly academic on a research expedition to study the faeries of an isolated, northern European island and is none too pleased when her scholarly rival shows up "to help". Emily, for all of her expertise and determined
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independence, can't seem to keep herself from getting tangled in fairy enchantments which require the assistance of the one person she'd really rather not ask. Overall, I enjoyed this light story with its hints of romance and will definitely be reading the sequel.
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LibraryThing member LynnMPK
This was so cute and cozy!

I liked the lore but found the footnotes to not be useful most of the time. The characters were great, and Emily was a breath of fresh air as far as how scientifically she thought. I'm so over grown women swooning at the first sign of an attractive man.
LibraryThing member davisfamily
This was a fun light read. Faries are mostly buttheads and jerks, that is what make this book so much fun. Reads like an old school adventure novel.
LibraryThing member krau0098
Series Info/Source: This is the first book in the Emily Wilde series. I borrowed this on audiobook from my library.

Thoughts: I really loved this. This was a fun, cozy fantasy read that I truly enjoyed. The story has us journeying with Emily, a Cambridge professor, who is determined to venture to
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the far north to finish her Encyclopaedia of Faeries. Unfortunately, she isn't quite prepared for the weather or the hostility she faces there. However, she is determined to deal with the discomforts and soldier through. That is until her charismatic friend (and fellow professor) Bambleby shows up and makes everything more complicated.

I loved Emily's obsession with the faerie studies and her blindness to how she affected everyone around her. She grows a lot through the book. The small winter town she is studying in is cozy and entertaining. Much of this book reminds me of Marie Brennon's "Memoirs of Lady Trent".

Her friend and academic rival, Wendell Bambleby, brings some amazing zany fun to the story. I love how he accepts Emily for who she is and subtly supports her brilliant mind in ways she doesn't even realize.

Of course, I always enjoy stories about faerie and this book explores some unique and obscure faerie types, which again, I really enjoyed. This was an engaging and fun read for me, the pacing was well done and the description and witty dialogue engrossing. I breezed right through this book.

My Summary (5/5): Overall, this was a wonderfully fun, feel good fantasy with deadly faeries and chilly magic but a surprisingly cozy feel to it. I would recommend to those who enjoyed Brennon's "Memoirs of Lady Trent" and to those who enjoy these kind of humorous academic adventure fantasies and don't mind just a touch of romance. I really enjoyed this and am thrilled that I just got "Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands" to review early. This second book in the series releases Jan 2024.
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Pages

352

ISBN

0593500156 / 9780593500156
Page: 0.9885 seconds