DRUNK REVIEW: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett (Emily Wilde #1)

Minda’s drunk review of Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

**We received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Heather and Del Rey for the opportunity. This book comes out Jan 10, 2023.**

What I drank prior: full bottle of wine and assorted pumpkin beers for Sun football watch party.

Goodreads Overview:

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.

My Summary: Emily Wilde is on a mission in a remote corner of Scandinavia for one thing and one thing alone: to uncover the secrets of the “Hidden Ones”—the otherwise undiscovered fae that exist in this corner of the earth. She is determined to finish her encyclopedia of faeries with this as the missing piece. And she will not let anything get in her way. Not the townsfolk and their customs, not the discomforts of the icy north, and most certainly not her frenemy/colleague, the handsome Bambleby who is determined to join her on this discovery and who she believes may have secret intentions. However as her cold heart thaws (ha anyone getting Frozen flashbacks?) there may be more to the stories than she originally thought and she may find herself in the middle of one of the fables.

Spoiler-free Thoughts: What a great premise for a book! The fae and literary bit alone, let alone the “curmudgeonly professor” aspect that is usually a male trait. While it was a bit of a slow start, once her competition with Bambleby hits the spotlight and pushes her out of her comfort zone, Emily (and the book) really find its footing. The footnotes, while a bit confusing at times, we’re really fun for a book about writing an encyclopedia.

Characters: First up, Professor Emily Wilde who is as curmudgeonly as billed. But also very sweet and very dedicated to her work. The best of her personality was brought out by her frenemy and colleague and TBH a lot of us can say the same. Wendell Bambleby—great name btw—is flighty and fantastical, but also has a great heart and a love for Emily, despite her coldness to him. He is SO endearing. The townspeople—Aud, Thora, Finn, and Lilja, to name a few—are also standout as a group, though not necessarily as individuals. Shadow—Emily’s dog—is also very sweet and worth a mention. It might have been nicer to really get to know more of the fae, but ya know, can you really know a faerie? That’s kind of the point, maybe.

Plot: Wow literally a lot happens! It was a slow start—as billed, she’s pretty crumondgeonly and kind of a pill at the start—but once it picks, picks up. One random thing, I feel like this could have had multiple right endings, but the book kept going? Not a problem necessarily, just more a comment on pacing. And a bit of an abrupt acutal ending.

Side note—always remember, the last question is always the most important one when it comes to the fae.

World Building: At fist I thought there was a lot to be desired—mostly because of Emily’s overall initial unlikeability—but then it turned super great. Once we got to know some of the townspeople, we got a lot more of their customs and sweet towns-ness, but also more of how they feel about the Folk. Then a MAJOR twist gives you even more interested knight into the fae—both the Hidden Ones and fae from other corners of the earth. I still could have liked more, but I am pleased with what I got.

Writing Style: Mostly journal-style from Emily with helpful footnotes about the fae, plus the occasional post from Bam Bam when our Emnis predisposed. I thought it was a strong decision for, again, a book that is ultimately about writing an encyclopedia.

Drink Pairing: Ok so i had this drink the other day that I think would be perfect. It’s a very chilled gin Tanqueray martini lightly dirty with two olives. Bambleby would support.

Rating: 4/5 shots. Though now that I’m reading this back, it might be more of a 4.5.

xxxo Minda

2 thoughts on “DRUNK REVIEW: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett (Emily Wilde #1)

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