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Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries – Blog Tour Book Review!

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 is good at many things, but dealing with people and the emotions that surely follow, is not one of them. So when she finds herself on a remote Island, she intends to study the elusive ‘Hidden folk’ that call it home, and she definitely has no intention of warming herself to the people who call this Island home. Bus as usual, fate has other ideas. Emily values her research above all else, but even she can’t help but want to lessen the plight that the Fae hold over the people of Hrafnsvik, and before long she will have to decide which she is willing to put first. For the Fae are ever malicious and tricksters and one or more might have their eyes on Emily herself.

I have to say that I adored Emily as a character. She is someone who lacks any kind of social skills, making her seem awkward and haughty at times, and it’s not for the lack of things to say, rather the lack of how to put it across without accidentally insulting someone or putting her foot in it. She is incredibly smart and while her social skills may be lacking, her ability to enter the world of and deal with the Fae is like no other. I adored her no nonsense attitude & how she just seems to flit into the world of Fae with an ease few others can claim. She isn’t someone who rushes into situations head first, but rather someone who likes to spend the time planning and thinking things through before making any rash decisions, something that fares her well throughout the story. Wendell Bambleby, however, was the complete polar opposite of Emily. Brash, open and ever the people person, he was someone who could enter a room and within minutes have people begging for his attention, something that irks Emily to no end. He gives off peak ‘damsel in distress vibes’ and I adored the scenes where they were together, how he managed to get under her skin like no other, but also had a protective streak.

Fawcett not only gives us our two main characters, but also a standout cast of side characters that I defy you not to fall in love with. The residents of Hrafnsvik have lived their lives in fear of the Fae, of them taking their children, never to be seen again. They start off a little distrustful of Emily, sure that she will bring the wrath of the Hidden Ones on them, but the more time they spend with her, the more they come to hope that Emily might indeed be their salvation. They are all brilliantly brought to life, each with their own personality, background and each with some kind of Fae related story that is sure to endear them to you as the reader. My favourites being Aud, the village leader who Emily manages to insult within 5 minutes of meeting her and Thora who seemed to understand Emily from the start & was the kind of wise old grandmother figure that you can’t help but love.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries is the perfect title for this book because it reads exactly like the title suggests. Fawcett gives us a true deep dive into folk lore, not just from Hrafnsvik but all around the world, thanks in large to how she chose to style the book. It’s written as if we are reading pages of Emily’s diaries with little scenes taken from the current events, which sounds like it could be jarring, actually the whole style of writing should make us feel disconnected from the story and the characters, but in fact it had the complete opposite effect. Instead of distancing us from the characters and story, I felt like it endeared me to them a little more, especially reading events from Emily’s POV and knowing that her version of events didn’t exactly go the way everyone else thought. It really is hard to describe, because I’ve never read a book that was written this way before, but I adored it.

Whilst there wasn’t a massive amount of action in this book, Fawcett manages to perfectly blend the folklore and fae knowledge with the mystery surrounding, not only the Hidden folk of Hrafnsvik, but also that of Wendell Bambleby, who was a mystery all of his own. Emily’s foray’s to try and find the Hidden Folk, lead her on some entertaining and sometimes perilous journeys, and whilst the majority of the story was focused on the Fae and giving us a deep dive into the lore from all around the world, Fawcett still manages to get some action scenes, and edge of your seat danger thrown in there to propel the story along and making sure it never gets too bogged down in the facts. Basically if you’re a lover of stories based around about Fae, I cannot recommend this enough. I adored learning, through Emily and her research, all the different stories and theories about the Fae, seeing how they are treated differently throughout the world, feared in some places and worshipped in others, and I just couldn’t get enough of the information she gave us.

The romance was the one part of this I didn’t love, which I know a lot of you are going to shout at me for! I knew it was coming, I had read all the reviews, but I just didn’t feel it, so when that scene happened, you all know the one I’m on about, it almost seemed like it came out of nowhere, especially with Bambleby whoring his way around the town literally days before. (No judgement, just seemed a bit weird for what happened after.) Obviously after that scene, I did start to get a bit more invested, mainly because Emily started thinking about it as well as when we get Bambleby’s POV… I adored that chapter btw. But in general, and mainly because Emily didn’t see it as an option, I just never really found myself getting behind the idea, or excited about it in any way. Don’t be put off by the romance though because it plays an incredibly small part in the overall story.

In case you didn’t guess it I adored this book and that was large in part to Emily’s character. She was someone I, who also likes my own company more than others most of the time, could easily relate too and I adored her go get em attitude and just absolute belief in herself and her research. If you’re looking for a cozy fantasy, with some low stakes, but plenty of fun and folklore to keep you entertained then I cannot recommend this enough. In fact, even if you’re not looking for that you should go pick this book up, it is simply, brilliant!

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