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Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Updated: Apr 30

Hello everyone!

It’s time for another book review, the first of 2023! I have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump with being on my DCP, the holidays, and moving back home. I’m reading to jump back into reading and this was the perfect book to restart with. Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the ebook.

Let’s get into it!

Here are the quick facts:


Publishers: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Del Rey

Publishing Date: January 10, 2023

Genre: General Fiction/ Sci Fi & Fantasy

Rating: 3/5 stars

336 pages

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries is a fun fantasy read that takes a scientific approach to faeries and folklore. Set in the early 1900s, Emily Wilder is a professor from Cambridge who travels to the fictional country of Ljosland to study the faeries who live there, called the Hidden Ones. Emily is finalizing research to publish an encyclopaedia on faeries, the first of its kind. However, Emily has a hard time connecting with humans and much prefers the company of her dog, Shadow. While in Hrafnsvik, the small mountain town Emily is staying at, her academic rival Wendell Brambleby shows up to help “aid” Emily in her research. Together, Emily and Wendell research the Hidden Ones while helping the villagers with their other faery problems.

There were quite a few things I liked about this book. The most prevalent was the author’s world building. Fawcett did a fantastic job of blending in faeries and the folklore she created. It felt real and felt like something you would read if you were researching faeries. I also really enjoyed the characters. Emily comes off as a bit standoffish at the beginning but you soon realize she’s just a bit awkward. My favorite character by far was Wendell Brambleby. It's a bit ridiculous at times but he and Emily have such a fun dynamic. The villagers and other faeries are so charming and really add to the depth of the story.

There were also a handful of things I didn’t particularly enjoy with this story. The main two things for me were the pacing and narration style. While I really enjoyed how in depth the world building was, the first two thirds of this story was very slow moving. There wasn’t any “action” until well past the halfway mark. I also don’t enjoy stories where the narrator isn’t experiencing the events first hand but retelling them. It makes it feel like the story is being repeated and its takes me out of the story. This was especially true for the last couple of chapters when Emily was under the influence of faery magic and “couldn’t remember” some of the events. I think it makes it difficult for the reader to want to stay interested in the story when the narrator isn’t experiencing the events.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. The characters really kept me invested in the story and helped me look past my personal dislike for the narration style. Again, thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the eARC of the ebook!

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries is out now, I will link websites where you can purchase the book.

Until next time!


Barnes and Noble:

Image provided by Random House

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