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.
I really enjoyed Emily as our main character. I think even though she is this academic genius she is still quite relatable in terms of her obliviousness and her inability to read other people. I think she could of done a better job trying to warm up to the townsfolk since she was a visitor and encroaching on their lives for months but I did think it was a little cruel of them to withhold their hospitality because of one little faux pas. Emily definitely has the tendency to jump into situations without a lot of thought and puts herself sometimes unnecessarily in danger but I can’t really fault her because this is why she came.
I did take me a minute to warm up to Wendell because I didn’t quite know the reasons behind him coming and wanting to help Emily. I thought at first he might be coming to undermine her and steal all her findings (which she herself believes) but as we learn more about him and discover that perhaps he isn’t what he has claimed to be I did become a lot more invested. I kind of wish we could of explored his relationship with Emily a little more and see them actually be a couple.
Normally books revolving around faeries don’t interest me but this kind of fae adjacent book was a nice compromise for me. This did have kind of a slower start and didn’t really pick up until around the half way point of the book. This just felt like a whimsical folk tale that didn’t shy away from getting a bit dark which I wasn’t really expecting. We learn a lot about the lore and the rules around dealing with the fae and the ruthlessness of their behavior mixed with the careless way they view humans.
⭐️4/5 stars Pleasantly surprised, this was great!
2 thoughts on “Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries Review”
I loved this book, glad you did too!
Glad you ended up enjoying this one. It’s on my TBR. I tend to love books about the fae, but I have to be in the right mood for a slower book, and as you mentioned (and several other reviewers), it has a slow start.