Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeriesby Heather Fawcett

My Five Word TL:DR Review: I need more of this

This book had me hook, line and sinker within virtually the first few pages.  I simply adored it and can’t wait for more.  I suspect that this will be firmly on a lot of ‘best of lists’ by the end of the year and in fact, because I managed to squeeze this in at the end of December it made my list for 2022.  I don’t know how much more gushing I can provide to tempt you to pick this up but if you enjoy scholarly style stories told in journal format by a slightly prickly professor with a love for anything fae set during the 1900s and with a mystery running through its core, not to mention a sprinkling of romance, delicious banter and chemistry and an adorable dog.  Here you go.  My work here is complete (nearly anyways).

I won’t go overboard with descriptions of the story itself serve to say we have a Cambridge Professor who has made it her ambition to pull together the most comprehensive encyclopedia of faeries.  Of course this requires extensive research and as the story begins Emily has arrived at the remote village of Hrafnsvik in Scandinavia.  The weather is inhospitable and the inhabitants of the small village only slightly warmer (as first appearances go).  Of course, Emily is something of a prickly pear herself with more interest in her studies that in people, feelings and polite conversation so she frequently misreads situations and blunders around creating awkward situations as she fails to think of social conventions and basic niceties.  Emily soon realises that she’s going to need to curry some favour if she’s to complete her research in time and what do you know, assistance arrives in the form of Wendell Bambleby, a colleague of Emilly’s who is perhaps her polar opposite.  Wendell has a languid charm, good looks and a certain form of arrogance that could be irritating I suppose but I found the unexpected friendship between the two worked really well.

So, what did I love about this?

Firstly, I love the period this is told in.  The writing lends itself really well and the two central characters, both respected scholars, have a somewhat elaborate way of talking and writing that I just loved.  I wouldn’t call this a stickler for historic detail in terms of dialogue and social conventions but for me this has all the charm without being too fussy – which is something I love.  And, I will say that the dialogue is just wonderful and amusing.

I’m a complete pushover when it comes to journal style narration.  I really liked Emily and it was a pleasure to read her thoughts.  She has a no nonsense approach to things, quite often walking into potentially difficult or threatening situations with quiet confidence.  I mentioned that she can be prickly but at the same time she doesn’t mean to give offence, it’s simply that she speaks her mind and sometimes others take umbridge and so reading her thoughts, as she jots the days events down, was so refreshing because quite often she’s baffled and trying to work out where she went wrong.

The plot is intriguing.  There’s plenty of fae shenanigans and in fact the story takes a very dramatic turn which I certainly didn’t foresee.  There’s plenty of tricksy behaviour and the author manages to instill darkness and threat with changelings and other fae who are yet more dangerous.

There is a romance – and not only does it not overwhelm the plot (which could be laid at Emily’s door as she is absolutely determined not to see Wendell in that light at all) but it’s delightful to read.

I really enjoyed Fawcett’s style.  This book is utterly charming, although it certainly has dark elements so be aware of that, but the writing is so good.  I got a fantastic feel for the place, the people and the fae and it all flowed so well with an easy pacing that made it impossible to stop reading.

I should probably leave it there.  I’ve no doubt gushed enough for one review.  Lets just this is an absolute gem of a book, Whimsical, witty and absolutely charming.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publishers, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 5 stars


Friday Face Off : Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries


Today is the start of a new Friday Face Off  (a meme originally created by Books by Proxy) – similar in many ways to what came before but different going forward.  From 2023 I will no longer be posting prompts or themes to guide your cover choices.  Instead, having noticed that many of my most recent reads have had more than one cover,  I thought instead it would be a change to highlight something that you’re keen to shine the focus on. So, from today onwards come up with one of your reads that has alternative covers, highlight them and choose your favourite.  If you’re taking part it would be great if you leave a link so I can take a look at what you’ve chosen.

This week the book I’ve chosen was one of the very last books that I crammed into the end of the year and I loved it, it even made my favourites list of the year.  I’ve not posted a review yet but that will soon be happening.  For now, let’s take a look at the book, and more importantly the covers.

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Emily Wilde #1) by Heather Fawcett.  

Here are the covers:

These are all lovely covers.  The last cover is the one I’m must familiar with and it is a gorgeous cover that really drew my eye.  However,  my favourite this week is :


The reason I’ve chosen this one, apart from it’s a beautiful design of course, but at the same time if you look closely enough it clearly makes reference to some of the darker elements in the story, and given this is a book about tricksy fae, I like that this one has a more ominous feel.

Which cover is your favourite?

Join me next week in highlighting one of your reads with different covers.

Countdown to 2023 – Day 9 ‘Fairylights’ (22 days remaining)


Today is day 9 of my countdown to 2023.  Today’s prompt is ‘Fairylights’ and I’ve chosen a book that I shall be reading in the New Year.  The prompts can be found here if you want to join in.  I’m hoping to use mostly books read this year.  Let’s begin:

 FAIRYLIGHTS (A book of the fae or something magical)

Today’s book is currently on my TBR and I’m excited to get started as I’ve already seen some glowing reviews.  Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries (Emily Wilde #1) by Heather Fawcett.


Tomorrow: Under the Tree – a book you forgot you owned