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.

Best of the Best

Every year, around this time, I pull together a top ten list of books that I’ve read.  This is usually a difficult choice because over the course of 12 months I usually manage to fit in a good number of books and given that I don’t force myself to read those that I’m not enjoying these are mostly all good reads.  This year is no exception although for once (in perhaps 15 years) I haven’t read 100 books.  This is a new all time low for me which I put down to a mid year hiatus where I read and blogged very little.  My reading is back to normal now, I’m pleased to say, and I have plenty of great books to look forward to so far this year. So, this is part 1 of my ‘Best of’ list.  I’ll be doing a further post to highlight some of my other great reads but this is about choosing my absolute favourites.  Without further ado:


The Girl and the Moon by Mark Lawrence

In a nutshell.  This book has so many winning elements.  A thrilling adventure.  A twisted ending.  Characters that you can love (and hate), a jaw dropping conclusion and also one that is packed with emotion and a series that manages to be fantasy and science fiction combined.


The Justice of Kings by Richard Swan

This story compelled me to keep turning the pages into the early hours.  I loved the choice of narrator, the world is developed with (more than likely) deceptive ease, the murder mystery is intriguing and more complex than first meets the eye and, well, put simply, it just won me over so easily and quickly.  I can’t wait to read the second instalment which is now waiting on my shelves.


Insomnia by Sarah Pinborough

I would say that not only did I like Insomnia but I liked it even more than Behind Her Eyes.  It’s a perfect jumble of crazy mixed up, spiralling out of control, sleepless insanity.  Every time I thought I had a handle on what was going on it turned out I was wrong and I just love the way that the ending is totally out there – let’s just say #wtfthatending


The Hunger of the Gods by John Gwynne

Gwynne is an author who excels at action scenes and all them are breathtakingly described.  I had my heart in my throat every time shields locked wondering whether any favourites would fall under the axe.  There’s also wonderful moments of camaraderie and banter, or cunning snippets of other scenes playing out and weaving the story together.  The pacing is just so well planned and I loved the way that as the story progresses you have these shorter chapters that really pack a punch and I have to acknowledge it drove my reading on into the early hours with the age old ‘just one more chapter’.


Nettle and Bone by T Kingfisher

Fairytale style stories are absolutely one of my favourite reads and I’m always on the lookout for more.  This is an author that I hadn’t read before but have wanted to do so for quite some time and now, with the benefit of Nettle and Bone under my belt, I can genuinely say that I will be visiting all her previous books.  I loved this book so much.  It’s full of everything that I enjoy, it’s got elements of old fairy tales but as the same time feels unique.  It takes us on a wild ride to a far away kingdom.  There are princesses in distress, people who can talk to the dead, a dog that came back to life, amazing characters and the beginnings of a sweet romance.


Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandell

I am in complete awe of this author and can’t even begin to outline how impressive this book is.  On the face of it this is a standalone story that fundamentally connects the lives of four people who share an experience through a strange anomaly, a glitch in the system if you will, that in the future will be scrutinised and investigated by a time travel agency.  Dig a little deeper and this novel actually brings together elements from the author’s previous works (definitely The Glass Hotel and also I think Station Eleven) in the most eye popping feat.  If that wasn’t enough, one of the characters is an author herself, of a post apocalyptic book that has become a bestseller.  There are so many little twists and turns in this book all finished off with a mouth dropping conclusion that is simply brilliant.  Read it – please.


Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

I picked this one up and was immediately intrigued with the storytelling voice. There’s an almost ethereal feel to the way the narrative is delivered and this is strengthened by the unusual setting and the dysfunctional family that we are introduced to.  Feeney starts out with a captivating hook, she then lets us run on the line enjoying the freedom to explore the remote setting and the histrionics of the Darker family before reeling us in to a climatic and dramatic grand finale.  Brilliant.

Daisy Darker

A Dowry of Blood by ST Gibson

I will say from the outset that I loved this.  I was gripped from beginning to end and couldn’t put it down.  This is my catnip.  Retelling famous stories from the point of view of side characters, victims or misunderstood characters is popular without a doubt at the moment and I for one am enjoying this trend.  Dowry of Blood is no exception.  Take the classic vampire story, Dracula, and take a look at him and his life through the eyes of three of his ‘children’.  Dracula’s chosen ones.  A story with a message.


Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson

Miss Percy is an absolutely delightful, regency period, fantasy of manners style story that won me over with ease.  The writing is wonderful, the plot is well thought out and totally absorbing, the characters are Austen-eque but with a slightly more uptodate sensibility and for those readers out there who usually shy away from fantasy elements, but who are in good need of a period drama, I implore you to give it a try, because, whilst I cannot deny that the inclusion of a dragon definitely falls most firmly into the realm of make-believe, the way this story is told, it feels almost less sensational than forgetting to wear a bonnet.  Please give it a try, I’d love to discuss your thoughts about this one.


Emily Wilde Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

I don’t have a link to a review for this book yet as it’s a recent read that I’ll be posting about shortly.  I did love this book though and highly recommend it.  Simply superb.


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