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Brittany's Pick: Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

A Cambridge professor, scholar and researcher on the study of faeries visits the hardscrabble village of Hransvik where she gets closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones and resists her insufferably handsome academic rival.

There are some books that just grab me in the fiercest hold and will not let go. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett is one of those books (which turned into one of those series, but that’s a story for another post). I recommend this book often and will continue to do so, and no one can stop me!

Emily Wilde is a curmudgeonly professor who is currently working on completing a decades-long project of compiling the first comprehensive encyclopaedia of faeries. She prefers to keep to herself, her research, and her faithful canine companion, Shadow. At the book’s beginning, Emily has stationed herself in the wintery village of Hrafnsvik to observe their fair folk as the last entry in her encyclopaedia. However, after offending the townsfolk almost immediately upon her arrival, Emily is worried that she will not make the winter.

No matter how insufferable Emily finds her nemesis (only friend), Wendell Brambleby, she feels some relief when he suddenly turns up without notice. He quickly helps to soothe the relations between Emily and the villagers.

Did I mention she is pretty sure Brambleby is fae?

The story follows the discoveries and trouble that Emily manages to get the two into while observing the local fae, the least of which is almost chopping off Brambleby’s hand. By accident, of course!

I enjoyed this book immensely. Fawcett is clearly studied in her folklore and this comes across throughout the book, giving it an air of familiarity to many readers. As someone who enjoys folklore woven within my fantasy reads, I was quite appreciative of this fact. Most importantly, and no one can convince me otherwise, Wendell Brambleby IS Howl Pendragon. His character captures the dramatic vanity of Howl to perfection.

This book is hilarious (stray sheep scene, anyone?), includes a terrifying-but-adorable fae named Poe, and lots of sassy rapport. If you are fan of folklore, (mostly) cozy fantasy, or cranky female protagonists, this book is probably for you.

The library has this to offer as a physical book for your enjoyment. - Brittany, Branch Associate


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