Emily Wilde is a genius scholar of faerie folklore who just wrote the world’s first comprehensive encyclopaedia of faeries. She’s learned many of the secrets of the Hidden Ones on her adventures . . . and also from her fellow scholar and former rival Wendell Bambleby.
Because Bambleby is more than infuriatingly charming. He’s an exiled faerie king on the run from his murderous mother and in search of a door back to his realm. And despite Emily’s feelings for Bambleby, she’s not ready to accept his proposal of marriage: Loving one of the Fair Folk comes with secrets and dangers.
She also has a new project to focus on: a map of the realms of faerie. While she is preparing her research, Bambleby lands her in trouble yet again, when assassins sent by his mother invade Cambridge. Now Bambleby and Emily are on another adventure, this time to the picturesque Austrian Alps, where Emily believes they may find the door to Bambleby’s realm and the key to freeing him from his family’s dark plans.
But with new relationships for the prickly Emily to navigate and dangerous Folk lurking in every forest and hollow, Emily must unravel the mysterious workings of faerie doors and of her own heart.
In Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands, Heather Fawcett has created an enchanting sequel to her first book. She has taken the dynamics from the original story and turned them on their head, letting Emily do what she does best but also allowing a scenario where Wendell must now be saved much as Emily needed assistance in the first novel.
What makes this such a fun read are the copious amount of research into faerie lore that has gone into creating the world and the style of the book. The way it is written as though from Emily’s own notes makes it enchanting and engaging. I also love the language choices, the notes sprinkled throughout the story and the narrative itself that leads Emily to have to unravel mystery after mystery to save Wendell’s life.
I also like the addition of her niece Ariadne and Professor Rose. They make intriguing and dynamic foils for Emily and allow the character to grow, even as Emily struggles with her emotions and her relationships with all three. Emily is vivid, capable and a wonderful character. I love the ending that is in truth, a potential beginning to yet more tales of Wendell and Emily.
If you love stories about fairies, written with style, mysteries, and bright characters, this is the book for you. I would highly suggest reading the first book but you can begin with this one without losing too much of the narrative to backstory. It is a fun and enchanting sequel but also a wonderful story in and of itself, a well crafted world and characters that make you root for them.
What more can you ask for?
Rating: 5 out of 5 doors