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, muddle Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones—the most elusive of all faeries—lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all—her own heart.
What I adore so much in Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Emily Wilde is how effortlessly and completely enchanting the story was for me. Emily Wilde seamlessly blends the gruesome nature of old fairy tales with the romantic delight of the modern era. Not only are Faeries real in this novel about a professor studying the Fae but I love how well the main character, Emily Wilde, captivates and opens up emotionally as a character throughout the story. Bambleby is pure delight, not only in his tricks and subtle manipulations but in how his magic is demonstrated and his attachment to Emily.
Besides the main characters, the other reason this story enchants is how three dimensional even the secondary characters are written. Every character has a purpose and place in the story and help weave a wonderful story. I love the challenges Emily faces and particularly I love that nothing is perfectly easy but a lot of it follows the traditions of fairy tales and forces the main character to use their wits to succeed. In this case, Emily must also have friends and emotional connections to escape her final challenge.
All in all, the blend of romance and fairy tales is a win for me. I love the characters and as this is book one, I can’t wait for more of Emily Wilde’s adventures among the Faeries. The story is completely enchanting and lovely.
Rating: 5 out of 5 cloaks.