Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries, by Heather Fawcett, is the one book on my NetGalley shelf that I did not look forward to reading. I mean, who wants to read an encyclopedia? Most are filled with important facts, presented in an extremely dry manner. Still, I had agreed to read the book and I do my best to keep the agreements I make.
Finally, I harrumphed my way to my comfiest chair and opened my Kindle to The Encyclopaedia of Faeries. That is when the book grabbed me by the collar, shook me for my insolence and pulled me in so hard that I did not emerge until I finished the entire book.
Boy, was my impression of the title wrong!
Emily Wilde is a Dryadologist (one who studies Faeries and their civilization), and is setting off on a quest to gather information for her comprehensive encyclopedia of all things faerie, and faerie folk.
Her journey, with her trusty dog Shadow, takes her to the snowbound mountains of Ljodland. Her destination, a dusty cottage/shack in the small village of Hrafnsvik. Emily is looking for a never before discovered faerie clan and anything new in the realm of the folk.
The cottage is cold, the hearth barren and dirty. There is no food. Emily must rely on the kindness of the family she is renting the cottage from to provide food, logs, and supplies. She also wants to trade with… No…
Can’t tell you that… Spoilers, sweetie.
Instead of going any farther into the book, here are my impressions. I am new to Heather Fawcett, so I took the title literally. You know the phrase “never judge a book by its cover?” That applies to this one. And it is absolutely brilliant in all respects.
Heather’s storyline is superb! The characters are three dimensional and relatable. I was drawn in immediately to the story and fell in love with Emily’s dog, Shadow.
The backdrop for the book is beautiful and appeals to my love of the northern regions. Heather paints a word picture of a village that was so believable that you feel like you’ve grown up there.
As I read, I felt as if I knew and cared for each character that I met. It was easy to envision the cold, snowy landscape. I could feel the dust in the cottage and smell the hearth and the food.
Dr. Wendell Bambleby, a co-worker of Emily’s, who shows up midway through the book, is a delightful homage to a typical college Professor.
He is eager to gather information to write a paper for an upcoming conference on Dryadology. His personality is likable, joyful, and mixed with a hint of magic. Dr. Bambleby stole every storyline he appeared in.
But wait… This book is an encyclopedia, right? There is no intrigue, danger, or romance in normal encyclopedias, is there? Maybe not in a world book encyclopedia, but that is not the case in Emily’s Encyclopaedia.
Perhaps the book is magic. It definitely cast a magical spell over me. I can hardly wait for book two to arrive. (It’s coming out soon!)
One thing I truly learned by reading this book is that not everything is as it seems.
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Sue Cook lives in Freeport, Illinois with her husband Randy and two dogs. Her passions include assistance dogs, rescue dogs, music, acting, theater, poetry, and Doctor Who. She’s been in both film and theater and is a regular cast member of the podcast Doctor Who’s Line is it….Anyway? Sue is an advocate for the use of Service Dogs to assist their disabled handlers to maintain their independence. Quigley’s Quest, her first children’s book, addresses how a dog becomes a Service Dog.