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, get in the middle of 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.
I really enjoyed this read! It felt like a bit of a fairy tale to me, which is always enjoyable. I could really relate to Em and her social awkwardness. I wasn’t too sure what to make of Bambleby at first, but he grew on me. I loved the little community of Hrafnsvik and its inhabitants, and I loved how Emily gradually came to fit herself into their midst and feel at home for the first time in her life.
Heather Fawcett lives in British Columbia. Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Fairies is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Ballantine/Del Rey in exchange for an honest review.)