Review: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

A square version of the book cover of Emily Wilde's Encylopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.
A square version of the book cover of Emily Wilde’s Encylopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett.

I think I first put this book in my wishlist sometime last year after I saw cari of the cari can read channel mention it in one of her monthly book list videos (I forget which). I saw it mentioned again in Cindy’s My Best Books of 2023 video a week or so ago and decided it was time to actually pick it up, especially after the quote Cindy read in her video.

Let’s get into it.

I think this is the first fiction book I’ve read that included (fictional) footnotes. I am not one for footnotes while reading, I usually find them distracting but in this case the way they are deployed adds to the charm of the writing. The titular Emily Wilde a faerie scholar is a prickly (description on Storygraph calls her curmudgeonly heh!) but lovable character and her POV is written in a journal format which seemed appropriate for the kind of person she was

The other characters in the book such as Wendell Bartleby and the residents of the village of Hrafnsvik are all interesting and fun characters. I greatly enjoyed the slow build of the romance subplot in this book. It’s charming, heartwarming…and funny, the last of which I don’t usually get from romance subplots in fantasy novels.

I made a single annotation while reading, its partially the quote which Cindy mentions in her video which made me want to read the book:

“Shall I make an appointment?” he said, then laughed. “Yes, I believe you would like that. Well, name the time when it would be convenient for you to receive a declaration of love.”

Bartleby speaking to Emily

All in all, this was a fantastic winter read and I’m glad I got around to reading it. Quite fortuitously I also discovered that the next book in the series Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands is coming out on January 16th, 2024, only a few days from my finishing this book.

That means the next book I’ll read will be the sequel to this one, I am looking forward to what new adventures Emily and Wendell will go on in the sequel (and how the romance subplot progresses)!