Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands

by Heather Fawcett

This book is CHARMING. C.H.A.R.M.I.N.G. I devoured it in just over a day and what a beautiful day it was.

Emily Wilde is a scholar of the fae, or ‘Folk’ as they’re called in the book. She’s serious, a bit curmudgeonly, dedicated to her studies, and utterly genius when it comes to studying and interacting with the Folk. The Folk are tricky and cunning, with some of them being outright gruesome and vicious.

In book one, Emily reluctantly works with Wendell Bambleby. He’s also a scholar of the Folk, and his carefree, charming personality are both the opposite of Emily’s, and serve to irritate her in the extreme.

Info about book one that is spoilery ahoy!

Wendell is actually Folk himself. Courtly Folk, to be precise and he is the rightful king of a faerie kingdom in Ireland. He’s been banished and his stepmother is trying to kill him so he can’t threaten her place on the throne. In book one, Wendell works with Emily to solve a puzzling Folk situation in far northern Europe.

It does not take long for Wendell – lazy, flippant and charming – to fall hopelessly in love with Emily and propose marriage. Emily isn’t convinced, but her gradual softening to Wendell is delicious both in book one and this second book.

For more on book one, there is an excellent guest review that can tell you more. You definitely do need to read book one before diving into this book.

In book two, Emily and Wendell plan a trip to the Swiss Alps to do a number of things:

1. Find a door to a faerie kingdom.
2. Solve the mystery of two scholars of the Folk who went missing decades earlier.
3. Work on the map of the faerie realm that Emily is writing.

There are two extra people joining them: Emily’s niece and the department head. They make lovely additions to the expedition, as both foils for Emily and Wendell and as characters in and of themselves.

There is another task that Emily alone needs to undertake:

Show Spoiler

decide if she’s going to marry Wendell or not. Common wisdom says that marrying one of the Folk is dangerous, but this is Wendell who has saved her life a thousand times already across the two books.

This story is endlessly absorbing. For a while I really did live in a world in which the Folk are real and widely studied. The genius of the writing makes it all so vivid that I couldn’t help but believe. The footnotes are a particular favourite and gave me a distinct nostalgia for my years spent reading academic articles. (Although the content of these footnotes is a great deal more interesting than some of the dry articles I’ve had to read in the past).

I don’t want to say too much about how their adventure unfolds, so I’m keeping things brief. The plot is a delight with little twists and big twists and reveals aplenty. Each chapter is an entry in Emily’s journal and I’d often need to tell myself that she was writing the entry after the events I was reading about so she was safe and I didn’t need to panic.

For an immersive story, rich in detail and gloriously charming, give this book a go (after book one). It is such a great series so far!

– Lara

When mysterious faeries from other realms appear at her university, curmudgeonly professor Emily Wilde must uncover their secrets before it’s too late in this heartwarming, enchanting second installment of the Emily Wilde series.

Emily Wilde is a genius scholar of faerie folklore—she just wrote the world’s first comprehensive of encylopaedia of faeries. She’s learned many of the secrets of the Hidden Folk 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. So 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 danger.

And she also has a new project to focus a map of the realms of faerie. While she is preparing her research, Bambleby lands her in trouble yet again, when assassins sent by Bambleby’s 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 Bambley’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.

Historical: European, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy
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