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January 11, 2024

Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett ~ a Review

by MK French

Emily Wilde learned a lot when putting together her famous encyclopedia, including from her infuriating rival and possible love interest Wendell Brambleby. He’s an exiled faerie king on the run and in search of a door back to his realm. Emily’s not ready to accept his proposal and instead focuses on creating a map of the realms of faerie. Assassins after Brambleby invade Cambridge, so the two are off to the Austrian Alps, where Emily believes they may find the door to faerie and the key to freeing him from his family’s dark plans.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of romantic fantasy novel Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett
January 2024; Del Rey; 978-0593500194
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); fantasy

This is a direct sequel to Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Fairies. As with the first book, the novel is her journal, which is complete with footnotes regarding the academic history and stories of dryadology. It's not just her and Wendell this time, but her niece Ariadne as her assistant, and then the department head Farris Rose joins them on the search for the door. Two other researchers had disappeared fifty years ago, and the circumstances of that period contained faerie references that were similar to Wendell's home kingdom. But with assassins after him, poisoning him, or attacking, time was of the essence.

Emily is a bit better with people this time around, though Wendell and Ariadne have a much easier time approaching others. The fae are more dangerous here, capriciously wreaking havoc just because they can. Charmed items as well as the history of the place offer clues to the missing researchers and the nexus point that Emily wants to find: it's a point where people can cross over from one part of faerie to another, and would be integral to the map that Emily wants to make. That area in the Alps is riddled with doors to homes and entire tracts of faerie or the borders between worlds. Finding Wendell's kingdom isn't easy, and the dangers inherent in dealing with the fae still apply. Emily has never backed down from a challenge, and trying to save Wendell from the poison as well as keep her expedition safe is certainly a challenge. The book is engrossing from the start, and I loved seeing the deepening relationship between Emily and Wendell. She's had a lot of growth since the first book, and I'm sure we'll see how else she's changed in future books.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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