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Book Review: ‘Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands’ By Heather Fawcett

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In Heather Fawcett’s newest book, Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands, Emily has published her Encyclopedia of Faeries, and now she’s working on a new book. She’s making an atlas of the Faerie kingdoms, how they’re connected to each other, and how they relate to the mortal world. It’s a rather ambitious project, considering leading theories on the Faerie realm (also known as the Otherlands) suggest the Otherlands shift around and are as temperamental as their occupants.

Her project becomes both highly complicated and immensely more important when her sorta boyfriend’s (Wendell) evil stepmother begins sending assassins after him. Oh yeah, did I mention he’s the exiled king of the largest Faerie kingdom in Ireland? It’s more important than ever that Emily maps all the doors to Faerie, and finds one specific door, the one to Wendell’s kingdom, so they can stop his stepmother before she manages to kill him!

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Del Rey for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands contains some spoilers!]

Emily Wilde always has something exciting going on

When Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands opens, it looks like Emily is enjoying a hard-earned moment of quiet between adventures. She’s published her Encyclopedia of Faeries and the acclaim from that work has earned her tenure at Cambridge. She’s finally being recognized for her work and things are looking good for her. 

Outside of her academic career, things are a little different. Her relationship with Wendell is in a weird, undefined gray area. They both have feelings for each other. Indeed, Wendell keeps proposing to Emily. But Emily is uncertain about entering into an actual, defined relationship.

Not only is she worried about how it will affect her blossoming career, but there’s the fact that Wendell is of the Folk. Not just any faerie, he’s an exiled faerie King. And his stepmother could decide at any moment that he’s too big a threat to her stolen rule and send assassins after him. Wendell shrugs all this off, but Emily is a little more concerned. She wants to find the door to Wendell’s home and find it now.

Unfortunately, her plans are complicated by the presence of her niece, Ariadne, and her college and boss, Dr. Rose. Ariadne hero worships Emily, but Emily’s uncomfortable with the attention. And Dr. Rose seems determined to ruin the whole expedition.

On top of that, Wendell was poisoned by one of his stepmother’s assassins. He’s still alive, but his magic is on the fritz and his health is definitely failing, no matter how much he tries to hide it. Finding the door seems to be his only hope. Can Emily find it in time?

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

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Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands is another hit story for Heather Fawcett

The wonderful thing about Fawcett’s writing is her characters. She crafts people who are loveably flawed. Emily, for all her knowledge of the Folk, has a hard time understanding people. Wendell has great intentions, but doesn’t think things through. Ariadne is eager to please, but is stubborn. Dr. Rose wants to protect people, but forgets to listen to them. All of these people are so engaging because their flaws make them real. And great characters make for a great story. 

We’re really worried about Wendell because we like that he’s good at heart. We want Emily to succeed because she’s that distracted sister we all love. And Dr. Rose is the well-meaning but gruff father that we all can relate to. For me, it doesn’t it really matter what these characters are doing in the story, I just want to join them on their adventures.

Luckily, their adventures are fun too. There’s mystery, danger, and new allies. Everything that a great adventure needs. I really loved reading Emily’s story. And it was nice that she got to be the hero this time. Instead of being saved by Wendell, she got to save him! Not only did this make a nice change, it keeps that as equals in the relationship. It’s easy in a mortal/magic relationship to have the magical partner always swoop in and save the day. Even if there’s danger and mishaps along the way, the nonmortal person often comes in as a deus ex machina in the end. They solve everything with their supernatural powers and the story ends happily ever after.

But in Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands, Fawcett resists this temptation. She basically takes Wendell out of the game and allows Emily to save the day. And Emily proves to be more than up to the challenge. It’s a great choice by Fawcett and one that I recommend everyone checking out today!

Rating: 9/10

Emily Wilde’s Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett is available most places books are sold. Have you read this book and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries? What did you think of it? Let us know on social media @mycosmiccircus or in The Cosmic Circus Discord.

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 220 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier