Emily Wilde is a Cambridge Professor who specializes in Dryadology, the study of Faeries. This includes all kinds of Faeries, from cute little Brownies to the more fearsome “Hidden Ones” who are known to steal people away to the world of Faerie. She has been traveling the world, attempting to create the world’s first Encylopaedia of Faeries, and she only has one more place to visit, the frozen town of Hrafnsvik, in the country of Ljosland. Unfortunately, the town is incredibly insular and Emily has absolutely zero social skills. She has a hard time making any progress with the townsfolk until her friend/rival Professor Wendell Bambleby shows up and is able to charm everyone into helping them in their research. This flusters Emily to no end. Adorably so.
A lot of the complaints about this book on BookTok are that nothing happens. What book did they read? I thought there was quite a bit of plot, though the book does focus more on character development. I will concede that this book is not for everyone, but I found it to be absolutely delightful.
I am a sucker for the Grumpy/Sunshine trope, especially when the grumpy one is a woman. Wendell is also adorably high maintenance and befuddled by Emily’s lack of creature comforts. I just now realized that I may like this book so much because it is like a gender-flipped version of me and my husband. This is the first in an announced series, and I am eagerly awaiting the next book.