“One doesn’t need magic if one knows enough stories”
This book made a liar out of me. I’ve been proudly declaring my romantiphobia for years. I’ve gleefully avoided books that even hint at a romance in the blurb. When I find undisclosed mushy bits, I feel cheated.
And all of this time it turns out that I absolutely adore grumpy romances. Or maybe it’s just Emily Wilde and Wendell Bambleby’s snarky banter that I’ve waiting for my entire life.
Eight years ago, Emily, then 22, was Cambridge’s youngest adjunct professor. She’s still hoping to receive tenure. Bambleby is her friend, her only friend. You can’t exactly accuse them of being warm and fuzzy.
The problem with Bambleby, I’ve always found, is that he manages to inspire a strong inclination towards dislike without the satisfaction of empirical evidence to buttress the sentiment.
Bambleby, for his part, gives as good as he gets.
‘We cannot all be made of stone and pencil shavings’
Grumpy banter is my new favourite thing. I love these two!
For the past nine years, Emily, who has a “heart filled with the dust of a thousand library stacks”, has been hard at work, researching and writing her book. She’s only got one chapter to go, which is why she finds herself in the “delightful winter wasteland” that is Hrafnsvik, Ljosland.
Emily is loveable in all of her social awkwardness. Practically as soon as she meets some villagers, she finds a way to accidentally alienate herself.
How was it that in trying to remove my foot from my mouth, I invariably managed to shove it in even deeper?
There are faeries (obviously) and other magical beings, there’s danger and adventure and just so much snark. And there’s Shadow, who I adored.
I wasn’t entirely sure if this would be the book for me when I started reading but it utterly enchanted me. I can’t wait to spend more time with these grumps!
“How does one manage to affix toast to the ceiling?”
Once Upon a Blurb
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party – or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, muddle Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones – the most elusive of all faeries – lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all – her own heart.