Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Book Review: Finding Faeries by Alexandra Rowland

witch book, book review, faeries, fairies, liminal beings, otherworld, witchcraft, witchy, witch, hedgewitch,

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I was provided a copy of this book for an honest review.

Since things have died down a bit in my personal life, I have been able to spend more time reading in my spare time. I am always thankful when I can sit down and read a book or two, especially when that book is about witchcraft! On Monday I finished reading Finding Faeries: Discovering Sprites, Pixies, Redcaps, and Other Fantastical Creatures in an Urban Environment by Alexandra Rowland. While there were several elements I really enjoyed about the book, overall I wasn't super impressed.

First and foremost, Rowland treats the subject of faeries as a science and their book has an academic undertone to it similar to that of an encyclopedia. It's not that I mind this, but there was a complete lack of references and bibliography which doesn't support the tone of the book. If you are going to approach the Otherworld from a scientific point of view, you need to back up your claims with primary sources. Furthermore, I had a hard time taking several of the sections seriously. There were times the book felt like a sarcastic commentary on the liminal world and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to laugh or take notes. This was a turn off for me, which is a shame considering the beginning of the book was so phenomenal! Finally, the book was rather short and the information lacking as a result. I would have liked to have seen a more in-depth approach to the different fae creatures, especially considering its encyclopedia feel.

witch book, book review, faeries, fairies, liminal beings, otherworld, witchcraft, witchy, witch, hedgewitch,

Despite the flaws, there were some great aspects to the book. In the introduction, Rowland covers how colonialism has changed the range of many liminal beings; how, like cats and dogs, they traveled with colonists to the New World and beyond. I loved their commentary on how violence, slavery, and climate change has shaped the liminal fauna, especially in regards to the encroachment of the urban sprawl. While some species have thrived in an urban environment, many others have perished. It was a wonderful reminder that we not only affect the creatures within our realm but the Otherworld as well. Furthermore, it was refreshing to read a book about the fae that didn't treat them as either all good or all bad, that instead most liminal beings fall somewhere in between. For the most part, the fae do not care much about us and prefer to ignore us and for us to ignore them. Of course, this doesn't mean there aren't helpful and harmful creatures lurking in the shadows, but overall most liminal beings could care less. Finally, I really enjoyed that at the end of the book Rowland offers suggestions on which fae beginners can relatively safely pursue. Too many books suggest that upon reading them that now you are an expert and can safely faerie hunt. Yeah, no. Rowland offers practical advice for the novice witch that shouldn't be ignored and even offers modern protection methods against the fae while using technology.

Overall, the book was decent. It's not one I would purchase to keep on my shelf, but it would make a cute gift for a young witch, especially a preteen. Finding Faeries: Discovering Sprites, Pixies, Redcaps, and Other Fantastical Creatures in an Urban Environment by Alexandra Rowland is available now for purchase (it was actually published on my birthday!).

Happy reading!

If you liked this post and would like to support future content, please consider leaving a small tip in the jar. 


  1. Goodness, yes! I am with you completely regarding the importance of having a bibliography or other detailed (info) source breakdown in books - especially those that adopt an especially academic/scientific approach to a given subject. I've been noticing something of a trend in such information lacking from new books in our witchy/Pagan/similar sphere in recent years and really hope that it is soon reversed. Especially since I've often discovered additional books (or online links) that I went on to read and learn from/enjoy via titles that did include source material lists.

    Thank you very much for another great book review, dear Willow. I so adore each one that you share here with us.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. I don't understand why this is becoming the trend. To me, it makes your book less credible if you are trying to pull off a more academic approach or say that your practices are ancient. Without backing any of your claims up, you're just speculating, which is perfectly fine if that was made known from the beginning. I see absolutely nothing wrong writing about your experiences and what you have learned through your practice. I really enjoy those types of books, but I want that to be upfront.


This witch loves to hear from her readers, so please share your thoughts below!