My first reaction to the first four chapters (or more like letters of introduction) was that the author was taking the defensive stand of trying to prove that fairies existed by trying to show that they did through the method of science. The first area of conflict is that science wants to prove that magic doesn't exist and we (or I mean me) want to believe magic does exist. For wouldn't the world seems a little bleaker without the possibility of magic?
Now I didn't used to see them. Once I did, I had to give them life by bringing them through the Portal of Mist (Or in other words making them porcelain character figures or dolls).