The Enchantment Emporium — Tanya Huff
I’ve read a decent amount of Tanya Huff’s novels through the years. Some I love more than others, but she is undeniably an excellent writer no matter what story she is telling. In truth, I have found I prefer her magical stories where witchy wonders occur to be my favorite of all her themes.
The Enchanment Emporium returns to those roots in which charms are the magic of the Gale family. Alysha Gale is a young, smart, unemployed, star crossed lover of unrequited love. When her Gran suddenly sends her a letter telling her she is dead and that she left all her possessions, including a junk/antique shop to Alysha, she takes the opportunity to travel to Calgary and investigate her Gran’s death. The transition comes with friends in the forms of leprechauns and dragons who could be friends or foes, and an arrogant sorcerer who has many secrets. But best of all, she meets a mysterious man with eyes so blue they could stop any romantic’s heart. Along the way, we meet many of Alysha’s family, including her wild cousin and her crazy aunties who always seem to know when secrets are being kept. Through her family and love life the reader gets to share Alysha’s growth from girl to woman and watch as she struggles to save the world from one very vengeful queen of the under-realm, the magical world of the fey.
Overall, I loved this book. The family ties were strong and binding, appealing to anyone who loves the idea of a big, proud and meddlesome family. The romance was constant with ups and downs that keep any romantic on her toes. I appreciate a story that has mystery that I don’t see coming and that I haven’t worked out prior to the reveal. The secrets that are realized I got to learn along with the character. Alysha is a loveable and most agreeable character who is strong and open. Her losses and pain are felt poignantly and painfully. And her successes are celebrated.
My only complaints are I felt the book could have done with a little more editing. There was more than one sentence that needed some reworking for clarity. And I would have liked the Gale family intricacies explained more fully. How the family works exactly was not always explained all that well, putting too much faith on the reader to read between the lines and figure out how the magic worked. I won’t lie, I ended the story with some questions not entirely answered and had to rely on assumptions and educated guesses to complete the stories in my mind.
Regardless of some questions I still have, I highly recommend this book. I’ve already bought the second and am eagerly excited to begin reading.
You can find the book at Amazon.com in kindle format for $5.99 or paperback for $7.19.