Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Enchantment Emporium

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
The Gales of southern Ontario can change the world with the charms they cast, and they prefer to keep all this power in the family. The Gale Aunties are in charge of this clan, or like to think they are. Alysha, like all her cousins, often finds herself beset with too many Aunties trying to run her life. SO when a letter from her missing Gran arrives telling her that she’s inherited a junk shop in Calgary, Alysha is ready and willing to honor her grandmother’s last request to keep the shop open and serve “the community.” The Aunties, of course, want her ot find out what really happened to Gran and come right back home where they have her future mapped out for her.

It isn’t until she arrives in Calgary that Alysha realizes it’s the fey community she’ll be serving in The Enchantment Emporium—and that one person’s junk may be another person’s magical treasure. Finding out what happened to Gran will not be easy, especially since Alysha has no way of knowing just how much otherworldly trouble is brewing in Calgary. And even calling in family reinforcements may not be enough to save the day…

--The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, Copyright ©2009 by Tanya Huff, published by Daw Books

My Review

As you can tell from the list of titles I’ve read, I tend to stick with contemporary romance novels, but every now and then I need something different. For the first half of this month, I’ve been reading The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, a novel set firmly in the Urban Fantasy genre. Not my favorite genre, but one I occasionally enjoy.

Alysha “Allie” Gale is 24 years old, recently unemployed, and has just moved back home with her large, extended, magical family. She’s trying to figure out what she wants to do next when she receives a letter from her grandmother in Calgary, saying if she’s reading this letter, then she’s dead and she’s left all her possessions to Allie, including a junk shop called The Enchantment Emporium.

With a new purpose, Allie packs her bags and moves to Calgary. Gran wants her to serve the community and that’s what she’s going to do. Anything to get away from the gaggle of nattering aunts, baking pies and pushing her to make a decision about who she’ll marry and what she’ll do with the rest of her life.

The peace she finds in Calgary is quickly quashed when her first customer arrives, a five-foot-six-inch leprechaun. Part of Gran’s “service to the community” was to run a mailbox service for those who would otherwise have difficulty getting mail, and Joe O’Hallan definitely qualified.

By the time a cute reporter from the local weekly tabloid shows up, Allie has started to get the hang of running the shop. Graham Buchanan had started to interview Gran for a story about the shop, but now that she was gone, perhaps Allie would like to pick where she left off. There’s a definite attraction between them, one they happily explore.

What Allie doesn’t know—yet—is that Graham works for a sorcerer. Sorcerers are the Gale family’s number one enemy and this one has a secret, several secrets, that connect him to the Gale family. And to a family of Dragon Lords who appear poised to take over the city. Or burn it down.

Things are about to get interesting in Calgary and Allie’s life will never be the same.

At 473 pages and with more characters and bisecting story lines than I could detail here, this is a very involved read, but Tanya Huff has a great sense of humor with her characters and tells a great story. It took me just over two weeks to read, but it’s a great story and well worth the time.

I give this story THREE and a HALF STARS.

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