Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Enchantment Emporium Review


Review By Patrick Scattergood

Written By
Tanya Huff

Published By
Titan Books

Genre
Fantasy, Adventure

Synopsis

First volume of an urban fantasy series from the author of The Blood Books.

The Gale family can change the world with the charms they cast, and they like to keep this in the family. Alysha Gale is tired of having all her aunts try to run her life, both personally and magically. So when the letter from her Gran arrives willing her a "junk" shop in Calgary, Alysha jumps at the chance. 

It isn't until she gets there that she realizes her customers are fey. And no one told her there's trouble brewing in Calgary-trouble so big that even calling in the family may not save the day...

Review

Ever since I read the 'Blood' books by Tanya Huff, I've been a massive fan of her writing.  She seems as at home in the fantasy, supernatural and science fiction genres that you never know what you are going to get when you pick up one of her books.  I've always liked that about her writing.

When this book, the first in the series, dropped on to my doorstep courtesy of those lovely people at Titan Books, I honestly couldn't wait to open it and get started.

I have to admit that at first I was a bit confused when the book first started because Huff really does drop you straight in to the story and it kind of felt  like I had missed something.  That was a shame because it made me want to put the book down and have a good old internet search to see if I'd missed an installment in the series or something.

When I looked at some of the reviews, they nearly all mentioned that if you keep with the novel then you would be richly rewarded by the twists and turns that Huff manages to slide in to the story itself.

I'm glad that I stuck with it because the confusion felt at the beginning soon disappeared and fell in to place like a good jigsaw puzzle.  At times, I was a bit confused by the whole mating with everyone to find the perfect mate thing but at the same time, it showed how the characters all knit together.  It also showed the way that the entire family felt almost alienated and alone in the world because of their practices.

One thing that Huff is renowned for is her brilliant creation of realistic yet fantastical, in this case, worlds and idiosyncratic characters.  I really like how even the heroic style characters aren't perfect.  It's never a case of black and white in her stories, there are always shades of grey and that raises the quality of her stories much higher.

There are so many twists and turns here that the book really kept me guessing right up to the final page.  In fact, I really can't wait to get my hands on book two of the series.

Despite the slight misstep with the beginning chapter, it's well worth picking up.  Stick through the first chapter and you will indeed be richly rewarded by Huff's well paced and exciting writing.  Definitely up there with her 'Blood' book series.

Story 7/10
Characters 8/10
Cover 8/10
Recommended 8/10
Overall 31/40

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