The flourish of pink text that read “The Enchantment Emporium” on the front of the book reminded me of the made for the female audience romance novels I sometimes see during my trips through airports. Not my type of book.
The Enchantment Emporium, however, is a Tanya Huff book. I know Huff from the Confederation series in which a kick-ass female space marine holds together a squad of space-trolls and sex-elves in order to fend off alien attacks and from the war, marriage and werewolf adventure that is The Silvered.
Sure enough The Enchantment Emporium has romance but it’s there among some strong characters, great urban fantasy ideas and dangerous dragons.
The opening chapter of the book introduces the Gale family – keen on sex (with each other) and ritual magic (with each other). It’s an interesting book when that has me wondering whether I’m reading about incest or whether the witches’ definition of ‘family’ is a broad one.
Maybe a bit of both.
The adventure kicks off when Alysha Gale has reason to leave the Gale/witch family’s territory and move to the city, on the other side of the country, and run a junk store. And deal with dragons.
One of the powerful matriarchs of the family has disappeared, likely dead, and for reasons readers will find out has given her antique store (I’m being kind – it sells yo-yos) to Alysha.
In no short order Alysha finds herself caught up with the local fae, a hitman and a powerful sorcerer up to no good. On top of all this she’s a store to run and the dragons are busy circling the city.
Finding out why the dragons are so interested in the city becomes pretty darn important.
What The Enchantment Emporium gave me was an unique and imaginative take of an urban fantasy. I always find Tanya Huff books to be refreshing easy to read and full of bold characters. In a way these books are a bit like bags of sweets; I could easily rip through one in a day, sometimes do and then feel guilty afterwards. Unlike the candy, Huff’s ideas are fresh and original.
If you’ve read any of Tanya Huff’s books then you already know you’re tempted by this one. Grab it. I you’re yet to encounter this prolific author, aren’t quite sure about going the sci-fi route, then start with The Enchantment Emporium.
My copy of The Enchantment Emporium was provided for review.