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Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light Mass Market Paperback – November 7, 1989

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A mentally disadvantaged young woman who sees what other people don't, a street musician, a social worker, and a bag-lady join forces with an "Adept of the Light" to fight the encroaching darkness that stalks the streets of modern Toronto. In a departure from the "strict" fantasy of Child of the Grove ( LJ 5/15/88) and The Last Wizard , Huff's real-world fantasy presents an enlightened, compassionate view of the forgotten heroes of urban society. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular. Tanya can be contacted via her website,

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Product Details

  • Series: Daw science fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (November 7, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886773865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886773861
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of Tanya Huff's stock characters inhabit "Gate of Darkness Circle of Light": the crabby, driven heroine; the manly-yet-innocent hunk (in this case, an Angel); a surly cat that deals very efficiently with the Dark (much more so than the humans or the Angel); and a musician who struggles with his sexual identity through most of the book.
That said, there are also some very unique characters in this urban fantasy about a band of intrepid heroines and heroes who attempt to save Toronto (and the rest of the world) from the forces of Darkness on Midsummer's Eve. One of them is a Bag Lady who is genuinely smelly and not at all cute. Another is a brain-damaged muffin maker.
The musician is singled out by Huff to endure a particularly gristly coming-of-age journey. He is captured by ogres, and when he manages to escape from them, he has to run a gauntlet of ever more hideous fairy-tale creatures before he makes it back to Toronto to help save the Earth.
"Get of Darkness Circle of Light" is a pleasure to read, well-plotted, with an interesting twist at the end. The most unlikely people band together in an attempt to defeat Evil, and Huff brings them all together in a way that satisfies and makes sense.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 15, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Rebecca, who is mildly [handicapped], is on of the nicest young women you will ever meet. Despite her handicap, she has a rich life with a job and many friends. And, she can see the wee folk. So it is with great horror that she finds that the little man who lived in the tree next to her apartment has been killed with a ritual knife. Unsure of what to do, she goes to Roland, a street musician and bard-in-training for help. Together, they go to Mrs. Ruth, the bag lady, who understands these things. The little man, they discover, has been slain by an adept of Darkness, recently crossed over from the shadow world.
Mrs. Ruth realizes that their only hope of defending this world from the adept is to send a message to the Light asking for help in restoring the balance. When Evantarin, Adept of the Light, arrives in tight jeans, earrings, tee shirt and a happy face button (yes, I said a happy face button), the adventure begins. There are more characters, such as Daru, Rebecca’s social worker and Tom, a very special cat. A ghost, the usual minions of evil, and two bewildered police officers. If the world cannot be brought into balance it will fall under the Dark, triggering the kind of battle between Light and Dark which leaves neither side very satisfied and our plane pretty much destroyed.
“Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light,” written in 1989, is fairly early Tanya Huff. Not only is it very good in it’s own right, it also foreshadows much of her later work, especially the Summoner series. Huff takes a fairly common fantasy plot device and turns it into a novel and engaging tale. Rebecca and Roland are unlikely heroes, but soon our heart goes out to them as they team up with a very unusual crew to save the world.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on May 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gate of Darkness Circle of Light is a singleton urban fantasy novel. The focus of this novel is Rebecca, a brain damaged woman with the mental ability of a child, but with the Second Sight. At the age of twelve, she was the only survivor of an automobile accident, suffering a depressed skull fracture which effectively stopped her intellectual development. However, she continued to develop sexually and thus was a desirable target for sexual predators. She has been a ward of the Toronto Metro Social Services since the accident.
In this novel, on a Saturday night, Rebecca discovers the barely alive body of the little man that lives in the tree in front of her apartment house. He has been stabbed with a small dagger. She takes him inside to her bed, but doesn't know what else to do. She leaves Tom, a local cat, to guard the little man and runs to fetch Roland Chapman, a street musician and bard trainee. When they return, the apartment has been disarrayed during a bloody battle between Tom and unknown assailants. The little man finally gives her his name just before he dies. His body vanishes and leaves behind a lot of blood and the dagger.
Rebecca leaves a phone message for Daru Sastri, her caseworker, and then they take the dagger to Mrs. Ruth, a bag lady. She tells them that the dagger is the knife of a Black Adept. Apparently the Darkness is making its move on the world of mankind and they need to enlist the aid of an Adept of the Light to even the odds, Rebecca and Roland convince Ivan, a local ghost, to pass on the request and later the White Adept appears at Rebecca's apartment. Evantarin looks like an adolescent heavy metal rocker, dressed in black and white, and of course is beautiful in a masculine way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 19, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sadly, although this(IMHO)is one of, if not the best, of Ms. Huff's books, it didn't sell well enough to interest publishers in a sequel. I urge anyone who enjoys fantasy to read the first page, then see if you can put it down!

The storyline follows a rag-tag band of modern heroes(a sort-of bard, a "simple" girl, a tough cynical social worker and an Adept of the Light) as they struggle to stop the imminent invasion of Darkness that plans to break through the barriers protecting our world on Midsummer's Night. With the clock ticking, they race to defeat the evil adept who strikes at each with their deepest fears come to life...the ending makes you cry(at least, it made ME cry)but also gives you lift for your spirits and hope for the human race yet!
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