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The Enchantment Emporium Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2010

108 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thoughtful and leisurely, this fresh urban fantasy from Canadian author Huff (Valor's Trial) features an ensemble cast of nuanced characters in Calgary, Alberta. Headstrong young museum research assistant Allie Gale takes over her missing grandmother's titular junk-shop, which is supposedly crucial to the local community. When Allie arrives to find a leprechaun, a monkey's paw and a magic mirror, she realizes her grandmother didn't mean the human community. After spotting low-flying dragons and other UnderRealm creatures in the neighborhood, Allie calls on the help of her powerful family of modern, benevolent Toronto witches, who attempt to visit via a spacetime-spanning Wood until something shadowy begins pushing them out in inconvenient locales like Haiti. Fantasy buffs will find plenty of humor, thrills and original mythology to chew on, along with refreshingly three-dimensional women in an original, fully realized world. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Fantasy buffs will find plenty of humor, thrills and original mythology to chew on, along with refreshingly three-dimensional women in an original, fully realized world." —Publishers Weekly

“It’s a great adventure, full of music and magic and just a little goofy at times, thanks to the delightful oddities of the Gales.” —Locus

"Combine Huff’s ability to blend ancient traditions seamlessly into the modern world and make them seem perfectly normal with her characters who are appealing and fun to hang out with, and you’re in for an amazing read." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756406056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756406059
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Christa on June 6, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like Huff's 'Blood', 'Smoke' and 'Keeper' books, 'The Enchantment Emporium' is fast-paced urban fantasy peopled with believable characters and stuffed with pop references. It's also laugh-out-loud funny on nearly every page.

Alysha 'Allie' Gale comes from a old, large family whose women are witches who grow more powerful as they age, and whose men are also powerful, different and dangerous. Allie is at loose ends. She's worried about her brother, because he hasn't chosen what he wants to be and their meddling aunties are thinking about choosing for him. She's pining over a man she can't have because he's gay(though she could have changed his mind) and she's just lost her job.

Then she gets a letter from her grandmother, who has left her shop and the mystery of what's become of her to Allie. What she finds is a junk shop frequented by the Fey, a snooping reporter with the bluest eyes she's ever seen, and Trouble with a capital 'T'.

She wants to handle it on her own, but even with the help of a couple of cousins, her gay not-boyfriend and an overgrown leprechaun, Calgary, Alberta is the center of a coming storm, and all the might of the Gales will be needed to stop it.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By spiderorchid on June 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As there are already some good summaries of the plot, I'll skip this and come right to the point.

"The Enchantment Emporium" is not "The Keepers Cronicles" or any other Huff book recycled. It's a great new novel with an original plot and an interesting cast of characters.
Of course, if you've read a lot of Tanya Huff's books, you'll meet old aquaintances: her trademark sense of humour, her habbit of having characters quoting from popular culture to make a point (and the reader laugh), the fact that she enjoys writing about strong, independend women and makes fun of men. So what? That's normal for every author. It's called a writing style.
About the things that don't get explained: I admit it, as a reader, you get hit over the head with the plot in the first sentence of the novel. A lot of things don't get explained explicitly. You have to figure them out yourself in the course of the narrative. I think it's fun, keeps the plot moving and helps the reader to get deeper into what's happening because you have to begin to think like the characters if you want to understand what they are, what their motivations are and why things happen. It's not the 'normal' approach to writing a fantasy novel, but in my opinion, it works and provides an exciting new perspective.

"The Enchantment Emporium" is a funny, suspenseful book with loveable characters and wonderful descriptions (I just love the dragons!). There's humour, violence, sex, mythological creatures, yoyos, music and lots of baking.
Highly recommended!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca L. Tushnet on August 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had the full range of reactions to Huff's books, from deep enjoyment to horrified revulsion. I really wanted to like this book, if only because most of the bad reviews I read were turned off by the occasional F-bomb and the copious sex between cousins (not considered incest in many cultures, including the protagonist's!). Also, I don't mind having to figure out the world's rules as I go along, nor do I mind infodumps, which this book somehow managed to combine. However, smug essentialism trumped casual acceptance of sexuality, both het and gay, and because the essentialism was reduced to a tic I couldn't ignore it for more than a page at a time. Sigh.

Um, summary: Allie Gale, member of a powerful family of witches that always gets what it wants and can make anything happen via charms (sometimes sent in pies), including getting you a phone that always works and never costs any money, inherits her grandmother's curio shop in Calgary, away from the "aunties," and goes there to investigate what happened to her grandmother. Cue leprechauns, sex with a mysterious stranger who has a hidden agenda, sorcerors, and dragons.

I cannot begin to express how annoyed I was at the repeated (seriously, about once a page) trope "Gale girls X" where X is some blanket statement, mostly about taking care of the people they cared about or getting what they wanted--with the occasional variation for "Gale boys Y" where Y is about having sex, choosing which Gale girl they wanted to mate with, or going power-crazy in the way that the most powerful Gale boys always do. When Gale girls get old enough, they become "aunties," powerful and meddling with each other.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Virginia E. Demarce on October 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I found this to be one of the most enjoyable books of the year. I've re-read it several times.

However -- Huff decided not to make it easy. Unless a person comes to it with some sense of Celtic mythology (the horned god; the power of young woman/mother/crone, the leprechaun, the water spirit, etc.), making sense of the May Day family reunion scene into which the reader is immediately dropped would not be an easy adjustment. There's no actual description of "ritual," but plenty of implications as to what it involves.

Additionally, and I believe deliberately, she didn't make a lot of anthropology-style or sociology-style infodumps in regard to the world-building. In one way, it takes place in modern Canada, partly in the family's "traditional" territory and partly in Calgary. In another way, the Gale extended family, while mostly human, is not quite so, not entirely so, and its members exist in accordance with their own prerequisites, which are not identical with the conventions of the ordinary society around them (though some reviewers would have benefited from reading more carefully before fretting about the level of inbreeding). The Gales go to college; Alysha has a fine arts degree and was working at the Royal Ontario Museum cataloging artifacts before the grant money that paid her ran out; her cousin Roland is a lawyer.

It's a world that the protagonist, Alysha Catherine Gale, knows well, and sees no need to explain at length. She just needs to figure out how to function in the changed circumstances caused by her possibly but not necessarily deceased grandmother's rather unusual bequest.

At the same time, the world of the Gales borders on others, with the result that there are dragon princes in their Calgary. There are sorcerers; ritual requires power and the "Gale girls" are attracted to power -- although, as Alysha points out, power can be variably defined and her father is a high school history teacher.
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