cat63 (cat63) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff. 473 pages.

I like Tanya Huff's books a lot usually. I liked this one too, mostly, but not as much as many of her others. It has many good points - humour, interesting characters and plot - but it also has problems.

The plot is fairly simple - Alysha Gale inherits a junk shop in Calgary from her Gran and has to go and investigate how her Gran died - if she actually did....

Probably Huff means the set-up of the Gale family to be problematic - they're basically powerful witches and the "aunties" seem to run the lives of the rest of the family to an alarming degree, but I think it bothers me even more than it's meant to. It's not the promiscuousness of the Gales that I object to, it's the fact that they often seem to have no choice about it that squicks me -early in the book, Alysha sleeps with Dmitri Gale simply because it's not done to refuse a Gale boy (if you're on his list of potential wives),  and after rituals they seemingly have to have sex with anyone available in order to bleed off excess magical power. The Gales seem to accept this as normal for them, but I found the consent issues rather troubling.

The other, less icky thing that bothers me about the book is that it seems rather too similar to the first of the "Keeper" series by the same author in many ways (family structure excepted). In fact Rob though at first that it was another book in that series...

All of which makes it sound as if I hated the book, and I really didn't - I enjoyed the humour, the characters and the story. I just would have enjoyed them more without the background ickiness.

Tags: fantasy

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