Review: The Magic Emporium by Tanya Huff

the-magic-emporiumThe Magic Emporium
by Tanya Huff
Series: Gale Women #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2009
e-book, Library
480 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: 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…

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I enjoyed this book, but after I finished the book I discovered a number of people had problems with the book. I thought I should point these things out (and you can see more on Goodreads also). Their objections to the book seem to follow a couple of different issues:

The world building–Some people felt the world building was thin and not very persuasive. That the magic wasn’t well explained. None of that bothered me!

The family dynamics–This was probably the biggest issue people had with the book. The Gale family is very unique! It is a matriarchal family and the aunties pretty much control who the younger people marry. The family is pretty insular and most stay close to home.

Most of the younger people marry within the family. The aunties apparently give them a list of their cousins who have compatible bloodlines and who aren’t too closely related. This is only explained vaguely. I guess it helps keep the magic in the family. The cousins also have a lot of sex with each other. However, the book doesn’t have a lot of detail about it.

Not everything is explained in this book and that was okay with me. I didn’t mind the aspects which troubled other people, but check other reviews and decide for yourself before you read it!

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In a family that drew an arbitrarily adjustable line between maintaining the status quo and interfering with the outside world, foresight was a curse. She totally understood why Gran had gone wild, leaving home and the nagging of the aunties.

What I like about this book:

  • Dragons!
  • The Gale Women are awesome.
  • I was really drawn into this world. The magic is very interesting and I have many more questions about it, but this book shows as much as it needs to.
  • A fun book to read. I whizzed through it. In fact, it made me happy!
  • The aunties who are the older generation of Gale women. They are funny, annoying (to the younger generation), wise and definite characters.
  • The Gale family is very important to each of the Gales. I like that.
  • The romance is satisfying.

What I don’t like:

  • The ending was a bit abrupt, but I still love the book!

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My thoughts: 

I’ve read quite a few of Tanya Huff’s books: The Blood series and the Confederation series among others. The Confederation series which is military science fiction is among my favorite books.

This series hadn’t interested me, but my library had it and since there aren’t too many library e-books I gave it a try. I’m so glad I did. I’m definitely buying the second book and I hope there will be more in this series. I can’t quite decide why, but the book was just fun to read!

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Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Magic Emporium by Tanya Huff”

  1. I really liked this book! I can totally see where the people who didn’t really care for the story are coming from, but it worked for me. I think there’s a third book in the works as well – fingers crossed.



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