Ok, so the magic in this world seems based on sex. They have everything going, the couples partner themselves up for the circle rituals, and then they have to have sex right away because they’re all horny. But it’s not expressed that way, and the sex isn’t explicit. Just that every time they hand out some magic, sex is required.
The Enchantment Emporium
Alysha, or Allie, is a third circle Gale. A little confused? I was too. Anyway, Allie is in deep, suddenly moving across country to find the cause of her Grandmother’s sudden appearance.
I have to confess I’ve never read or bought any of Tanya Huff’s novels before. I’m not really sure why. I’ve enjoyed several short stories she has written in Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar anthologies and have certainly seen her name around.
The first, second and third circle things involving Gale girls were really confusing for me. As far as I could tell, aunties were in the first circle because they had already had multiple children, and perhaps had their husbands die? Anyway, they seem to be the most powerful but only if they are in a group. Second circle makes connections and are a bit wild. They also appear to be partnered. Third circle are those that aren’t partnered and have less power.
Some of the family connections were confusing. Michael seemed important, and I thought maybe he was part of Allie’s family, or whether it was something else. Her brother David, I couldn’t work out why they were so worried about him when Allie’s grandfather was normal.
Huff is very good at describing things. I got stuck into the story and I couldn’t put it down, particularly towards the end. So there were a couple of things that jolted me out of the story, which I’ve mentioned, but overall it was enjoyable and I’ll certainly go on to read more of Huff’s books.
Getting past all that, the plot is really quite complicated, and very enjoyable. There’s the Gran disappearing line, and then Allie’s developing complicated relationship with a sorcerer’s sidekick, and then the dragons and the spare dragons and everything!
I found the perspective changes at the beginning quite confusing. It was a bit of a mystery story for a while, even for the reader, which I found slightly frustrating. Things cleared up though and there was far more action going on.
The ending! Yes! Man, I never worked that out at all. I loved the way this book covered a range of genres – romance, mystery and a heavy helping of fantasy.
I’d love to see a sequel to this book. I feel like if only there was just that little bit more explanation for what the Gale girls actually are, and the abilities of the different people in the circle, or maybe even just some more background information on the Gale family, this would be an awesome book, not just a great one.
I’d recommend this book for adults only. Sex magic is a common theme, which is relatively spread throughout the book (no avoiding it, sorry). I didn’t find it uncomfortable to read, but some teenagers may object.