Review: Tanya Huff – Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light

Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light
Tanya Huff

Darkness is coming, and it’s up to a 2/3 trained Bard, a simple woman, an over-worked social worker and a bag lady to stop it. Oh, and a perfect but overly emotional Aspect of Light. Toronto will never be the same.

You’d think that with three female characters you’d see some serious woman-kick-ass but nope, the focus still seems to be on the paranoid Bard and the too-hot-to-be-human Aspect of the Light. Oh, and two random cop characters. This novel was such a mix of perspectives I’m not surprised that I hated it.

I honestly don’t know why I kept reading this novel. Perhaps a fear of missing out on the train wreck? Honestly, I hated the characters so much that I hoped they all died in a burning fire / were taken by the Dark. I had difficulty skimming through it simply because it was an eBook. I could sworn I had read other books by this author and enjoyed them, so I thought maybe it could redeem itself!

Roland is tortured, doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life and fears all possible hints that he might be gay. He’s also not quite a bard, which seems to be the least of his problems. We also see a neurodiverse cast member in the shape of Rebecca who is simple and thrives on rituals to keep her life stable. I think what we are supposed to believe about her is that it’s not a bad thing that she is ‘stupid’, but it honestly comes off as trite and ultimately unfulfilling.

The author seems to be playing with the fact that life revolves around sex – one of the tactics used to delay the Light is by basically making him a sex god! There’s nothing normally wrong with this, but it’s unclear to me why the author decided that some awkward male-male bonding was necessary. It made it seem like being gay was a problem!

Ultimately this should have been a 1 star novel. I shouldn’t have kept reading it, but was somehow too invested (or bored at work) to stop. I’m disappointed and I think I won’t be touching anything by this author for a long time until I’ve forgotten how awful this one was.