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The Enchantment Emporium

(Gale Women #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,516 ratings  ·  602 reviews
Alysha Gale belongs to a specially "charm"-full family. The men grow horns, and obey females until they "choose". She inherits her gran’s Calgary junk shop with fey mailboxes and the Monkey's Paw. Leprechaun Joe can help sell yoyos. Tabloid reporter Graham bats very blue eyes and beds her. But when dragons fly overhead can even the Aunties save the day?
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published June 2009 by DAW
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John Mainer This book was written by someone who has read mythology, and does rather expect that those reading it have at least a basic understanding of the…moreThis book was written by someone who has read mythology, and does rather expect that those reading it have at least a basic understanding of the mythologies of Western Europe. Even a basic grounding in classical fairy tales would suffice, but deeper meanings can be seen by those with a wee bit more background.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,516 ratings  ·  602 reviews


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Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I'm sorry if you like this book...and I'm tired.

It seems more and more that when I pick up a book looking for an Urban Fantasy I get paranormal romance. I suppose that I set the bar lower than some for deciding what is PNR. And at the risk of being stoned I find more often than not if it's a female author it's going to lean that way (not always I know. I kind of like Rob Thurman's Leandros series).

The idea behind this book sounded good and caught my interest. I went out and bought it based on r
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oliviasbooks
"For pity's sake boy," Auntie Jane snorted as Dimitri shuffled carefully into the kitchen, there's salve for that . Use it before these trousers rub you raw. Downstairs bathroom. And you lot," she snapped at the girls who gathered round the table as he left the room, "stop giggling. He didn't get in that condition all on his lonesome."
Allie pulled a platter of pancakes out of the oven were they'd been keeping warm. "He needs to learn to pace himself."


Please correct me. But what I've learned from
...more
Lightreads
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction, lgbt, romance
Yeah, stoned on painkillers is totally the best way to review this one.

If you tilt your head to the right, this is a cozily hijinxical* Canadian urban fantasy with a magical junk shop and a leprechaun and a snuggly extended family who express their feelings by baking a lot, also dragons.

But if you tilt your head to the left, it’s seriously fucked up slice-of-life about a family of creepy mind-controlling witches who have a consent-optional incestuous breeding program RUN AWAY RUN AWAY.

So I most
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Jamie Collins
Jun 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-urban
This is one of the best urban fantasy books I've read in a while. With a slightly stronger ending this would have been a five-star book for me; it really hit my sweet spot. It's funny and light-hearted but not shallow at all. The magic system felt fresh and different, and it's not hard to enjoy this idea of women becoming more powerful as they age. I hope this is the beginning of a new series.

There's a big, loving, powerful, nosy, overprotective and very appealing family. There's a lot of amusin
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Caressa
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
*sigh* I picked this novel off the New Fiction shelf of the library, after not reading a word for two whole weeks. Crazy, I know. The librarians were getting ready to send a relief party out after me. Anyhoo. I've learned to be VERY wary of female-penned "urban fantasies," as they tend to be heavier on the romantical pining and orgies than the urban or fantasy. But EE piqued my interest for several reasons: 1) Witches with nary a vamp or were to be seen, 2) Said witches don't have frizzy red cur ...more
carol.
Enjoyed it, enough to add to my collection. Nice balance of plot and character development. On first read, the first chapter was slightly disjointed and challenging to follow, but sticking with it paid off big dividends. It's true, like other reviewers, I found the sex more distracting but it does play a role in the story in terms of relationships and emotional connections.
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I enjoyed this book despite all the efforts of the author to make me hate it. And I’ll admit up front that I’m not a huge Tanya Huff fan, but mainly because she takes her anti-hetero-normative politics so very seriously. So I was surprised that I found this book as engaging as I did.

The Gale family setup was bizarre and I’d hate to be caught in it (on the male or female side), but that didn’t lessen my fascination for the dynamic they find themselves in. If you buy the premise, the adaptations a
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Punk
Jul 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer, ebook, fantasy, dragons
Canadian Urban Fantasy. Magic runs in the Gale family, so when Allie's grandmother sends her a letter saying she's dead, no one really believes it. Still, the letter says that Allie's responsible for her gran's business, which is supposedly vital to the community, and having recently been fired, it's not like she has anything better to do. Allie packs up and heads for Calgary to take over her grandmother's...junk shop.

Reasons why this book made me D-face: 1) Unexplained magic system. 2) Unexplai
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ambyr
I feel like finishing this book should leave me with more to say than "meh." Let's see. The plot was fast-paced enough to keep me reading, but not enough to get me past the weird gender relations, undeveloped magic system (I like the ritual set-up, but with no sense of what magic normally can or can't do, the ending lacked tension--I assumed they'd win, since so far magic had never failed them), and really, really sloppy editing.

And then, as other reviews note, there's the incest. It doesn't bot
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Cait
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like this sort of thing
...Well, that was far more quasi-incestuous sex magic than I expected to meet this side of fanfiction.

I really liked this book. I'd hit a bad run and started to forget that the urban fantasy equivalent of the B movie can actually be good, but this is definitely a good book. It's cheerful and sexual and funny and well-built, and it definitely improved my week.
Amanda
Nov 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
I hate that these books keep disappointing me. I felt like this book was one big inside joke. First of all, the horn manifestations and copious references to sex=magic powers goes back to the pagan beliefs about the Green Man and May Day celebration and whatnot. However, if I wasn't a big brainiac and knew about that stuff already, I'd be super confused. So, perhaps I just don't have enough trivial knowledge, but so much of this book acknowledges these Gales and it really just doesn't make sense ...more
Ben Babcock
This book has been on my to-read list for four years, and I’m glad I finally got to it. Tanya Huff delivers strong urban fantasy set in a Canadian city. She sets up an interesting family of magic users, where the women and the men participate in complicated rituals that allow them to work charms. Alongside, she sends us a light mixture of supernatural creatures to pad out the character sheet—a leprechaun, some dragons and Dragon Lords, but nothing too unusual or overwhelming. That’s what I appre ...more
Gerd
Aug 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, tausch
I really like Tanya’s work, she’s one of the few authors that got me to read actual Fantasy, I do enjoy her Valor series a lot, but my true love always was with her Vicky Nelson novels and so it was with great anticipation that I awaited her return to Urban Fantasy.
Ah, but what a disappointment this book is.
After a hundred+ pages I’m still not sure what the main protagonist is supposed to be. Other than some variety of magic user that is.
All that Tanya cares to tell us about her is that she come
...more
Robin
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Bought this book on a recommendation from a friend. Now I have to go find the friend a really nice Christmas present.
Although I found the beginning to be fairly rocky (I kept having to check and make sure I wasn't coming in halfway thru the series. Characters kept popping in with little in the way of narrative introduction. it was very odd), the rest of the story was very good. I couldn't put it down. I haven't done any housework in a week.

Honestly, how can you not love a character who (when th
...more
Carolyn F.
This book is a little sexually freaky (view spoiler) which had me thinking of this as a milder version of To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein which was chock full of incest. I kept trying to remove myself from the cringy feelings and just enjoy the book but I think (know) that colored my liking this book.

Which leads me to the point where I would have given this book a 4 instea
...more
Nina
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
It was great! A slow and somewhat confusing start resolved itself into a protagonist I couldn't help but love and an amazing magical system. If the beginning needed a little work, the ending more than made up for it. I love Allie and her motley selection of friends and family as well as her actual Family. There wasn't a character that wasn't perfectly written. Definitely think everyone should read. Exactly what Urban Fantasy should be and there must be more! (Or I will cry.)

Laura (Kyahgirl)
This was my first Tanya Huff book. It was 'pleasant' but not riveting. I liked the characters but got kind of tired of "the Gale girls" and all the mysterious magical stuff. It felt a bit disjointed. However, I liked the dragons and the magic.
Estara
Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy a la Emma Bull or Charles de Lint
Recommended to Estara by: dawbooks.livejournal.com
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hicks
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Hmm, weird book. Excellent setup with a magical emporium, a family that appears to have some interesting powers, and a problem shaping up. Easy, breezy writing and a plot that moves along well. Some characters that look interestingly diverse.

Along comes Graham. First guy she sees is Mr. McDreamy, whose descriptions kept making me think of the guy on the cover of every Harlequin Romance ever printed.

And the longer the book went on, the more squirmy details appeared. The Gales are not nice peopl
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Kribu
In all honesty, I seriously considered giving up on this book in the first chapter.

Not only was the "let's throw the reader right into the middle of this weird family" thing incredibly confusing, the abundant references to everyone enjoying threesomes, moresomes, orgies and sex rituals in all possible permutations - and keeping it all in the family at that - really isn't my cup of tea. At all.

At that point, I took a look at some reviews, which promised me that the plot would actually kick in w
...more
Sally
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mercurybard
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aoife
Alysha Gale is from a very odd sort of family in which she has a lot of aunties, a lot of cousins (one of whom she's expected to marry) and they all possess magical powers. When Alysha gets a strange letter from her grandma, who appears to have wither died or mysteriously disappeared, she ends up being put in charge of a junk shop with a few tricks up its sleeve, but also ends up embroiled with an evil sorcerer and his not-so-evil but very-handsome assassin, and some dragon lords intent on destr ...more
Viridian5
Oct 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
Since I tend to enjoy Tanya Huff's work and read through them very quickly, I picked up The Enchantment Emporium as the first of my two newest library books to read, figuring that'd give me more time to work on the other one to be done before the due date. I was wrong and disappointed.

When a letter from Alysha Gale's eccentric, missing, and possibly dead Gran arrives, Allie has to take over Gran's odds and ends store in Calgary to find out what happened. Trouble and a lot of magic ensue.

This bo
...more
Blodeuedd Finland
First I must say that the family breeding program was pretty messed up. It was a keep in the family policy, and because there were so many girls then some got to breed outside the family. If the guy was accepted. But to be honest it never truly bothered me, Allie was not chosen by a cousin so I was a bit, ok, I can deal.

Allie left her family to start over in Calgary and take over her gran's weird shop. And of course things goes wrong at once. She meets a Fae, she sees...things I shall not mentio
...more
Darcy
Jun 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009, magic, uf
I was very confused on this book at first. Things seemed very random. When this happens I will give a book until page 50, if it is still like that give up. Luckily things started to make sense and I really liked the book in the end. But this does seem like one book where if you re-read it right again things will click faster.

I really liked Allie and her crazy family. They seemed like a fun group to be around. There was so much going on within how the family works it was hard to grasp it. There w
...more
Katyana
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, uf, favorites
I have never read Tanya Huff before, but I am going to have to check out some of her other novels because I adored this book. It was a lot of fun, the characters were well-drawn, quirky and very appealling, and overall it was just great fun. The moment I finished, I hopped online to see if there were other books in this world, but alas, no. I hope Tanya Huff revisits the Gale family soon, because I would love to read more.

Re-read October 2017
I FINALLY got around to picking up the second book in
...more
Mara
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Weird, weird book. Intriguing, but also completely baffling. I had no idea what was going on. Not sure I'm interested in book 2.

Please read Jacob's for an in-depth review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
A Beast of Ink and Paper
Aug 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
TL;DR: This book made me angry most of the time, uncomfortable a lot of the time, and unenthused the rest of the time. I give it one star for a nice cover with a pretty design and a rear cover description that manages to hide the truth of this book and draw people in. It is in fact full of sadistic witches who are suppose to be our heroines, sexism against men, incest, and the twist ending with the unlimited power of this witches makes everything that happened entirely pointless. I can’t be both ...more
Jasper
originally posted at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2014...

Urban Fantasy comes in many forms and shapes and I just found another one! Having read her first book in the Confederation series: Valour's Choice, her Tanya Huff showed that she knows how to write cool characters and an even better storyline. The Enchantment Emporium is the first book in the Gale Women series and promises a fine display of all things you like in Urban Fantasy. From a magic store, that takes the magic quite literal to
...more
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1,949 followers
"Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Although I haven't actually lived "down east" since just before my fourth birthday, I still consider myself a Maritimer. I think it's something to do with being born in sight of the ocean. Or possibly with the fact that almost no one admits to being from Ontario…

Raised, for the most part, in Kingston, Ontario. It was the late sixties, early to mid seventies. Enough s
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Other books in the series

Gale Women (3 books)
  • The Wild Ways (Gale Women, #2)
  • The Future Falls (Gale Women, #3)
“One, if I’m behind the wheel we go by Winchester rules: driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole.” 1 likes
“If you’re reading this, Alysha Catherine, I’m dead. Don’t make a fuss—it’s a state we all come to in the end. Except possibly for Jane who may be too mean to die.” 1 likes
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