Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summon the Keeper (Keeper Chronicles #1)” as Want to Read:
Summon the Keeper (Keeper Chronicles #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summon the Keeper

(Keeper Chronicles #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,928 ratings  ·  302 reviews
Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there's ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 331 pages
Published May 1st 1998 by DAW
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,928 ratings  ·  302 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Summon the Keeper (Keeper Chronicles #1)
Lois Bujold
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a light contemporary fantasy. Or Canadian humor.
I enjoyed this... mm, not quite urban fantasy. Call it contemporary Canadian fantasy, although 1998 isn't so contemporary any more; a few more years and we can probably call it historical. It had a good sense of place, and a lot of dry Canadian jokes and humor.

Claire Hansen (the same name as my street, ha! Minnesota is close to Canada in more ways than one) is a Keeper, a sort of witch whose job it is to patch tears in the fabric of reality where evil leaks through. But she's a Canadian witch,
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this to my 13-year-old son. He gave it six stars out of five.
Wendy Welch
Dec 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Bubble gum for the brain, with some GREAT snarky one-liners and some scathing pop culture references thrown in - sorta like when you bite through the sucker and hit the gum, these little gems keep popping up.

One of the characters is from Newfoundland, though, and the author has his linguistics wrong. Lots of people have trouble with "he's after getting tall" which is something Irish people or Newfoundlanders would say quite normally. It means he has become tall. The Newf character in the story
Mar 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially people with a weird sense of humor
Shelves: readrepeatedly
This is one of my favorite series by Tanya Huff. I laugh all the way through every time. Hell talking to itself, multi-colored mice, talking cat, Retired Olympians (not atheletes) and much more!
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light, with gentle, sarcastic humour, this was a fun little urban fantasy. Nothing too dire, no one really horrible (except for the nosy next door neighbour), and a slow relationship building between Keeper, Claire Hansen, and Dean, the general handyman/cook/cleaner of the run-down bed-and-breakfast. And the star of the book, Austin, the talking cat, who's focused on the important things: his stomach, being disgusted with his human Claire, and sharing his unerring insight on the goings-on around ...more
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I laughed until I cried, then I used quotes for my sig, then I went out and bought everything else I found by Tanya Huff, then I chuckled to myself recalling various bits for the next several months. :)
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a fantasy with two romantic love interests, a hunky handyman and an impossible to resist lusty ghost, that came highly recommended to me and I wasn't at all disappointed.

Claire is what they call a "keeper", a person with supernatural powers who keeps order in the universe and the evilness of hell under wraps. Her latest assignment has her ticked off. She's been summoned to a bed and breakfast where hell resides in the basement and she fears she may be stuck there for the rest of her
Title in German:
Die Chroniken der Hüter: Hotel Elysium

A Keeper is a person whose task is to repair holes in the fabric of the universe caused by bad deeds or magic and where evil is able to find its way into our world. Claire Hansen is such a Keeper who was summoned along with her talking cat Austin to Kingston to take care of a hotel where hell resides in the basement and a bad Keeper is put to sleep by other Keepers and not to be aroused in any circumstances.
Arriving there she meets her
Allison Hurd
May 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fem-author, fantasy
A friend found this because I couldn't remember it! It's one of the worst things I've ever read! I happened to be on a vacation without wifi, so I had to read it or re-read a magazine I brought. It

Lots of campy jokes, waaay too many puns, even for me (like the bad kind. Not the fun word play, the "look how funny I am" kinds.)

A really bad stereotype of Frenchman who's a ghost that becomes corporeal enough for a little sexy time which is...weird.

Anyways, glad I remembered the name of
Alex Hammel
Oct 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
For October's WOGF review, I decided to get my random read out of the way. Nerd that I am, I actually went to the trouble of writing a shell script to select an author randomly, and wound up with Tanya Huff. I was thinking of picking up one of her military science fiction works, but Summon the Keeper seemed like a good pick for Halloween. It, uh, wasn't.

The protagonist is hoodwinked into taking care of a B&B with a portal to hell in the basement which, as a vaguely magical Keeper, it is her
NewMoonGirl (Hazel)
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
2 stars
Summon The Keeper I found to be an ok read but frustrating right from the start!
Claire's the keeper who has been summoned to the guest house to take care of afew things.
Number 1 : the pit of Hell in the basement which talks to itself (random I know, lol)
Number 2 : Sara in room 6, who's been put to sleep using magic. She was one of the previous keepers who got caught trying to use the pit of hell for her own gain.

The other characters along for the ride is her talking cat Austin, Dean,
Jan 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I've been a fan of Tanya Huff's book since my high school days, but I started with her Fantasy series first, ( Fifth Quarter et al, Wizard of the Grove, Of Darkness, Light, and Fire ). You see some of her snarky humour in those stories, but nothing in them prepared me for the smiles and laughs I got out of Summon the Keeper. Huff always has amazingly real characters and she can have them fighting racist talking lizard people without missing a beat. Every character has their comedic moments and ...more
Jan 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff-fantasy
This book was a fun, delightful read. It was chock full of great characters. Claire, the Keeper, finds herself the caretaker of the Bed and Breakfast from Hell. She inherits a sexy ghost, a guest in room six who has been asleep for 40 years, a hunky caretaker who happens to be the most trustworthy person in the world ("Total strangers probably handed him their packages while they bent to tie shoelaces"), and a gateway to Hell in the basement. With the help of her smarter-than-you-or-me cat, ...more
Lilia Ford
A rare book that I DNF'd at 85%. I like the paranormal innkeep set-up in general, and appreciated the talking cat and the fixer-upper stuff in this book; Also, I'm a big fan of Huff's sci-fi "Valor" series, so I had high hopes, but the heroine of this was seriously unlikable, which makes my inner feminist a little disgusted with myself, since "likability" is an annoying and oppressive demand to make of a heroine--but I found her verging on narcissistic, seemingly with the author's warrant, and ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Nicole by: Yvonne
I really like that this is set in Canada and features Canadian characters. Dean is the best thing about the book, because he's a Newfie and because he's just all-around adorable. I don't agree with all of Claire's decisions, but she's an interesting character. I like the concept of Keepers and Cousins. I like Huff's "kitchen sink" approach to magic and mythology; there's a little bit of everything blended together for fun, including a couple of references to Star Wars and Star Trek that had me ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
I can't help but stray away from most fantasy I've tried because of them being so bizarre. Summon The Keeper by Tanya Huff still beckoned me, mainly because I so loved her Blood Line series (up for re-read and review shortly I hope). The world painted is certainly unique and a little hard to grasp, yet with the characters and setting I was able to be nabbed into it. Situated in a Canadian Bed and Breakfast, life is anything but ordinary with the keeper when she encounters a sexually hungry ...more
I've read a lot of Tanya Huff's books: the Valor series,(military sf) all of the four Quaters books, (high fantasy) all of the Blood books, all of the Smoke books (so far, I hope,)(both of these series are contemporary fantasy with vampire as a central character) and I recently read and loved The Enchantment Emporium, of which this is in the same universe.

Claire is a Keeper who is summoned to a Kingston, ON ramshackle rooming house that is staffed by the handsome, capable, Newfie, young, and
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-read
This is one of those books I picked up at a used book store a few years ago and let sit on the shelf. I've read other books by Tanya Huff and enjoyed them so I'm not sure why I was hesitant to start this one. Glad I finally decided to give a try. Though it had a tendency to drift a bit (in an entertaining way), I really enjoyed this book. For paranormal lovers it has a little of everything - magic, vampires, ghosts, werewolves, mischievous imps and retired Greek gods. Austin the talking cat is ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: daw
Newfoundlander in the book— awesome. The speech patterns of my home (and specifically their incomprehensibility) being an ongoing punchline— less awesome. Makes me look sidelong at the writing around the québécois dude as well.

But I am always here for talking cats and magical portals.
Text Addict
Sometimes, one is just in the mood for an urban fantasy that doesn't even come close to taking itself too seriously. For those moods, there is Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles.

Not appropriate for those who are allergic to cheese.
Mike Finn
Gentle humour, light romance, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, Gods, a Hellpit that tempts IN BLOCK LETTERS inside your head, a talking cat, a nice Newfoundland boy and a Keeper struggling with the right way to use her power to save the world and run a guest house.

I love Tanya Huff's humour. It's energetic, confident, gentle, witty and almost always travels the path less travelled by.

In this light little book, she manages to summon up a whole new occult world, filled with new takes on all the
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I am stressed and grouchy and was recently reminded of this book, as someone in my bookgroup asked for urban fantasy with a grown-ass woman protagonist, and this sprung to mind.

This book is still good. It is light, but the world building isn't info-dumpy, and the location (Kingston, Canada) is refreshing after too many London and New York/Chicago based romps. I do remember it being more laugh-out-loud funny, but this may be my mental state and not my changing sense of humor.
I am still bothered
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very fun and very light read, perfect for getting me out of the reading slum I've been wallowing in the past couple of months.
Not very plot-heavy, despite a lot of things happening. It's mostly episodic, each chapter dealing with new supernatural shenanigans while the Hell hole in the basement bids its time.
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
this was a lot of fun. we are dean stans first, humans second
Barbara ★
I've loved everything I've read by Tanya Huff but this book just didn't do it for me. The ghost annoyed the hell out of me; I disliked Claire; but loved Austin, the talking cat. This is not a series I will be continuing.
Olga Godim
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This is a reread, but after a dozen years, it reads like new.


Claire – a cranky twenty-seven-year-old Keeper. People of her lineage keep the world from sliding into Hell – literally. Wherever holes into the darkness open, Claire hears the Summons and travels, sometimes around the world, to close those holes. Able to manipulate the fabric of the universe, she is ready to sacrifice her life for the good of the ordinary citizens. She thinks she knows best what is good for everyone.
Huff, Tanya - 1st of two Summoner books

Being one of the Earth's protectors is never easy, but when Claire the Keeper and Austin the cat find themselves in charge of the Elysian Fields Guesthouse Bed and Breakfast, all Hell breaks loose in the form of a gateway residing in the basement!

Of all the books I've read, there are two that truly made me laugh; "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman and "Summon the Keeper."

This books was a hoot! Claire's conversation with
May 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reread as part of my current Tanya Huff kick.

This series doesn't quite tick all my boxes in the way that Enchantment Emporium or the Confederation books do, but it's still head-and-shoulders above much of the urban fantasy I've read. Clever without being snarky for the sake of snark, with protagonists who are good at what they do without being "badass". (I love a good badass, I really do -- but variety in literature is never a bad thing!)

Claire sometimes rubs me ever so slightly the wrong way,
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Claire and her sister are Keepers. It’s their job to maintain the balance, in the cloasing holes to hell sense.

Because sometimes you just need books with a talking cat. And an adorable Canadian baby lesbian co-protagonist. And the texture of warm cotton candy, with no painfully misguided aspirations for more. Really, fluffy doesn’t even begin to cover it, and post flu of doom, that’s about all I could handle. I suggest waiting for similarly dire straits so as to avoid inadvertent diabetic coma.
Diane ~Firefly~
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. You have a keeper (basically a guardian), Claire, and her cat Austin drawn to The Elysian Fields Guest House where there is an evil keeper under a sleeping beauty spell and a hole to hell. The place also boasts a ghost, a crazy neighbor and Dean, a incredibly innocent helper.

While Claire is trying to figure out how to close the hole and not wake the keeper, they have visits from vampires, werewolves and retired Olympian Gods to keep them busy. Oh, and both the cat and Hell talk
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add kindle edition of "Summon the Keeper" 2 11 Jul 03, 2013 12:30AM  
What's the Name o...: Book about hotel [s] 5 43 Mar 10, 2013 12:31PM  
Read Across Canad...: Summon the Keeper 10 16 Dec 27, 2012 02:34PM  
What's the Name o...: Two sisters, bed-and-breakfast, in Canada? [s] 4 36 Aug 11, 2012 07:51AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Unkindest Tide (October Daye, #13)
  • The Orphans of Raspay (Penric and Desdemona, #7)
  • Fire and Hemlock
  • Minor Mage
  • Working for the Devil (Dante Valentine, #1)
  • The Serpent's Shadow (Elemental Masters, #1)
  • Oathbreakers (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #2)
  • The Grendel Affair (SPI Files, #1)
  • Night Shift (Jill Kismet, #1)
  • Grave Importance (Dr. Greta Helsing #3)
  • Eye Spy (Valdemar: Family Spies, #2)
  • A Match Made in Hell (Nicki Styx, #2)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
  • The Oathbound (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #1)
  • Terminal Uprising  (Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse, #2)
  • The Ghost Hunter Next Door (Beechwood Harbor Ghost Mystery, #1)
  • Steel Crow Saga
  • Velveteen vs. The Junior Super Patriots (Velveteen vs., #1)
See similar books…
"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

Other books in the series

Keeper Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Second Summoning (Keeper Chronicles, #2)
  • Long Hot Summoning (Keeper Chronicles #3)
“If she does call, would you please explain to her that turning the sofa into a pygmy hippo for the afternoon might be very good transfiguration, but it’s rather hard on the carpets and it confuses the hippo.” 1 likes
“It’s always Mardi Gras somewhere.” 1 likes
More quotes…