Having enjoyed Tanya Huff’s work before, I was very happy to be offered another supernatural series from this popular Canadian author. I really loved the Blood Books series as a teenager and back in January, I reviewed the first in fantastic werewolf-mage series, The Silvered, which I really can’t recommend enough.
From the beginning we are introduced to the hectic world of the Gale family; a collection of meddling aunties and rebellious siblings and cousins who are all magically linked. Having been recently unemployed, twenty-four year old Alysha Gale is unexpectedly bequeathed a junk shop by her grandmother and jumps at the change to escape from her interfering relatives.
When she arrives, she finds that her troubles are only just beginning, what with dragons circling the city, an egotistical sorcerer throwing his weight around and a haggard leprechaun she is desperate to save. As well as the supernatural sidelines, this is Allie’s time to grow up, develop her powers and carve a place for herself in the world, both magically and personally.
I’m sad to say that I really struggled to get into this book. There are a lot of characters and I kind of found the incestuous nature of the Gale family a bit disturbing. I also found like there seemed to be a lot left unexplained. There are lots of references to rituals and other family related things but I didn’t see how some things were connected and I felt like maybe there should have been a previous book to this one with a bit more meet-the-Gales content!
However there are some good points too and I don’t want to write a purely negative review, as the book does warrant more than that. Alysha Gale is a wily heroine. She’s not my favourite character but I did end up routing for her, despite her occasional poor decision making! I like that even though sometimes not very well informed, Tanya Huff has created an original world for this urban fantasy and defined new rules for sorcerers, fey folk and other supernatural characters. I loved the idea of Dragon Lords; how can anything with dragons not be cool?
I think as the start to a series, this was a bit hit and miss for me, especially as I enjoyed Tanya Huff’s other books so much. I already have the second in the series, The Wild Ways, which I will definitely try, just to see if I get into more now I know the main characters.
If you like Kelley Armstrong or Kim Harrison, then this may be your type of thing. If anyone else has read this book, I would love to know your opinion, whether you agree with me or not!