Barbara Hambly is an American SF and mystery writer. Her works include several otherworld fantasy series, a historical fantasy series with vampires, and a series of [[HistoricalDetectiveFiction historical mysteries]].

On the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, her works tend to be a ways off from the Idealistic end. The heroes are good people, but realistically complex and possessed of human imperfections, and they often face large and complicated problems that can't be solved simply by smiting monsters. And when it comes to monsters, the fanged squamous horrors are often given a run for their money by some of the human beings.

Two good starting points for Hambly are ''Literature/BrideOfTheRatGod'', in which an actress in [[UsefulNotes/TheSilentAgeOfHollywood 1920s Hollywood]] becomes the unwitting target of an ancient Chinese curse, and ''Literature/StrangerAtTheWedding'' (aka ''Sorcerer's Ward''), a mixture of Regency romance and murder mystery with the added twist that the protagonist has foreseen the murder magically and is trying to solve it ''before it happens''. Both are standalone novels, and feature smaller-scale problems that admit of relatively neat happy endings, but are still sufficiently characteristic to give you an idea of whether this is the kind of thing you like.

In addition to her self-originated work she has written three Franchise/StarTrekExpandedUniverse novels (''Ishmael'', ''Ghost-Walker'' and ''Crossroad''), two Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse novels (the first and third books in ''Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy''), and two tie-in novels for the ''Series/{{Beauty and the Beast|1987}}'' TV series, as well as episodes of ''WesternAnimation/JayceAndTheWheeledWarriors'', ''WesternAnimation/{{MASK}}'', ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Centurions}}''. She also collaborated on the first ''Literature/MagicTime'' novel with the franchise's creator, Marc Scott Zicree.
!!Works by Barbara Hambly with their own trope pages include:

* ''Literature/BenjaminJanuary'' series
* ''Literature/BrideOfTheRatGod''
* ''Literature/TheCallistaTrilogy'': ''Children of the Jedi'' and ''Planet of Twilight''
* ''Literature/{{Dragonsbane}}'' series
* ''Literature/SearchTheSevenHills'' (aka ''The Quirinal Hill Affair'')
* ''Literature/StrangerAtTheWedding''
* ''Literature/SunWolfAndStarhawk'' series
* ''Literature/ThoseWhoHuntTheNight'' series
* ''Literature/TheWindroseChronicles'' series

!!Barbara Hambly's other works include examples of:

* ArrangedMarriage:
** In ''Circle of the Moon'', it is mentioned that Raeshaldis (known simply as the Eldest Daughter in her own family), ran away from an ArrangedMarriage to study FunctionalMagic. She is not happy to learn that one of her younger sisters -- much younger -- now looks like being forced into the match instead.
** Tally in ''The Rainbow Abyss'', which caused a few problems when Rhion showed up.
* AwesomenessByAnalysis: Bunches.
** In the Star Trek tie-in novel ''Ishmael'', Spock excels at pool without thinking about it, later commenting to a surprised onlooker that it is nothing but simple geometry and physics.
* ComicBookFantasyCasting: Ingold Inglorion is very obviously the late Sir Alec Guinness as [[Franchise/StarWars Obi-Wan Kenobi]], brown robes, beautiful voice and all.
* CorruptChurch: The "Darwath" series has a generic "The Church" that frequently makes Our Heroes miserable, having as a central tenet of its faith that wizards are evil and soulless. It also generates some interesting Church vs. State conflicts regarding food distribution and legal jurisdiction, wrangles between two bishops - the compassionate Maia of Thran (an ex-soldier) and the fierce ascetic Govannin Narmenlion, who is less 'corrupt' than utterly convinced of the rightness of her beliefs - and is, on occasion, somewhat helpful by providing historical records.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of classic fantasy clichés: Often.
* FunctionalMagic: In the Darwath books mages possess an inherent gift, which must then be developed with training in RuleMagic.
* {{Ghostapo}}: In ''The Magicians of Night''
* HistoricalFantasy:
** ''The Magicians of Night''
* IntercontinuityCrossover: Her Star Trek tie-in novel ''Ishmael'' is an extended crossover with the 1968-1970 ABC series ''Here Come The Brides'', including several {{Mythology Gag}}s spanning both series. (It also includes cameos from a number of other series, most noticeably ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/HaveGunWillTravel''- jarring, considering CBS has only the rights to the latter.)
* LowFantasy: All her fantasy novels.
* PurpleProse: Her ''Franchise/{{Star Wars|Expanded Universe}}'' novels have a, shall we say, ''mauve-ish'' tinge to them. [[TropesAreNotBad Done fairly well, though]].
* SpiritAdvisor: In the ''Sisters of the Raven'' books, Pontifer Pig is this to Pomegranate. Those who know her mostly assume that she is hallucinating about the ghost of her late pet. (In ''Circle of the Moon'', however, some consideration is given to the theory that Pontifer might have been a djinn who is managing to use Pomegranate as a host.)
* TrappedInAnotherWorld: The Darwath series.