Literature / The Enchantment Emporium

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The Enchantment Emporium, released in 2010, is the first book in a series by Tanya Huff. It begins the day Alysha (Allie) Gale receives a letter from her 'Auntie' Catherinenote  stating that she's dead, the titular store now belongs to Allie, and she's expected to investigate.

Oh, and her family is magical, her own power may be acting up, and there may be a dragon invasion to deal with.

Followed by The Wild Ways in 2011, and The Future Falls in 2015.


This Series Provides Examples Of:

  • Big Bad: The Gales are taught that sorcerers end up becoming this, no matter how much they try to justify it. And Allie automatically assumes that whatever may have killed Auntie Catherine is this, due to how hard it would be to kill her without a fight. And Stanley K. is treated as one, because he funds and publishes a tabloid.
  • Bigger Bad: While Allie believes it to be Stanley K./Samuel Gale, and Graham is told it's Jack, Samuel's son, both end up being informed it's Jack's mother, using Jack as a beacon to find Samuel in order to get revenge.
  • Bi the Way: The Gale Girls, as a part of Situational Sexuality.
  • Changeling Tale: Joe (the Leprechaun) is a Changeling, with almost no loyalty to his birth home because of it.note  For most of the first book, he needs to take a potion every so often, since the human he was swapped for died (of unknown causes, but old age is brought up as a possibility, which means Joe may be at least 80) and Joe needs something to balance the 'call home', when he really doesn't want to go.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: When Allie starts moving up in power (and ability), she starts marking various people and objects with charms. Since she's in a new city and striking out on her own, they tend to be the relatively simple, territory-marking, "Mine".
  • Colony Drop: The plot of The Future Falls is kicked off by the discovery that an asteroid, hidden behind another, will hit in two years.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Gale Boys tend to be coddled (since there's so few of them- the ratio tends to be about 7:1, almost making them a One-Gender Race), but the belief is any that have an excessive amount of power are guaranteed to become sorcerers.
    • Which leads to a side-plot of Allie trying to find a way to save her brother David, since they're the only two kids of their parents, and there's already gossip that he has "all the ability" of the sisters that he should have had, as well as his own
  • In the Blood: As Allie finds out in the first book, while all of the Gale Girls have 'The Power', Gale Boys are virtually guaranteed to have strong magical abilities (which are used to anchor the family rituals), and- if not contained- will cause them to strike out on their own, presumably to gather personal influence and greater personal power.
  • Incest Is Relative: The Gales tend to keep their family magic... in the family. For the most part, it gets no closer than cousins- in terms of producing children- with lists of 'approved' potential partners, and "outsiders" do occasionally join in; usually, though, it's based on the Gale picking the outsider based on the potential 'power' they bring into the family.note 
    • Also, the reason so many Gales have magic is due to the concerted effort to keep their power in the family, through Kissing Cousins.
  • Kissing Cousins: The Gale's want to keep the family magic within the family (partially since things would get out of hand if they can't keep track of troublemakers), so they raise each generation to be comfortable with this. They do accept that too much inbreeding has its own problems, so each 'undecided' family member has a list of approved potential marriage partners, and occasional outsiders (like Allie's father) are allowed into the group.
  • Magic Music: Charlie is a low-key version of Stile, from Apprentice Adept, but with a guitar as the preferred instrument. And an ability for Time Travel, which sets up a subtle Stable Time Loop in the third book.
  • May–December Romance: Due to 'selective breeding', the family treats anything outside of an individual's "seven-year break"note  as this. Jack doesn't take this well when he starts crushing on Charlie, since she's about 12 years older and he's a potentially immortal Dragon Lord.
    • One of the Aunties takes up with a Leprechaun Changeling. No-one makes much of a fuss, since he may be 80-90 years old (see Older Than They Look), to become an Auntie involves menopause, and nobody wants to argue with two magic-slingers.
  • Older Than They Look: Joe looks about 25-30. While he doesn't say how old he actually is, he's a Leprechaun involved in a changeling swap, taking a potion to be avoid being dragged back home to the Fair Folk, due to the human side dying, and throwing things out of balance. He doesn't know how they died, but figures enough time has passed that it could have been from old age... which has Joe in the 80's, at least.
  • One-Gender Race: While boys are born into the family, the combination of Kissing Cousins and gender-rationote  means they are almost this, and only the occasional influx of outsiders, like Allie's father, prevent them from dying out completely.
  • Rule of Funny: Allie is worried throughout most of the book that the rest of the family will expect her brother David to eventually get Drunk on the Dark Side. But it turns out he's still her brother, because in the middle of a conversation where he acts like a protective older brother, she feels like swatting him on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. Keep in mind he can shapeshift into a massive elk.
    Allie: It must have shown on my face, because he took a step back.
  • Running Gag: Tabloid publishers get no respect...
  • Serial Escalation: The Big Bad is first believed to be Jack, a teen half-Dragon Lord. Then, the Gale decide it's going to be Jack's uncles, fighting over whether he should be here at all. They also are trying to find out what a sorcerer is doing in the town... he's waiting for Jack's mother, a Dragon Queen, who's coming to take revenge on him for getting her pregnant in the first place.
  • Shmuck Bait: Allie is drawn into the plot (and taking over the titular store from her grandmother) by receiving a letter stating Auntie Catherine was dead, there may be something going on, and no matter what they say, don't let the other Aunties get involved if you don't want them to.
  • Shrouded in Myth: The origins of the Gale family. Discussed in the first book, hints as to what actually happened show up when Charlie Time Travel's in the third book.
  • Situational Sexuality: While the Gale Boys are expected- and encouraged- to pick from their numerous female cousins, said cousins can and do spend time with each other as a way of passing the time.
  • Stable Time Loop: Set up in the third book, by Charlie's use of Magic Music in 'The Wood' to make sure she arrived when she needed to: Charlie, figuring she needs to 'find' one of Allie's sons from the future in order to divert the upcoming asteroid strike, Time Travel's to when he's (roughly) old enough- and powerful enough- to take care of it. Except it's the older version of Jack she needs. And the son? He uses the Wood to travel back in time to become the Shrouded in Myth founder of the Gale Family, along with one of the current-generation Aunties. And the only reason he was ready was the story he was told about Charlie's attempt... by Charlie (in the intervening years).
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