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Literature / The Enchantment Emporium

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The Enchantment Emporium, released in 2010, is the first book in a series, either called "The Enchantment Emporium", or "Gale Women" 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:

  • Acceptable Targets: Tabloid publishers
  • Alliterative Title: The Idiosyncratic Episode Naming of "The [Alliterative adjective and noun]":
    • The Enchantment Emporium
    • The Wild Ways
    • The Future Falls.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: The aunties once suggested Allie magic her gay best friend, who she used to be in love with, into loving her back. Allie refused, on the grounds that he wouldn't be Michael anymore if she was mind-controlling him, but it's treated as only mildly bad and never called rape. The same thing happens when an auntie mind-controls Michael's boyfriend into cheating to make Michael go to Allie's side. Allie is angry because Michael's heartbroken, not because her aunt just raped two people note .
  • Drives Like Crazy: "No Gale ever said driving like an old lady. Old ladies in the Gale family drove like they owned the roads. And the other drivers. And the local police department. And the laws of physics."
  • 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. This leads to a side-plot of Allie trying to find a way to save her brother David, since they're their parents' only two kids, and there's already gossip that he has "all the ability" of the sisters that he should have had, as well as his own. Given that she can cow him by looking at him like she wants to smack him on the nose with a rolled-up paper, there may be no worry there.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming of "The [Alliterative Title-bit of adjective and noun]": The Enchantment Emporium, The Wild Ways, The Future Falls.
  • 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.
  • Kissing Cousins: The Gales 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.
  • The Man Behind the Man: 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.
  • 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).