July 17, 2012

Magic in Toronto

Gate Of Darkness Circle of Light
by Tanya Huff

A young woman named Rebecca, who is developmentally delayed, has an unusual ability - she can see things other people can't, like littles (small beings), ghosts, and trolls. When a little is murdered, it's a sign that the forces of evil are infiltrating the human world and trying to overtake it. Rebecca joins forces with Roland, a street musician; Daru, Rebecca's social worker; Mrs. Ruth, a bag lady; Tom, a warrior cat; and Evan, an Adept of the Light (an angel) to prevent the Gate of Darkness from opening.

Surprisingly, this is a very entertaining read. The book's setting is part of the appeal. Most of the action takes place in downtown Toronto, the Annex neighborhood, and the grounds of University College at U of T. The ghost of Ivan Reznikoff even plays a key role.

Huff briskly moves the plot along, leavening the suspense with brief doses of humour. She nearly loses control when she strands Roland in fairy-tale land, where he encounters giants, witches, magical harps, and the Three Bears, who unfortunately sound like folksy hillbillies. But somehow, everything comes together in the final, spectacular showdown.

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