Charlotte Gale is a Wild Power, but there’s nothing wild about the life she is living. When her meddlesome aunts start interfering, Charlie ditches her cousin Allie and their grandmother’s Enchantment Emporium and joins a Celtic rock band on the summer festival circuit.
All Charlie wants to do is play music and have a good time, but she soon becomes embroiled in a fight between an extended family of Selkies and an unscrupulous oil company willing to employ the most horrific means possible to get what they want, including one of the Gale aunts…
The Wild Ways is the second book in The Enchantment Emporium series, which charts the adventures of the Gale Family. As usual there maybe spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t yet read The Enchantment Emporium go and do so now.
In the first book of the series we met Alysha Gale, who ended up moving to Calgary to solve her Aunt’s disappearance, only to stumble onto a far larger mystery. One of the other characters in The Enchantment Emporium was her cousin Charlie, a Wild Power of the Gale Family. In case you hadn’t realised the Gale family deals in magic, Charlie being a Wild Power has the ability to walk through the Wood; this allows her to travel quickly from one place to another.
In The Wild Ways Charlie has to leave the safety and familiarity of Allie’s (Alysha’s) home and discover who she truly wants to be. As a musician Charlie joins her band to play music at a Celtic music festival, where she realises that things are not as simple as they seem. The book is full of fun and interesting characters, some of whom we have met in the previous book, like Jack and Aunt Catherine. There are also a whole host of new characters such as the enigmatic Selkies (check out your Celtic folklore for more information) who are fighting a big oil company, as well as more nasty inhabitants from the UnderRealm.
The underlying focus of this book is to be true to yourself, even if it takes a while to work out who you want to be. The Wild Ways, as the title suggests, has some interesting twists and turns as characters struggle to find their place. This is especially true if you are raised as a Gale and have certain expectations thrown at you. This doesn’t mean that The Wild Ways is full of soul searching, there is action, dragons, environmental disasters that reflect the world we live in. The Wild Ways is also based around music - I thought it was really engaging in the way music was referenced to match Charlie’s moods as well as the joy felt whilst reading the pop culture references. I can’t help but smile when I read these books; they are well written and completely enjoyable. I still have lots of questions about the Gale family which always makes me curious as to what may happen next. I am looking forward to the further adventures of The Enchantment Emporium series.
The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Titan Books (17 April 2014)
Review by Michelle Herbert
9/10 from 1 reviews
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