The Wild Ways
Gale Women #2
****** (6 out of 6 stars)
cover - I'm not crazy about this cover, it's just personal taste. There's nothing really wrong with it...except the art is weird (for me) on the woman's stance. Maybe it's the way her arm looks. Perspective is off. I DO like the dragon shadow, though, and the way the seal is represented. So the cover does kind of fit the story - except I don't remember where Charlie is possibly standing at the beach, staring at a hole in the mountain, but...is probably a representation - right? At least the girl has the right color hair. ;)
Man- I just love Tanya Huff's writing. I don't know if there's anyone that can really compare, it's so original. Subtly different than many writers out there. Huff has written more series than I've read, but each book I've read written by her, I've loved.
The Wild Ways is the second of the Gale Women series. This one features Charlie (Charlotte). She is the cousin with Wild Powers. Meaning she could go either way - evil or good, so the "Aunties" are always watching her. One of my favorite characters in this novel is Jack, the other younger wild power. Not only is he a wild power, but he happens to be a Dragon Prince. He was introduced in the first novel (The Enchantment Emporium) and is a typical fourteen year old boy with the powers of a dragon...and a Gale. Wow.
Charlie has been traveling, on tour with a country band when she gets called to tour with a former band, all friends of hers. Things line up to make this possible without disappointing anyone and she's on her way. When she's at the coast at one of the festivals the band is playing, the fiddler's girlfriend has been crying - incessantly. This affects the band, so Charlie ends up helping out - turns out there are sealskins involved, corrupt oil company CEO and assistant and things are a bit of a mess. AND an exiled Auntie is involved - another wild power - Catherine Gale.
Tanya Huff wrote a story that I read in just about 24 hours, mas o menos. Between the magic, the charms, the smoke from Dragon Prince Jack, and the interplay between the cousins and friends, there isn't one 'bleh' moment in this novel. The setting is Canada and there are both hetero and same sex characters (along with bi), but nowhere is this done in an exploitive or judgmental way. Very refreshing.
Charlie grows as a person and a Gale Wild Power, as does young Jack. Made me want to find the first book for a reread. Huff is definitely one of the best writers around.