Next Author: Barry Hughart
Previous Author: E.B. Hudspeth

Tanya Huff

Tanya Huff(1957- )
Tanya Huff is a Canadian author. Although she left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, Tanya Huff still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a Chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular. Here’s Tanya Huff’s blog.

Blood Price: I like the characters

Blood Price by Tanya Huff

Blood Price, the first of Tanya Huff's Blood Books, is about Vicki Nelson, a private investigator, and Henry Fitzroy, a five hundred year old vampire and illegitimate son of Henry VIII. Clichéd urban romance story, right? Well, there are a few things about this novel that piqued my interest and guaranteed I'll be reading the rest of The Blood Books.

In a genre that is crowded with books about vampires linked with strong female characters, a novel would need something extra to make it stand out. Huff provides that in the form of Vicki —  a woman who leaves the police force when she is diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition that will possibly render her blind. Vicki is strong, obstinate, and bitter in turn. Her self-pity at times becomes a littl... Read More

Blood Trail: A mixed bag

Blood Trail by Tanya Huff

Blood Trail is the second in Tanya Huff’s Blood Books series featuring Vicki Nelson, private investigator, and Henry Fitzroy, vampire and illegitimate son of Henry VIII.

The novel opens with Vicki accepting an invitation to Henry's place to talk about a possible new case. It’s been a few months since the events of Blood Price, and the flirtation between Vicki and Henry is ramped up a notch. Their new case involves a pack of werewolves living near London, Canada, who are being picked off one by one by a talented marksman.

Like Blood Price, Blood Trail is a mixed bag. I love the relationship between Vicki and Mike, and the jealousy that both Mike and Henry feel about Vicki is real and touching. The brief s... Read More

Blood Lines: The characters are getting annoying

Blood Lines by Tanya Huff

Blood Lines is the third novel in the Blood Books series. In previous novels, Tanya Huff has tackled vampires (obviously), werewolves, and demons, and in Blood Lines, she wanders into the realms of ancient Egypt and mummies.

In the slow-burn start to the book, a new sarcophagus is found by Dr. Rax, curator of the Royal Ontario Museum, and brought to Toronto. After a series of mysterious deaths, police officer Mike Celluci starts to believe that a reanimated mummy might be haunting the streets of Toronto. When he is pulled from the case, he asks Vicki to investigate on his behalf. Eventually Vicki pulls together the threads to realize that the people of Toronto are in mortal danger and time is running out for the mummy to be stopped.

I have to confess, this wa... Read More

Blood Pact: Overwhelmingly creepy in a good way

Blood Pact by Tanya Huff

In the first few chapters of Blood Pact, the fourth novel in the Blood Books series, Vicki Nelson receives extremely bad news concerning her mother’s death. The news gets worse when she travels to Kingston and realizes that her mother’s body is being used in an appalling series of experiments. Blood Pact is the tale of Dr. Frankenstein, brought up to date in a gruesome manner. Vicki tries frantically to find out who is behind the desecration of her mother’s corpse, ably assisted by vampire Henry Fitzroy and cop Mike Celluci. Both men love Vicki and are trying to win her heart, but all of this is put aside when the three band together against a common foe.

I had my complaints about the last book in this series, Blood Lines, feeling that it dragged a little, used a ludicrous plot and made two dimensi... Read More

Blood Debt: Final Blood Book

Blood Debt by Tanya Huff

Blood Debt is the fifth and last book in the Blood Books series by Tanya Huff featuring Vicki Nelson, Henry Fitzroy and Mike Celluci. We pick up the tale as Henry finds himself haunted by a tormented ghost and realizes he needs Vicki’s help. It’s hard to review Blood Debt completely without spoiling the events at the end of Blood Pact, but I shall attempt it!

Although there is a ghost involved, the mystery itself is more mundane than those in the previous books, concerning an organization set up to profit from the harvesting of organs. Since Huff persists in signposting her villains, making identifying them extremely easy, these books are not whodunits and so Huff has to rely on the antagonists’ supernatural abilities to ramp up the tension. H... Read More

Summon the Keeper: Entertaining urban fantasy

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Tanya Huff’s KEEPER’S CHRONICLES is about a family of Keepers, descendants of Lilith who have the power to close up holes in the fabric of the universe that appear when evil things happen. Keepers get supernaturally summoned toward these holes, so they’re often on the go, traveling from place to place as they feel the pull of their summons.

Claire, a Canadian Keeper in her late 20s who travels with Austin, an elderly talking cat, has been summoned to a bed & breakfast called the Elysian Fields Guesthouse. When she arrives, the owner turns his establishment over to Claire and quickly bolts.

That’s because there’s an unconscious evil Keeper in room six, the place is haunted by a dead (but still horny) Frenchman, the elev... Read More

The Second Summoning: Some great characters, but a little too silly

The Second Summoning by Tanya Huff

Note: This review will contain mild spoilers for the previous book, Summon the Keeper.

I was entertained by Tanya Huff’s first KEEPER’S CHRONICLES novels, Summon the Keeper, about a woman named Claire whose job, as a Keeper, is to travel around closing evil holes in the fabric of the universe when they pop up around Canada and the US. In Summon the Keeper, Claire and her talking cat (Austin) were “summoned” to a bed & breakfast which was endangered by a portal to Hell that had opened in the furnace room. I liked the B&B setting, the cat (I’ve never met a cat I ... Read More

Long Hot Summoning: Diana tackles an evil shopping mall

Long Hot Summoning by Tanya Huff

Long Hot Summoning (2003) is the third and final book in Tanya Huff’s KEEPER’S CHRONICLES. It’s advisable to read the first two books, Summon the Keeper and The Second Summoning first.

Claire’s sister Diana has just graduated from high school and is off on her first summoning. It leads her to the local indoor shopping mall, where she discovers that evil forces are quietly infiltrating the mall, where they hope to gradually create a segue into our world. Diana is the strongest keeper alive, but even she is not confident enough to take on the mall problem by herself, so s... Read More

The Enchantment Emporium: Mixed opinions

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Alysh Gale is 24 and jobless. Lack of funds ended the museum job she loved and has forced her to return back home. It is during this time she receives a mysterious letter from her estranged grandmother. The letter tells her she has inherited a store in Calgary, and must go and maintain it at once. The disappearance of the grandmother needs to be looked into, so the family agrees to let Alysha go and mind the store in order to solve the mystery.

There is a thing writers do to explain the world in which their story takes place, or to provide some history to the characters. This is called exposition, and some of it usually takes place at the start of a book. Exposition is important since it provides a foundation for the entire story. Too much exposition can be boring or tedious, but not enough can be disastrous. The Enchantment Emporium has no exposition at all. The sto... Read More

The Wild Ways: Did Not Finish

The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff

The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff is the second book in THE GALE WOMEN series. While I enjoyed the first book, The Enchantment Emporium, even though it had serious flaws, The Wild Ways was not good. I got to about halfway through and didn’t care about the characters. In fact, on a semi-regular basis, I couldn’t keep the characters apart.

I also had serious difficulties with the “too much power/too little consequences” system of magic in this book. Basically, the Gale family can shift reality to meet their will, including things like making airline tickets magically appear when they need them for exactly what they can afford — a magical power I would surely like to develop — and yet it is used for the good of Canada. Or, at least, what the Gale family thinks is the good of Canada. If his... Read More

Shadowed Souls: One way to audition a new Urban Fantasy series

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher & Kerrie L. Hughes

Shadowed Souls is an invitational anthology edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes. Butcher is the author of three fantasy series: THE DRESDEN FILES, THE CODEX ALERA, and THE CINDER SPIRES. Hughes is an established short fiction writer who has edited several anthologies including Chicks Kick Butt, Westward Weird, and Maiden Matron Crone.

The theme of Shadowed Souls is, “good isn’t always light and evil isn’t always dark,” and the eleven stories here showcase main characters — often from the writer’s series — who struggle not to give in to the monster within... or to keep it contained. While the stories are conventional, with conventional magic systems for the most part, this is a nice collecti... Read More

More books by Tanya Huff

Confederation — (2000-2010) Publisher: In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation — at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war….

Confederation 1. Valor's Choice (2000) 2. The Better Part of Valor (2002) 3. The Heart of Valor (2007) 4. Valor's Trial (2008) 5. The Truth of Valor (2010)Confederation 1. Valor's Choice (2000) 2. The Better Part of Valor (2002) 3. The Heart of Valor (2007) 4. Valor's Trial (2008) 5. The Truth of Valor (2010)Confederation 1. Valor's Choice (2000) 2. The Better Part of Valor (2002) 3. The Heart of Valor (2007) 4. Valor's Trial (2008) 5. The Truth of Valor (2010)Confederation 1. Valor's Choice (2000) 2. The Better Part of Valor (2002) 3. The Heart of Valor (2007) 4. Valor's Trial (2008) 5. The Truth of Valor (2010)Confederation 1. Valor's Choice (2000) 2. The Better Part of Valor (2002) 3. The Heart of Valor (2007) 4. Valor's Trial (2008) 5. The Truth of Valor (2010)

Peacekeeper — (2015-2018) A spin-off set in the Confederation universe: Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr had been the very model of a Confederation Marine. But when she learned the truth about the war the Confederation was fighting, she left the military for good. But Torin couldn’t walk away from preserving and protecting everything the Confederation represented. Instead, she drew together an elite corps of friends and allies to take on covert missions that the Justice Department and the Corps could not—or would not—officially touch. Torin just hoped the one they were about to embark on wouldn’t be the death of them. Ancient H’san grave goods are showing up on the black market—grave goods from just before the formation of the Confederation, when the H’san gave up war and buried their planet-destroying weapons…as grave goods for the death of war. Someone is searching for these weapons and they’re very close to finding them. As the Elder Races have turned away from war, those searchers can only be members of the Younger Races. Fortunately, only the Corps Intelligence Service has this information. Unfortunately, they can do nothing about it—bound by laws of full disclosure, their every move is monitored. Though Torin Kerr and her team are no longer a part of the military, the six of them tackling the H’san defenses and the lethally armed grave robbers are the only chance the Confederation has. The only chance to avoid millions more dead. But the more Torin learns about the relationship between the Elder Races and the Younger, the more she begins to fear war might be an unavoidable result.

A Peace Divided (Peacekeeper) Kindle Edition by Tanya Huff (Author)The Privilege of Peace (Peacekeeper) Kindle Edition by Tanya Huff (Author) Book 3 of 3 in Peacekeeper (3 Book Series)

Smoke and Shadows — (2004-2006) Sequels to The Blood Books. Publisher: Together, Vicki and Henry faced and survived perils ranging from demons, werewolves, and mummies to zombies and restless spirits crying out for revenge. In their trials they were aided-willingly or not-by an assortment of allies. Among these allies was a street kid named Tony Foster. Claimed by Vicki as a reliable snitch and by Henry as “one of his own,” Tony found himself rescued from his dead-end existence and given a chance for a better life. Relocating to Vancouver with Henry, and forced to get his act together, Tony embarked on a career in Vancouver’s burgeoning TV industry, landing a job as a production assistant at CB Productions. In an example of art echoing life, the syndicated TV series Tony worked for was “Darkest Night,” a show about the adventures of a vampire detective.

smoke and shadows smoke trilogy tanya huffsmoke and mirrorssmoke and ashes

Quarters — (1994-1999) The original four novels (Sing the Four Quarters, Fifth Quarter, No Quarter, The Quartered Sea) have been reissued as two omnibus editions. Publisher: From the princess who renounces her royal blood to become a bard able to sing elemental magic, to the twin assassins Bannon and Vree caught up in a magical trap they may not survive, these unforgettable characters make both novels thrilling adventure and the most intriguing kind of fantasy.

Tanya Huff Quarters: Sing the Four Quarters, Fifth Quarter, No Quarter, The Quartered SeaTanya Huff Quarters: Sing the Four Quarters, Fifth Quarter, No Quarter, The Quartered Sea

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsNovels of Crystal — (1988-1989) Omnibus edition contains the two original novels (Child of the Grove and The Last Wizard). Publisher: In the Age of Mortals — the Elder Races have withdrawn almost completely from the world of humans and gone, too, are the dreaded wizards. Or so the people of the Ardhan believe, for, unbeknownst to them, there is one wizard who still survives, a master of evil bent upon claiming lordship over the entire world.No mere mortal can hope to stand against his diabolical sorcery, and so the Elders have chosen to intervene one final time. Their gift to Ardhan is Crystal, the Child of the Grove, daughter of the Power and the last-born wizard who will ever walk the world. And thus the battle lines are drawn, and the final war — between both mortal armies and immortal wizards — is about to begin!


Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light — (1989) Publisher: First published in 1989 and taking place in downtown Toronto, one of the earliest of the modern urban fantasies, Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light is the story of a fight against encroaching darkness by a developmentally handicapped young woman, a street musician with no idea of his potential, a bag-lady who’s tired of picking up the pieces, and an adept of the light. Mixing actual Toronto ghost-stories with traditional Faire, a police procedural, and a cat, Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light opened a gate at street level to the urban fantasy that followed.

The Fire's Stone The Fire’s Stone — (1990) Publisher: A wizard, a drunkard, and a thief – three strangers who must learn to work together or Ischia is lost beneath a sea of lava. But Aaron, the thief, is hiding more than stolen jewels. Chandra, the wizard, is running from a political marriage. And Darvish, the prince Chandra is intended to marry and the man Aaron has hidden the most from, well, Darvish really needs a drink. Before they can hope to save Ischia, they must save themselves.

What Ho, Magic!What Ho, Magic! — (1999) Publisher: Tanya Huff, the acclaimed writer of the Blood and Kigh series, is also a fantastic short story writer. What Ho, Magic! is a collection of fifteen of Tanya’s short stories: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” “Word of Honor” “Shing Li-ung”, “First Love, Last Love” “The Harder They Fall” “February Thaw” “The Chase is On” “A Debt Unpaid” “Symbols are a Percussion Instrument” “Underground” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream Team” Four stories featuring Vicki, Henry, and Mike from her Blood series: “This Town Ain’t Big Enough” “What Manner of Man” “The Cards Also Say” “The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeakea”. This is also the first printing of her new novella: “The Vengeful Spirit of Lake Nepeaka”. With an introduction to the book by Michelle Sagara West.

Tanya Huff Stealing MagicStealing Magic — (1999) Publisher: Between the covers of this “double-faced flipover” book, you’ll find two complete collections of Tanya Huff’s comical short stories featuring Magdelene (the world’s most powerful and laziest wizard) and Terazin (a top-notch thief). “Stealing Magic is charming, funny, and once again proves that Huff has no regard for the conventions and boundaries of genre… — the genre is turned on its head, and to hilarious effect. The Magdelene stories in Stealing Magic are certainly some of the few ‘high fantasy’ short works that I have enjoyed recently.” – Challenging Destiny Stealing Magic is both appealing and amusing, and belongs in everyone’s fantasy collection.Relative Magic

Relative Magic — (2003) Publisher: Meisha Merlin’s second collection of Tanya Huff’s short fiction, Relative Magic features four Terizan stories (3 previously published and one newly written especially for this collection), two stories from the Blood Series (one Vicky and one Henry), and eleven other fantastic. The collection will also include new introductions to each story by Tanya Huff.

Tanya Huff Finding MagicFinding Magic — (2007) Publisher: Introduction by Julie E. Czerneda. Afterword by Dr. Erica L. Neely. Table of Contents for Finding Magic: I Knew a Guy Once; Choice of Ending; He Said, Sidhe Said; After School Specials; Finding Marcus
Jack; Slow Poison; Tuesday Evening Six Thirty to Seven; Blood in the Water; Not That Kind of War; Under Summons; A Woman’s Work…; The Things Everyone Knows; We Two May Meet; The Demon’s Den; Brock; All the Ages of Men.Relative Magic

Nights of the Round Table: And Other Stories — (2011) Publisher: Explore uncharted territory in this collection of heroic fantasy shorts from Tanya Huff. Annotations provide background and insight on each story. Peppered with Huff’s trademark tongue-in-cheek wit and the brilliant, funny, wise, ruthless heroines that have made her famous, this is a collection you won’t want to miss. Travel to Camelot in “Nights of the Round Table” and to ancient Egypt in “Succession”. Revisit beloved fairytales in “All Things Being Relative”. Sail the seas in “Blood in the Water” and “Oh Glorious Sight”. Also includes “What Little Girls Are Made Of,” “A Woman’s Work”, and “Slow Poison”. NIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE AND OTHER STORIES is the first of a series of Tanya Huff short story collections. Published as e-book exclusives and featuring all-new cover art, many of the stories in these collections have never been collected before, or are only available in hard-to-find limited editions.

Tanya Huff Finding MagicFebruary Thaw: And Other Stories of Contemporary Fantasy — (2011) Publisher: FEBRUARY THAW is the second e-collection by Tanya Huff and brings together some of the short fiction that helped define the field. From an Imperial Dragon in Toronto’s Chinatown, to a heavy metal retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk, to the realization that the ancient gods are one highly dysfunctional family, Huff skews our world slightly sideways. These seven stories, each with a brand new introduction by the author, remind us that the weird and the wonderful is all around us if we only bother to look.

The Silvered Tanya HuffThe Silvered — (2012) Publisher: From the author of the bestselling Blood books, a brilliant new tale of shape-changers, mages, soothsayers,and a power-mad emperor. The Empire has declared war on the small, were-ruled kingdom of Aydori, capturing five women of the Mage-Pack, including the wife of the were Pack-leader. With the Pack off defending the border, it falls to Mirian Maylin and Tomas Hagen — she a low-level mage, he younger brother to the Pack-leader — to save them. Together the two set out on the kidnappers’ trail, racing into the heart of enemy territory. But with every step the odds against their survival, let alone their success, grow steeper…

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsSwan’s Braid and Other Tales of Terizan — (2013) Publisher: A new short story collection from Tanya Huff. You can’t belong to the Thieves’ Guild if you can’t break into the Thieves’ Guild. When Terizan dropped out of the secret passage, past the net, and into the Inner Sanctum, she was astonished to discover that no one else had ever made it that far. Unfortunately, neither Terizan nor the Guild are thrilled about the sudden perception that she’s the best thief in Oreen – the title comes with expectations and the Guild only ever expects the worst. In these five tales, mercenary captains, murderous royal families, ghosts, gods, and wizards prove that while it may not always be lonely at the top, it’s definitely annoying. Good thing half a dozen gods owe Terizan a favour.