Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light

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.


“Huff’s real-world fantasy presents an enlightened, compassionate view of the forgotten heroes of urban society. High Recommended.”

Library Journal

“Contemporary urban fantasy at its best.”


“Tanya Huff has a rollicking good time playing with the lighter side of her plot and provides a set of dramatic personae whose fate engage our deeper feelings. [The novel] works its own distinctive charms upon one of the standard plots of the fantasy genre.”

Toronto Star

“GATE OF DARKNESS, CIRCLE OF LIGHT is a novel about facing the complexity of existence and learning about oneself and one’s biases in the meantime. It is a novel that situates itself as one of binary opposition (good versus evil) but explores the complexities of life and the awareness that we always live in the grey areas in between where we need to constantly learn more about the world around us to make moral decisions. “

Speculating Canada

“Ms. Huff weaves the timeless conflict between Good and Evil into something wondrous. The piquant juxtaposition of reality and fantasy continually challenges the imagination, while the delicate precision of her prose pleases the literary palate. Above all, the ineffable magic of her characters and a lyrical exposition of mankind’s dual nature will linger in your dreams for many a day.”

Rave Reviews

“Fantasy in the real world has never been more credibly presented than in this fine novel. Readers feel the danger and are moved by Rebecca’s power and innocence […] Finding our hidden strengths — and namin and accepting our secret weaknesses — are strong themes for young adult readers, ones that give this novel the holding power of the absolute best in fantasy or any other genre.”

Emergency Librarian

Awards & Accolades