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The Silver Glove    by Suzy McKee Charnas order for
Silver Glove
by Suzy McKee Charnas
Order:  USA  Can
Wildside, 2001 (1988)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Though it shares the same young heroine, this second urban fantasy in the Sorcery Hall trilogy is quite different from the first. Val's musician friend Joel does not appear (I did peek and discovered that he returns in the final episode), but we see much more of Val's relationship with her Granny Gran and her mother Laura.

Granny Gran trained at Sorcery Hall and passed on her talent to both daughter (who's always been in extreme magical denial) and granddaughter. Now the sprightly old lady is on the lam from her nursing home, and Laura has been convinced that her mother has Alzheimer's. The same Dr. Brightner who made that diagnosis turns up as Val's new school psychiatrist. He has 'a lump of a nose and jowls hanging over his collar and a pouty sort of mouth with a droopy lip.' This 'Demon Shrink' is soon meddling in Val's and Laura's lives. Luckily, Val's grandmother has sent her a 'silver glove', which seems to provide some protection against evil, but it can't help Laura who becomes a 'weird, drippy, zombie-mom'.

Though Val does connect with her grandmother and they work together (that is until Granny ingests demon candy) there's no help available this time from Sorcery Hall, whose members are fighting a big battle of their own. And Brightner's evil is likely to affect that war as well, since he's stealing souls with the intent of animating warrior-bodies to help the bad guys - he needs Laura's magic as a power boost. Soon Val's embroiled in fast-moving adventure that involves both tech and magic. She rides a flying carpet, which is attacked by a 'killer kite' animated by an evil impulse called 'the Claw' - it also mobilizes a dry cleaner's clothes rack and a crane's iron hook against our heroine.

Things heat up in a restaurant called 'Kali's Kitchen', where it's Kali who ultimately feeds. And the story reaches its crescendo in Central Park, where Val and Granny Gran defeat the 'follower of the left-hand path, the path of fear and force and lies!' Val learns that she's braver than her mother, and that all good magic boils down to love. Sorcery Hall is a marvelous series about a very real young woman, who loves her mother but must follow her own heart and talent. I look forward to the conclusion, The Golden Thread.

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