Hailed by RT Book Reviews as “fresh and original…stark and lovely,” a heroic fantasy by an award-winning author about a young woman who is trained in the art of the sinister hand of magic. A Locus Magazine Bestseller.
Isobel, upon her sixteenth birthday, makes the choice to work for the Boss called the Devil by some, in his territory west of the Mississippi. But this is not the devil you know. This is a being who deals fairly with immense—but not unlimited—power, who offers opportunities to people who want to make a deal, and they always get what they deserve. But his land is a wild west that needs a human touch, and that’s where Izzy comes in. Inadvertently trained by him to see the clues in and manipulations of human desire, Izzy is raised to be his left hand and travel circuit through the territory helping those in need. As we all know, where there is magic there is chaos…and death.
Gilman (the Vineart War trilogy) takes readers on a scenic tour of a very weird Wild West in this delightful start to the Devil's West series. In an early 19th-century America where superstition, magic, and unusual beings flourish, a man considered to be the devil has claimed a vast region west of the Mississippi that's known simply as the Territory. When saloon girl Isobel turns 16, she volunteers to work for the devil and is appointed as his Left Hand, an agent to help keep the Territory under control. Under the guidance of her new mentor, the enigmatic Gabriel, Isobel sets out to learn the ways of the road and discover what her role truly entails. A rash of supernatural events terrorizing the Territory forces Isobel and Gabriel to team with unlikely allies in hopes of preventing further tragedy. Gilman skillfully plays with western folklore and history, infusing them with ambiguity and subtle strangeness to deliver a memorable adventure out on the untamed frontier. Refreshingly, her vision of the American West includes respectful portrayals of Native Americans. Isobel's coming-of-age story is very accessible to teens, and there's plenty for adventure-minded adults to enjoy as well.