Laura Anne Gilman, 2017
Silver on the Road. Isobel continues to ride the Territory in search of things to make right and in search of knowledge. She needs to know more about her own powers and position if she's to be ready for the coming storm.
It didn't take me long to sink back into this world after my long-preordered copy of this book appeared on my Kindle. I still love Isobel and her teacher Gabriel; I love this version of the West, full of bargains, new customs, and old magic.
My only complaint is that it had some weaknesses common to second installments. The Cold Eye had a central plot, but despite the power and danger of the trapped spirit involved, the book was more about getting our characters to where they would need to be (emotionally and magically) for the next parts of the larger world plot. The larger plot only advanced a little bit.
That said, I still really enjoyed this book. Isobel is growing into the powers of her bargain and finding a few more besides. She's both questioning the devil's power and reaffirming it. Gabriel is just trying to keep her alive long enough to figure it out.
I liked the creepy town they visited where people had cut themselves off from the power of the Territory. The people lived in the mix of stealing, appropriation, and ignorance that will surely characterize more settlements if the Americans come over the border in the next book.
This is another strong installment in this fantasy western, and I have high expectations for book three!
4 Stars - A Very Good Book