The cold eye by Laura Anne Gilman
The Devil's West bk. 2. Simon and Schuster, 2019. ISBN:
(Age: 16+) Themes: Fantasy, Road trips, Western, Coming of age. In the sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is once again faced with the magic in the land. This time something that is making the earth quake is threatening everything and she must try to set the Territory to rights. Accompanied by her mentor, Gabriel, she rides to uncover what is destroying the land and making the animals and people flee.
The cold eye has a slower pace in comparison to Silver on the road, and concentrates on the gradual growth of Isobel's strength and understanding of her skills and the responsibility that the devil has laid on her shoulders. Isobel is a strong character, and the reader will become immersed in her gradual coming of age. Some more of the tantalising secrets that Gabriel has hidden come to the surface, but Gilman still leaves enough uncovered that the reader will look forward to the next book in the series.
Gilman's real strength is in her world building. The landscape of a strange version of the old West is vividly described and the world of the Territory, its magic, the wards that are used by everyone to contain it and the different people come to life and make for a unique read.
Although slow at times, The cold eye leaves the reader eager to find out more about the quests that Isobel must undertake as the devil's Left Hand and the secret powers that Gabriel hides in the next in the series, Red waters rising.