Monday, September 10, 2018

Book Review: Red Waters Rising by Laura Anne Gilman

Red Waters Rising
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Series: Devil's West (Book 3)
Publication: Saga Press (June 26, 2018)

Description: In the last novel of The Devil’s West trilogy, Isobel, the Devil’s Left Hand, and Gabriel ride through the magical land of the Territory to root out evil by the way of mad magicians, ghosts, and twisted animal spirits.

As Isobel and Gabriel travel to the southern edge of the Territory, they arrive in the free city of Red Stick. Tensions are running high as the homesteading population grows, crowding the native lands, and suspicions rise across the river from an American fort.

But there is a sickness running through Red Stick and Isobel begins to find her authority challenged. She’ll be abandoned, betrayed, and forced to stand her ground as the Devil’s left hand in this thrilling conclusion to The Devil’s West Trilogy.

My Thoughts: Isobel and her mentor Gabriel have been on the road for nearly a year. They have met all sorts of challenges but it looks like the greatest one is still ahead. They have reached the southern end of the Territory controlled by the Devil. The city of Red Stick is the largest population center Isobel has ever seen. It sits on the bank of the Mudwater which causes problems for Gabriel. He is a water-child but doesn't want to submit to the water.

Tensions are palpable in the city. There is pressure from homesteaders on local Indian tribes; there are those who worry about the Americans across the river who likely have designs on the Territory. There are those who feel a connection to the land who resent those who don't. Isobel knows her job is to solve problems but no one is willing to say what the problem is.

Isobel is also growing in her powers - both the powers given her by the Devil as a result of their bargain and the powers that seem to have been born in her as a child of the Territory. She'll have to learn to balance her powers and stand on her own two feet to make her judgment.

This is a fascinating historical fantasy with a complex and intriguing mythology. The characters are well-developed. I like the way Isobel has changed in the past year of their travels. I liked this episode especially because it gave more depth to Gabriel and his struggles.

Favorite Quote:
"Everywhere there's an opinion, they pop up like prairie dogs. Folks who don't understand the Agreement protects 'em as much as it restricts 'em, think they can have everything without giving up anything."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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