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Although The Devil’s West Laura Anne Gilman is writing in stands alone, its literary trail partners include Emma Bull’s Tombstone and Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory. Isobel, aka Izzy, who has been reared in the Devil’s house in the town of Flood, deep in the mystical Territory, makes a pact on her sixteenth birthday to assume a new role as the Devil’s Left Hand. She is sent out on the road to discover the significance of her new identity, and the responsibilities and powers that accompany it, with experienced rider Gabriel, a man with secrets of his own. Izzy confront magicians, bandits, and a host of natural and supernatural threats, as well as bone-grinding exhaustion and other challenges of the trail.
A heroic fantasy by an award-winning author about a young woman who is trained in the art of the sinister hand of magic, but at what price?
Isobel, upon her sixteenth birthday, makes the choice to work for the devil 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. As we all know, where there is magic there is chaos...and death.