Title: Silver on the Road
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Year Published: 2015
I really enjoy reading Laura Anne Gilman’s novels – she not only has a knack for writing kick-ass female characters who are also – SHOCK! – allowed to have weaknesses, she has a knack for worldbuilding, sneaking in all the little details of the world that make it believable. So when she started talking about Silver, I knew I was going to buy it. Then she read part of the first chapter at DragonCon, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to wait until it came out.
Silver on the Road focuses on Isobel, a sixteen-year-old who has been raised by the Devil. But not the devil you think you know – this devil deals in Bargains, who holds power, but chooses to show it only when necessary. On her sixteenth birthday, Izzy is released from indenture and makes a Bargain of her own. Trained to observe, to see what lies beneath the surface, she becomes the Devil’s Left Hand.
Izzy is sent out in the Territory by the devil, under the mentorship of Gabriel, a rider of the road. Along the way, they discover a danger to the Territory that neither had anticipated, and Izzy must learn both who she is and what being the Devil’s Left Hand really means.
Izzy is the right mix of naive and experienced – frustrated again and again with the fact that she received no guidance on what her new role really meant, and yet her experience in the things she knows serves her well when it becomes important.
Along with Gabriel, Izzy travels the way with several other companions (and Farron was either fantastically fun to write, or the biggest headache in the world, but he was lots of fun to read), each with their own goals and agendas.
The end of the book feels real to Izzy’s character, and was, actually, eminently satisfying. We’re left with enough untangled threads to make us eager to find out what happens, but not so many to feel like nothing got fixed this time. 5/5 pages – when does the next one come out?