Silver on the Road

Book 1 in the Devil’s West

East of the Mississippi, in the civilized world, dime store novels and gossips claim that the territory to the west is home to monsters and magic, wild Indians and disreputable whites.  They claim that in order to survive, any who live there must make a deal with the Devil.

Some of this is true.

Isobel is a child of the Territory. She grew up in a saloon, trained to serve drinks and fold laundry, to observe the players at the card tables and report back to her boss on what she saw.  But when she comes of age, she is given a choice.

The right hand gathers and gives, visible to all.  But the left hand, Isobel, the manu sinistra?  It moves in shadows, unseen, unheard…. Until I deem it time for it to be seen and heard.  And when it moves, its work cannot be undone. It is the strength of the Territory, the quick knife in the darkness, the cold eye and the final word.”

She looked up, away from his hands, and was caught by a gaze the burnt gold of the morning sun.

“I have been lacking a left hand for too long, now. Are you strong enough for that, Isobel nee Lacoyo Tavora?  Is the iron in your spine, the fire in your blood, proof against my forging?”

Isobel chooses power. Chooses risk. Chooses to throw her cards in with the Devil, Master of the Territory.

But the costs of that power are greater than she ever imagined; the things she must do, the person she must become…  And she needs to learn her new role quickly: pressures from both outside the Territory and within are growing, and the Devil’s Hand has work to do.

2016 Endeavour Logo FINALIST 150


Available  at the following fine book-shilling establishments….

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or find it at your local library!


“In this delightful start to The Devil’s West series… Gilman skillfully plays with western folklore and history, infusing them with ambiguity and subtle strangeness to deliver a memorable adventure out on the untamed frontier. Refreshingly, her vision of the American West includes respectful portrayals of Native Americans. Isobel’s coming-of-age story is very accessible to teens, and there’s plenty for adventure-minded adults to enjoy as well.” – Publishers Weekly

Silver on the Road take(s) on the sheen and weight of forgotten history….and it’s that echo in the brain that makes the thing hard to put down, because reading Silver on the Road is not like falling into some new and unfamiliar world.  It’s more like a true American myth being found.”

“In fact, that’s what Gilman does best here, infusing the classic with the modern. Her cocktail of Western folklore, Native American mythos, and known history are seamless, and will be a particular treat to fans of the other master of that kind of mashup, Neil Gaiman…. Gilman’s lyrical prose and a strong focus on character make this one a true stand-out.” –

Silver on the Road takes an underused setting for fantasy, the American West, and uses it to explore coming of age, the limits of power and responsibility, and the importance of mingling compassion and justice. Its fresh and original and the language is both stark and lovely. The descriptions of the natural landscape of the West fit beautifully with descriptions of talking animals, traveling magicians and terrifying supernatural forces. 4.5 stars –RT Reviews

Silver on the Road feels like a story you’ve always known, but never read; the kind of haunting, perfect myth that draws together magic, the Old West, saints and sinners and innocents into a brilliant blend that’s simultaneously startling and familiar. Isobel’s journey feels like a the story you’ve been waiting to hear late at night, when the whispers come around.”  -Rachel Caine, NYT bestselling author of the Morganville Vampire series

“First, just go buy it. Seriously, this book is great. Its like, part western, part new weird, but without China Mieville’s over-the-top new weird. Things are complicated, good can be done in the name of evil, and evil in the name of good, and the right thing is rarely the easy thing.” – Gallywumpus Reviews

“Laura Anne Gilman has reimagined an American West that is alluring and gritty, strange and utterly convincing. Her prose is stunning, and her story and characters grabbed my heart and would not let go. Silver on the Road is pure gold.”  David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson, author of the Thieftaker Chronicles.

“[SILVER ON THE ROAD is] captivating, vivid, and impossible to stop reading… I could taste the dust, hear the rattle of the snakes, feel the wind, and sense the road. Filled with wonderful mythology and strong, compelling characters, this book is a fantastic start to what promises to be a fantastic new series.” – Sarah Beth Durst – author of VESSEL and CONJURED