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First published December 3, 2013
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat: Sanderson’s weakest attribute is his inability to write robust and authentic female characters and when he, in the foreword, mentioned that this story was part of an anthology about strong women, I was both eager and apprehensive.
And wouldn’t you know it, our heroine, Silence, a bounty hunter, seemed like a variant of most of the female characters in his other books. That is, a facsimile. The premise itself was interesting; a small town located within a forest that’s inhabited by ghosts who hunt those that have shed blood, but aside from this interesting setting, the story itself was simple.
“You remember when Harold’s hound went mad last spring?” Silence asked. “Do you remember that look in the hound’s eyes? No recognition? Eyes that lusted for the kill? Well, that’s what these men are, William Ann. Rabid. They need to be put down, same as that hound. They won’t see you as a person. They’ll see you as meat. Do you understand?”
I believe in the God Beyond,” Silence said, after they reached the other side.
“I don’t worship,” Silence said, “but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe. The old books, they called this land the home of the damned. I doubt that worshiping does any good if you’re already damned. That’s all.”