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The Cold Eye

(The Devil's West #2)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  963 ratings  ·  143 reviews
In the anticipated sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is riding circuit through the Territory as the Devil's Left Hand. But when she responds to a natural disaster, she learns the limits of her power and the growing danger of something mysterious that is threatening not just her life, but the whole Territory.

Isobel is the left hand of the old man of the Territory, the Bo
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Saga Press
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  963 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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The first book in this series, "Silver on the Road", enthralled me when I read it and I knew I wanted to read the next book, "The Cold Eye". I requested it via NetGalley almost as soon as it was available. But my request had been pending for many weeks when Gilman mentioned on Facebook that she had review copies available. I asked, and she sent me a copy; then, four and a half months after I submitted my request on NetGalley, I was approved and ended up with two e-galleys. Feast or famine, lol.

Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. I will read the third novel because I am very curious to see what happens and the author has left us with a fair share of questions which MUST be answered!

Book 2 did have its share of problems - mostly with pacing and repetition. I wonder if some of the lengthy periods of "nothing happening" on the road was for realistic effect; I don't really mind the quiet moments because Gilman's descriptions are evocative and immersive. Though I'm bored of our lovely protagonist sticking her hand
Courtney Schafer
Oh, how I adore the setting and magic of Gilman's re-imagined wild west. Protagonist Isobel and her mentor Gabriel remain engaging in this sequel to Silver on the Road, and I enjoyed Isobel's journey into further acceptance of her power and nature. On a more frustrating note, everything I most want to discover about Gabriel, it seems Gilman is not interested in revealing or exploring with any depth (yet). But still, I inhaled the story in one delighted sitting; it's so much fun to be back in the ...more
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's always a treat to discover an author who is a world builder. Last year, Laura Anne Gilman introduced The Devil's West in the first book in the series, Silver on the Road. She doesn't disappoint readers with the second book, The Cold Eye. She's created a world, set in the early 19th century, in which what we think of as the Louisiana Territory, west of the Mississippi, is called The Territory. It's the Devil's land, and the old man's Left Hand rides that territory, watching for trouble, deal ...more
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, western, epic
The book is well written, of that there can be no complaint. However it read a lot like the first book only instead of the intruders being from the West they came from the East.

It seemed to me that the book suffered a great deal due to pacing. It seemed to go on and on with the occasional spot of engaging story then back to being plodding.

I'll read the third because I'd like to know how it ends, but I'm not feeling a big draw to read it right now.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Electronic ARC provided by NetGalley.

I really enjoyed this book. While "Silver on the Road" is very much a series introduction--setting up world and characters--"The Cold Eye" feels like it fully launches the story, and starts the plot moving towards a major crisis point. Gilman's version of the American West continues to be interesting and original, while feeling very solid and well put together. The relationships between various factions (both supernatural and mortal) are well though
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I find it weird that when I was younger I didn't like western tales or the genre at ALL. But the older I get, I guess I have learned to broaden my horizons.

The Cold Eye is the second in the Devil's West series, it is a exceptionally well written story that straddles a fantasy quest and a western perfectly, not the easiest task in the world.

Terrific world, characters you care for, and the best thing of all, a story that you want to keep reading.

go buy this series.
The Library Ladies
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, western
(Originally reviewed at

After reading and loving “Silver on the Road,” I was excited to pick up this prequel. In the first book we were introduced to the unique, re-imagined West that is ruled by the enigmatic Devil who has sent out 16-year-old Isobel to travel the territory as his own brand of magical justice. In many ways, this book simply doubled-down on the same elements readers were presented with in the first novel, in some ways to its benefit and in others, less so.
Claudia Putnam
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: speclit
Well, so this is the second in this series, and I'm still reading. It's about as flawed as the first, maybe a little less. And I'll probably read the next one. The basic problem is that they need more characters. For example, if the Jack would have stayed on, or one of those roving women. The Left Hand just can't do it alone. She doesn't know enough and she needs more foils. Otherwise the premise and the atmosphere are interesting enough. You can't understand, though, why they don't hightail it ...more
Sidsel Pedersen
This was a much slower book, one that took it's time and very much was concerned with the inner life of the characters more so than any plot. Though there of course is a plot and an interesting one at that. Izzie is growing into her self quite a bit in this book - into her role. ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh, I reallllllly liked this. Well crafted, written and plotted. Excellent.
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 and rounding up because diversity in fiction deserves to be rewarded.

I need the next 5 books in this series. This world is internally consistent, often terrifying, and deeply intriguing.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A worthy successor to the first book in the trilogy as Isobel and Gabriel continue their journey through the Territory.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
A weird, low key western fantasy that's more concentrated on the spirit world. Different from the first in the series, it's better than I expected. ...more
Aug 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2018reads
I love the world - the author keeps building on it in interesting ways. But I felt like the story really didn't get going until the last third, when it got a lot of momentum. ...more
Jaime Moyer
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I loved the first book. I loved this one even more. Now to think of what to say that doesn't spoil this book for others.

Isobel and Gabriel have grown into their roles. His bargain with the devil says he's her mentor, but the longer the two of them are together, partner is the more apt description and closer to the truth. He supports her, he listens, and most important, Gabriel doesn't judge Isobel when she has to make hard decisions.

Izzy is learning--hard and fast--that being the Left Hand is so
Kathy Martin
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isobel and her mentor Gideon are traveling the far reaches of the Territory when they come upon a problem that seems too big to solve. Beginning with a buffalo slaughter, then earthquakes, and then an area devoid of animal life, Isobel and Gideon move further and further into the unknown.

Isobel is the Devil's Left Hand. She is responsible for making decisions for the good of the Territory in the areas far from the Devil's home base. It is an awesome responsibility for a girl who is just sixteen
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
These books are SO CLOSE to being exactly what I want, and yet they don't quite get there, more's the tragedy. I love the setting of the reimagined West, I love the atmosphere. I love that there is magic and yet I find myself frustrated by just how nebulously it is described.

The first section of this book is, frankly, boring. Nothing much happens except a lot of "feeling" and a lot of magic, which is less interesting to read when you can't follow what's going on. I even considered putting the bo
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been eagerly awaiting the released of The Cold Eye, by Laura Anne Gilman, since I read the book that opened the series. This novel opens soon after the end of Silver on the Road, with Isobel and Gabriel traveling north across the Territory to find new wrongs to put right. Isobel is still learning the limits of her powers and jurisdiction as the Devil's Left Hand and The Cold Eye very much focuses on the ruthlessness of frontier justice...

Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I rec
Robert Greenberger
A Strong Follow-up

The second volume in The Devil 's Road does a terrific job of expanding and exploring the North American territory ruled by the Devil. We have a greater understanding of the relationship between the people and their land along with the dangers. There is an internal threat that is the focus but we learn of an increasing danger from the Americans.

What I had hoped for and was disappointed not to get was a deeper understanding of Isobel and Gabriel as characters. But I am along fo
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
This definitely a sequel and a bridge to the next book in this series. Read for a continued exploration of an intriguing fantasy setting and hints of conflicts to come.
I very much enjoyed how the relationship between Isobel and Gabriel evolves in this book, how Isobel is coming into her own and Gabriel is trying to let her, how they don't always agree on the best course of action but are still willing to sit down and talk it over and each listen to the other's side. I liked that Isobel acknowledged that Gabriel was more experienced and still had things worth teaching even though she was far more powerful than him, and that Gabriel acknowledged that Isobel had ...more
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Today's post is on The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman. It is the second on her The Devil's West series, so to understand the story you need to have read the first one. It is 330 pages long and is published by Saga Press. The cover is sky blue with Isobel in the left hand center with her hand up showing the Devil's Mark and a reaper flying above her. The intended reader is someone who read the first one and likes alternative history. There is mild foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this b ...more
Although I was lukewarm on the first novel, I did pick up the second novel in The Devil's West series. I am interested in reading more western themed novels, and I am hoping there are more series in the fantasy genre that explore this. Unfortunately The Cold Eye didn't improve my judgment of the series.

Isobel, aka Izzy, and Gabriel have regrouped since the events of the first novel. They are informed of earthquakes that are likely of some supernatural origin. Izzy feels compelled to solve the my
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the first book, and got a chance to borrow this one from a friend, so read through it over summer beach vacation. I was very interested to see what happened with Isabelle and Gabriel, not to mention the development of Isabelle's talents and the events that are unfolding across the Devil's West.

The timeline of this book is surprisingly short - a few weeks, no more than that - and it feels odd to have that be it for this entire story. There's basically one overall story arc, as Isabelle is
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm going to use a literary critique from NPR Books for the first book in the series, Silver on the Road, to summarize how I feel about this second installment and the series as a whole. What they said in such a short and sweet statement sums up my feelings and remarks on this book completely.

"Silver takes on the sheen and weight of a forgotten history. Lost in the middle of the story, you'll feel somehow that you've always known the Devil wore a suit and ran a gambling house back in six-gun tim
Chris Fielding
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In SILVER ON THE ROAD, Laura Anne Gilman created an alternative west where The Devil controlled the land between the Mississippi and the Rockies called only The Territory. Isobel nee Lacoyo Tavora made a bargain with the Devil to help him serve and protect the Territory. In the second novel of the series, Isobel begins to feel the full burden of her responsibility, and discovers even more dangers and secrets below the surface of the Territory.

As with SILVER ON THE ROAD, THE COLD EYE starts off s
Lindsay Stares
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-on-kindle
Premise: Sequel to Silver on the Road. Isobel continues to ride the Territory in search of things to make right and in search of knowledge. She needs to know more about her own powers and position if she's to be ready for the coming storm.

It didn't take me long to sink back into this world after my long-preordered copy of this book appeared on my Kindle. I still love Isobel and her teacher Gabriel; I love this version of the West, full of bargains, new customs, and old magic.

My only complaint i
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
I loved book one - even though it felt very much like a set up for further books, rather than a self-contained and satisfying experience in and of itself.

But I went into book 2 anticipating that the plot would be advanced, questions would be answered, things would happen.

What I got instead was, much to my grief, something of a structure-less mess.

I spent 90% of this book being confused.

The driving force behind the plot is a sense of wrongness that the protagonist feels. It's a whisper. It's se
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By the time she was fourteen, Laura Anne Gilman knew she would be an editor, a teacher, or a writer.

By thirty, she was all three. She's a little focused that way (when not being distracted by -oooh shiny!).

After fifteen years working in NY publishing, Laura Anne became a full-time writer, with more than twenty novels under her various bylines, including THE COLD EYE and SILVER ON THE ROAD, the Neb

Other books in the series

The Devil's West (4 books)
  • Silver on the Road (The Devil's West, #1)
  • Red Waters Rising (The Devil's West, #3)
  • Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier

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