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Red Waters Rising

(The Devil's West #3)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  53 reviews
In the last novel of The Devil’s West trilogy, Isobel, the Devil’s Left Hand, and Gabriel ride through the magical land of the Territory to root out evil by the way of mad magicians, ghosts, and twisted animal spirits.

As Isobel and Gabriel travel to the southern edge of the Territory, they arrive in the free city of Red Stick. Tensions are running high as the homesteading
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Gallery / Saga Press
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  286 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Claudia Putnam
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Uh. Would she please stop vomiting? My complaints about the other books still stand... You need more than two characters for these quest-type books, and even though they are in a town now and there are other people about, it's still not working. The point is the main characters need to be inwardly torn, which they are. The other characters stand in for the different inner voices, instead of having to have the two main characters spin around inside their heads, endlessly, which they do in this ca ...more
Christine Swendseid
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a worthy culmination of Gilman's Devil's West trilogy. It's hard to say goodbye to this alternative West world- I'll miss the surreal linkage of magic, geology, historical realism and overall strangeness. The trilogy was an unexpected treat.

Red Waters Rising finds Isobel determining her destiny and finding her strength in both expected and unexpected ways. The interplay between her and her mentor Gabriel is heartfelt and forms one of the cornerstones of the books. His ability to stand ba
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Red Waters Rising" is a fitting end to the story of Isobel's mentorship ride, although those looking for resolution for the larger tale of the Devil's West may be disappointed. This book doesn't provide easy answers to the problems that are brewing in and around the territory. What it does is provide us with a heroine who has grown and matured over the series and who now stands ready to confront these conflicts as they present themselves.

In this book Izzy and Gabriel leave the wilds of the ter
Robert Greenberger
I have really enjoyed the alternate world of North America in this trilogy. It is also a powerful coming of age story as 16 year old Isobel has been traveling the Territory as the Devil's Hand, learning the power contained in the elements and the growing threats along its borders from the Spanish to the south and United States to the east. She has been guided by Gabe, but this book challenges his loyalties as the pull of the Mud River, aka Mississippi, grows strong.

Lots of threads are tied toge
Sonia Y
Sep 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: magic, paranormal, western
2.5 stars
The writing was good, I loved the setting and characters, but that didn't compensate for a meandering plot. There was constantly something wrong, and no clear resolution is ever obtained. The explanation given for Isobel's abilities and the magical system behind the Territory was vague, and I was left slightly confused. In the previous two books of the trilogy, I felt this way too, but for this one it was especially pronounced. Still a good series, but I'd recommend just reading the fir
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Red Waters Rising was a fantastic ending to a trilogy that I’ve loved. This series shows Gilman as her best. She’s a strong author, with a unique vision, and an incredible ability to not just craft a world but to make it so real I feel like I’m living in it. She took the West and made it not just wild, but magical and mysterious. Emotional, captivating, and absolutely addicting, Red Waters Rising was a solid ending to a trilogy that has been one of my recent favorites.

Full review here:

Andrea Whitcher-Johnstone
Disappointed. Too much vomiting and fainting by both lead character and her sidekick. Was waiting desperately for Isobel to put on some pants kick ass and get back to Flood a full grown Devils left hand. Gabriel was fainting and vomiting alongside Isobel, very annoying. Was hoping for a more satisfying ending to this trilogy.
(Four and a half stars; marking as five to average out with the last book)

Easily one of the highlights of this series was Isobel and Gabriel's relationship, and the ways in which it evolved over the course of the story (even if I was often unreasonably paranoid about the possibility of the author shoehorning in an Obligatory Romance at some point along the way, which she thankfully did not do). At first, she was completely dependent on him for both protection and for teaching her the things she
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Devil's West, in an alternate America, occupies the middle of the continent: In the east, the United States stops at the Mississippi River. In the west, the Spanish territories are similar to Spanish holdings at their greatest historical extent in our world. Between - east of the Rockies, west of the Mississippi, and reaching into what we would call central Canada, is a region colloquially known as The Devil's West. It's not a country; there is no government. It is a territory whose inhabita ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed by this book. The first installment drew me in--a supernatural Western story where indigenous people are prominently featured and their culture is shown respectfully? I'm down! "Silver on the Road" was a novel that felt complete to me. It set the stage and didn't end with too many more questions. When I saw the sequel I got excited because I wanted to see a deeper dive. Instead it was more or less second verse, same as the first. This last installment was the same thing, ...more
How is that the end???? How???? Arghhhhh!!!!

I want more. I really, really want more.

Anyway, I have enjoyed this series so much—the mythology, and the slow pacing, and the way the land of the American West lives and breathes. And Isobel and her mentor Gabriel’s interactions are so lovely and tender. I love their relationship, and that Gilman did not feel the need to make this story a romance, other than perhaps a romance with the wildness of the country itself.

The ending...well. I usually love a
Kathy Martin
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Isobel and her mentor Gabriel have been on the road for nearly a year. They have met all sorts of challenges but it looks like the greatest one is still ahead. They have reached the southern end of the Territory controlled by the Devil. The city of Red Stick is the largest population center Isobel has ever seen. It sits on the bank of the Mudwater which causes problems for Gabriel. He is a water-child but doesn't want to submit to the water.

Tensions are palpable in the city. There is pressure f
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, and love the entire series. Gilman gets the land and the cultures and the folk that inhabit both so right, then throws twists and possibilities into it that deepen the characters and wreak havoc (in a very good way) with readers' expectations. As good and finely human (or not) as the characters are, it's the story telling that shines. Though I don't think Gilman has a background in anthropology like Joan Vinge or Ursula Le Guin, you wouldn't know it from the deft way she build ...more
Chris Fielding
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The characters and setting are very intricate and well-thought out. This story doesn't flow as well as the two previous parts of the series, but that is because of the complexity of the situation Laura Anne Gilman created. Isobel needs to understand the complex relationships between the Boss, the Territory, and the People as well as try to understand the thoughts and motivations of two powerful nations outside the Territory. As usual, Laura Anne Gilman allows us to discover these complexities th ...more
Maybe I read this too quickly, but I felt like most of the book was a lead-up to a reveal that came only at the very end of the book, and that the reveal was never clearly explained. There was a sense of *something* important happening, but it was never explained to my satisfaction. The ending seemed very abrupt as well.

As with the previous volumes, I always had this sense that I was reading a compilation of connected short stories rather than a novel with a singular plot, but at the same time i
Gypsie Holley
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: jul-19
Finally got to read the third book! I am in love with the tone of such books and there isn't enough written to suit my wants. Old west with native mythologies just give a warmth to my heart.

"Names make small men feel better about their smallness."

"A rider wasn't a rider until they could drink coffee and load their weapon while at a full gallop, cursing in at least two different languages."

"The words that dripped from their tongues were venom and bile, hidden underneath flowers and moss."

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Okay. This book. This book got its claws into me and shredded everything it could reach. I'm sitting here and looking around and wondering how other people are just moving on with their lives when this story has been hard at work destroying me.

If you read Patricia C Wrede's Frontier Magic series and the complete erasure of native culture left a bad taste in your mouth, you should read this series. It's road trip/coming of age/weird west and it's very well done. Isobel is a heroine I'd be happy t
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I seriously did not want this story to end, knowing it was the last of the Devil's West trilogy. This magical frontier series is so fascinating and mysterious. Isobel's journey as the cold eye and the final word is extremely well developed and yet kind of ambiguous. I wanted more details, but at the same time I was grateful not getting them. Her relationship with Gabriel, her mentor, was genuine and not romantic in any way (what a relief). Their ties to the elements, the devil, and the land itse ...more
Doctor Science
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I feel very dense -- as our POV characters do for most of the book. In my case, it's because the ending (view spoiler) So, I found it emotionally and fictionally unsatisfying. Did not pass the Perry Mason Test, as we say in my house ("I propose to connect this all up, Your Honor.").
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third book about Isobel and her adventures on the Road as the Devil’s Left Hand. First of all, Ms. Gilman’s story-telling is exceptional. As soon as I started reading I was drawn back into Isobel’s world and it didn’t let me go until the last page. The story’s resolution was very satisfying, and I am looking forward to future stories with Isobel and Gabriel. I sincerely hope there are a lot of them!
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2018-books
I got to the end of this, and thought oh, there must be another book - but no, this was the end of the trilogy. It did not have what I would call a satisfying conclusion, or indeed any sort of resolution to the overarching trilogy. I did enjoy the continuing adventures of Isobel and her mentor, but thought that the various mysteries and questions raised in the narrative were going to be more wrapped up.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Better than the second book. I wish there had been something said about Texas, but that is my Texan bias showing through. :). Looking forward to the next book since it ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. Also looking forward to more info about the Devil. Is he our devil or some other creature entirely?

Highly recommend the entire series to young women ages 12 and up!
Kristen Vanderburg blount
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Excellent finish to a terrific series...true coming-of-age tale for Isobel. I wished this book had more of an actual climax than the fairly simple resolution given. The rising action seemed to promise more. But Isobel, the Devil's Left Hand, got what she needed, and so it makes its own kind of sense. I am little worried about Gabriel though, and will be watching for his novella.
Michael Comerford
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this series, and hope there's more coming.
I've reread the last bit a few times - it feels a little rushed, and not as encompassingly descriptive as other situations in the series - I was surprised that it was the end if the book when I read it the first time (Kindle - no pages to give me the hint! ;) )

Definitely worth the read - now looking for Gabriel's Road.
Mike Dettinger
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great Series! What world building! This third book in the series leaves the vast wilderness of the Devil’s West for the relatively urbanized Red Stick (get it?) area down in Louisiana, and loses some of its cinematic feel (to me), but it’s still a great story w great characters. I hate to see the series end because I love so many of the characters.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
While billed as a conclusion to the trilogy, I can't really see it as a conclusion to anything. If anything, it feels like a middle novel, some nice action and character development but there's no end, just a lull that leaves no resolution.

There's an advert for a follow-on novella so I assume more than three books?
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Devil's West is consistently excellent - and this latest installation is no exception. Frontiers, mystical agreements, native, settler, and political concerns - all addressed with, by, and through as engaging a young female character coming increasingly into her own strengths as you'll find in any series.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
A really great and thought provoking series, but I'm a bit ambivalent about the ending. I think I would be less down on it if it wasn't described as the last in the trilogy. It's decent as a set up for future books but as it's own I'm not so sure.
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This whole series was amazing from start to finish, but I found the ending to be a little unsatisfying. It was a great ending for the book, but not for the series I think. Still absolutely recommend it.
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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)
  • The Cold Eye (The Devil's West, #2)
  • Lawless Lands: Tales from the Weird Frontier
“There were days Gabriel wondered why they didn’t just hand everything over to women and be done with it.” 2 likes
“mobs were the worst of our guts strangling our hearts.” 0 likes
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