Territory

Territory, by Emma Bull, gives a magical take on the Old West.

One night Jesse Fox follows a horse thief into Tombstone. He believes it will just be a short stay, but someone has plans for him. And there is more behind the thriving mining community than meets the eye. When a stagecoach robbery goes awry, circumstances go from bad to worse when one of the noted Earp brothers is suspected to be involved.

Quite a few historical figures, such as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday join the cast of characters for this gritty Western tale. The strong female characters shine and help give depth and emotion to the story. Mildred Benjamin is a young widow who has just started a career in writing, and has begun to make a life for herself as a strong, independent woman. When she finds herself in a difficult situation, Jesse Fox comes to the rescue. And a kindle of romance begins.

Infusing elements of magic, this complex story soon becomes a fantasy as well. With plenty of intrigue, murder, and deception, Territory becomes a hard novel to put down. The large cast of characters is surprisingly well-thought, with each a distinctive personality. And as the intricate plot slowly unraveled, the characters of Jesse and Mildred kept me captivated till the end.

The ending also leaves room for a sequel, which according to an interview with the author; she is in the midst of writing. Territory is available from Tor Books and bookstores everywhere.