If there’s a genre I never thought I’d be in to, it’d be ‘fantasy westerns’. But after reading a summary of The Devil’s Revolver I realised how wrong I might be. A book about a girl, bonded by blood to a gun that takes a year off her life every time she kills someone, on a quest to find her missing sister? Perfect!
The Devil’s Revolver is a real motley crew of a quest novel through a magical Wild West setting. Hettie is a really likeable character for me, mainly because she goes from subdued older daughter to someone who will stop at literally nothing to save her sister. She has no loyalty to anyone other than Abby, which I think is commendable in a character; she’s not distracted by romance or self-doubt, she’s on a one-woman mission to find her sister despite knowing full well it could be one neither of them survive. It’s been a while since I can’t across a character who was that steadfast in their mission and I love the way V.S. McGrath has written her story.
For me fantasy elements are at their best when they serve to highlight a story, not when the story revolves around them, and The Devil’s Revolver has plenty of little fantasy quirks to make the story interesting; enchanted talismans, portals, deals with the devil, curses guns all work well in a western.
Overall I really loved The Devil’s Revolver and I can’t wait to read the sequel! I’m also after more and more alternate history speculative novels as a result of reading this one!