A western-inspired fantasy, sentered around Nettie who’s called half-breed and treated like a slave by the people who raised her. There’s dangerous things in the desert, but she never imagined something like the monster that attacks her. As she gets in a stab, the monster turns to black sand, and from that point she can’t stop seeing monsters all around her. She might also be haunted by someone who needs help avenging her lost child. Eventually Nettie runs from the life she’s known, dressed as a boy and trying to survive in the unhospital world.
I liked this book because it was entertaining as well as contains a lot of well-written themes, like gender roles and racism, making it a different kind of fantasy novel. It doesn’t lose focus on the plot or character development, which I’ve missed in other similiar books. I loved the main character Nettie, and how she reacts to the world around her, which isn’t very welcoming to someone who’s black and/or a girl. The book feels well-done, in all aspects I can judge. At times it was a bit slow as Nettie’s journey started to look like a long line of encounters with creatures, but eventually it was always leading somewhere. Westerns is still not a genre I’m going to read much of, but I liked it better than expected. The thing to keep in mind when reading this book is definitely to be open for something different.