Release date: September 1st 2015
When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the dangerous Rose Riders, she vows revenge. He was killed over a journal in his possession that revealed the location of a gold mine and Kate will make sure they never profit from it. Disguised as Nate Thompson, she pretends to be a boy as she travels the dangerous terrain. She’s joined by Jesse and Will Colton, sons of a friend of her father’s, who insist on coming along because their father made a promise to Kate’s father to look out for her. Kate sees them as a nuisance, especially Jesse, but the closer they get to finding the Rose Riders, the more she feels drawn to Jesse, but is there room in her heart for both revenge and love?
I was so excited when I heart about this book because I love westerns and it sounded like one that I would love. Cowboy brothers, strong female character, a quest for revenge, easy-to-hate villains, character growth. It promised to be awesome. And it was and it didn’t disappoint.
Kate was a character that I found easy to understand her motives, which made her easier to like even when she was doing things I didn’t agree with or being stubborn. She was also someone who I had a lot of empathy for what had happened to her, what she was going through, and had she had chosen to do for justice. She was a very strong character right from the beginning but she still had a lot of room to grow, and she did grow throughout the journey. She had to learn to open up and trust, she had to be prepared to take a life, she had to deal with grief, and she had to do all that while traveling in dangerous terrain where the Rose Riders or anyone or anything could be waiting for her.
I really enjoyed the dynamics between the main four characters. Jesse and Will bantered like the brothers they were, Will and Kate were quite playful most of the time, and Jesse and Kate were back and forth between antagonizing each other and playful. When Liluye joined them, it added new dynamics that were really fun to read.
The book was told all in Kate’s POV but there was growth to other characters, not just Kate. All the character got to have moments where they were at the front of the story, even if it wasn’t their POV, and I really enjoyed seeing the different ways each character got to shine. It was a quick read since it was very fast-paced, there was always a sense that anything could happen in the next chapter, danger everywhere, so I kept reading until it was done.
The setting and the descriptions of the desert, the valleys, the rivers, the towns, everywhere, was so well done. The dialect really added to the western feel of the book, instead of modernizing the dialogue, which was great. There was action, there was questionable morals, there was gunfights, there was saloons, there was tears(mine), there was everything I hoped there would be in a western YA.
As mentioned, I’m a huge fan of westerns and, as a western lover, this book hit all the right marks.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.