Frontierswoman, Shy South, goes on a fantasy western journey to the pioneer village of Crease in search of her kidnapped brother and sister. Shy South is a frontierswoman from the vaguely western country of Starikland. She once turned to thieving as a teenager, but has since returned home to work her family's land alongside her two younger siblings and her deceased mother's boyfriend, Lamb. Lamb is tough old guy with a strange past. He's only been in Shy's life for a dozen years or so and he doesn't talk much about what he did before.
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Lamb and Shy have their lives turned upside down when a pack of bandits destroy their farm and kidnap Shy's two small children. They set out together for the pioneer village of Crease to find out what happened to the missing kids. On the way, Shy and Lamb link up with a caravan of other pioneers headed in the same direction. They join forces with the caravan, figuring strength in numbers. The passage to Crease is fraught with problems including an attack by a band of native people called Ghosts and a rendezvous with a mercenary deserter named Temple.
Shy agrees to pay for Temple to join the caravan and in exchange, Temple becomes Shy's indentured servant for the remainder of the journey. Finally, the band arrives in Crease where they help the Mayor of the village get over on a group of outlaws who have been challenging her rule. In exchange for Lamb and Shy's help beating up on the outlaw champion, the mayor lets Shy interrogate a man who knows exactly where the stolen children went. Apparently they were sold to a tribe of Ghosts up in the mountains known as the Dragon People.
Shy and Lamb convince Temple's old mercenary company that the Dragon People are hiding hoards of gold in their mountain stronghold. Ever greedy, the mercenaries agree to help Shy and Lamb assault the stronghold. The go to the mountains together, and Lamb goes into berserk mode--killing several of the Dragon People and almost killing Shy as well. He snaps out of it when he catches a glimpse of Shy's missing sister.
The two return back to Crease, having recovered their lost loved ones. Lamb, scared by his own actions, tells Shy that his past is catching up to him and that he'll have to leave for her own good. Shy and Temple, now lovers, return to Shy's land together to settle down.
Best part of story, including ending:
An incredible fantasy western with a perfect blend of the best elements from each genre.
Best scene in story:
Lamb, who readers of Joe Abercrombie will immediately recognize as Logen Ninefingers from the First Law series, squares off with the outlaw champion, Glama Golden. Golden knows Logen from their shared past and all but submits to the man known as the Bloody-Nine.
Opinion about the main character:
Shy has a fiery temper, but her courage and perseverance are the driving force behind the narrative. Never once does she balk in her mission to find her kidnapped siblings.