Treason of Hawks


By Lila Bowen

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Supernatural creatures create chaos across an unforgiving western landscape in the conclusion of a propulsive and cinematic fantasy adventure series that began with Wake of Vultures

"I don't care what else you've seen in the bookstore today. Buy this book because it's the thrilling, delightfully written, and important one you've always wanted to read."―Kevin Hearne, New York Times bestselling author on Wake of Vultures

Rhett Walker is looking for peace, the memories of all he's lost haunting his dreams.

But with the lawless Rangers on his heels and monster attacks surging, Rhett is surrounded on all sides. When his friends and allies are suddenly ambushed, Rhett must answer the Shadow's call and ride into one last, fateful battle.

Praise for The Shadow series:

"Thrilling…a fine feather in the cap of Bowen's uniquely superb series." ―Publishers Weekly(starred review)

"Nettie Lonesome kicks major ass. There is something strange and wonderful going on in Lila Bowen's head. It's the weird west fantasy that I never knew I've always wanted to read. Now I need more!" ―Wesley Chu, New York Times bestselling author

"Wake of Vultures is, quite simply, brilliant. A mind-bending mix of history, fantasy and folklore, it's a wild bronco of a read that'll leave you breathless for more."―Rachel Caine, New York Times bestselling author

The Shadow 
Wake of Vultures
Conspiracy of Ravens
Malice of Crows
Treason of Hawks





Sam Hennessy was dying on the sand, and Rhett Walker wanted to die, too. Watching the blood burble up out of Sam’s belly hurt more than a knife in his own chest ever could. Even worse, Dan put his hand on Rhett’s shoulder and squeezed like they were already at a funeral.

“I’m sorry, Rhett,” he said, real sorrowful, and that was all it took.

Leaping to his feet, Rhett asked, “How long can he last?”

Inés tilted her head toward Cora, who hovered nearby, her arm around Meimei and her eyes full of tears. “Not long,” Cora said, and Inés nodded in agreement.

“A day?”

Cora put a hand to her belly in sympathy. “Yes, but he’ll be in pain.”

“You keep him alive. You hear me? You keep him alive.”

Rhett knelt to kiss Sam’s bloody lips, gentle as a goddamn butterfly. “Hold on, Sam. I’m gonna save you.”

“You can’t,” Sam protested, a bare whisper.

“Don’t tell me what I can’t do. You just keep breathing.”

Rhett was already running for Ragdoll by the time Dan found his preacher voice.

“Shadow, what are you doing?”

Without stopping, without answering, Rhett slung himself into the saddle and kicked his little appaloosa mare harder than he ever had before. They tore across the prairie, Rhett laid low on her bristly neck and the rangy mare running like hell itself had lit her tail. Rhett didn’t have to look back over his shoulder to know what was happening behind him. Inés would be holding Sam’s hand, saying comforting, nun-type things. Healer or no, Cora would’ve lost interest in the dying human boy to focus on her returned sister. And Dan would be watching Rhett’s trail of dust rise into the hard blue sky, frowning, hands on his naked hips.

Because what Rhett was gonna do? He already knew Dan would hate it.

It had taken two hours, maybe, for Rhett and Inés to accompany the wagon from San Anton’s finest hotel to the homestead of the rich fools who’d accidentally adopted a murderous alchemist in the guise of a child. But now, unencumbered by idiots, Rhett and Ragdoll skidded into town in what felt like forever but was most likely just an hour. It wasn’t hard to find what he needed, but he had to wait longer than he would’ve liked, and the price in promised gold was higher than he would’ve preferred. At that point, Rhett would’ve given any damn thing to save Sam, even his first taste of real wealth or the promise of other earthly comforts.

It was dusk, and Ragdoll was asleep standing up, the sweat dried in whorls on her spotted back, but she ran like the devil when Rhett was back in the saddle and kicking her again, even considering the new burden she carried. That’s why he’d chosen this mare, so long ago. Like him, she wasn’t big or pretty, but she had a heart as wide and wild as Durango, and if anybody could get him back to Sam in time, it was Ragdoll. If they managed to save Sam, he promised he’d shower his pony with carrots and oats and sugar cubes for the rest of her life.

Every hoofbeat pounded in time with Rhett’s heart, the orange dust of the prairie strolling by with what felt like infinite slowness, purple shadows creeping along as the evening sky went dark and exhaled sprinkles of starlight. Normally, Rhett loved few things in life as much as a good gallop, but now all he felt was panic and terror and something he thought he’d left behind: the sensation of being powerless. What did it matter that he was the Shadow and nigh invincible if he lost Sam? What was the point of life if a feller lost the thing he wanted most right when he finally got it all settled?

At least he knew which way he was headed, even if it was too dark for him to see. The Shadow’s tug pulled him, desperately ripping him across the prairie. Funny, that—the Shadow had never much cared about a human before. Well, except for when the Captain was dying. Dan had once—well, several times—told Rhett that the Shadow was supposed to be a sort of savior for monsters, but Rhett figured there was more at play than Dan had always assumed.

At least it was easy, this time, to do as the Shadow commanded.

Soon he saw the black wood skeleton of Herbert and Josephina’s ranch house rising up against the indigo sky. Even closer, and he saw the cluster of his friends, waiting for him, watching him gallop and skid to a stop. He could almost feel Dan’s disapproval, but Dan could shove his goddamn disapproval down his smug gullet. At least, judging by the way they were all there, circled up, Sam had to still be alive.

“How’s he doing?” Rhett asked, sliding out of the saddle to land on numb feet.

Dan stepped forward, white teeth shining by starlight. “He’s still alive, but barely. What is that?”

“I think you mean who is that, and her name is Emily. Right?”

He turned to the girl still sitting on Ragdoll’s rump, her frothy skirts flecked with horse hair and sweat. He figured a gentleman would help her down, but he wasn’t much of a gentleman and was just fine with that. She nodded once, regal and wary, and slid down off the horse like any farm girl in Durango would’ve.

“And Emily is a vampire,” Dan continued.

“Well, I reckon you’re a goddamn genius, Dan. Now get out of the way and let her fix Sam.”

But Dan stepped in front of Sam, legs spread and teeth bared, naked and unafraid. The feller had come here as a coyote and was therefore without clothes, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him from being vexful. “She won’t fix him, Rhett. She can’t. No one can. She’ll kill him and turn him into an undead monster that can live only by feeding on human blood.”

“Same thing.”

“Rhett, would Sam want this?” Inés sat on the ground, Sam’s head in her lap. Even through her nun’s veil, Rhett could feel the disgust and judgment rolling off her, the black habit subtly writhing in a way that suggested her gorgon head-snakes were unhappy.

“I know he doesn’t want to die,” he shot back.

The night went so still that Rhett could hear a tortoise, somewhere nearby, toiling over the rocky soil with a dry, determined rasp.

Inés pressed on. “He said he wouldn’t want to stay alive thanks to necromancy. Is this not similar, but with the added requirement that he would have to kill in order to live?”

“You don’t speak for him, goddammit, Inés! You don’t even know him!”

Emily stepped forward, hands up in a peaceful-type gesture. For all that she looked like a plump farmer’s daughter, her hair the color of hay and her eyes the color of manure, there was a grace and power to the vampire whore that Rhett found fascinating in about the same way he found scorpions fascinating—he’d watch from afar but didn’t much want to get within stinging distance when they were riled. Or hungry.

“We don’t have to kill,” she said, lightly lisping around her fangs. “It only takes a sip or two a night to keep us going. And cow blood’ll do in a pinch, if he’s not a picky sort.”

“And what do you get out of this … arrangement?” Dan asked.

Emily shrugged soft, white shoulders. “I don’t drink deep too often. Part of changing him over means I get to drink him about dry. And I could use the gold.”

Dan’s eyes shot to Rhett, who shrugged.

“I told her she could have my share of the herd money.”

Rubbing his eyes, Dan shook his head. “I don’t care about the money, Rhett. I care about watching you turn a fellow Ranger into the kind of monster he’s dedicated his life to fighting. I care about you disregarding Sam’s dying wish. Most of all, I care about the fact that even after all this time, your selfishness is going to prove the ruination of the best of us.”

“Maybe it’ll be the savior of the best of us, Dan. Did you ever think of that?”

“He won’t thank you.”

“He won’t thank me if he dies, either, as dead fellers can’t talk. I’m willing to make that choice, Dan.”

“Of course you are! You always are! That’s the problem!”

Rhett walked past Dan, banging his shoulder when Dan wouldn’t budge. Looking down at Sam in the darkness, he could barely see the feller breathing. Sam’s fine blue eyes were closed, his sweet lips speckled with dried blood. There was a waxy look to Sam’s skin and a powerful stink about him, but Rhett didn’t care.

“Do it, Emily,” he said, low and deadly.

The girl moved to walk around Dan, but he intercepted her, blocking her path. That was the thing about Dan—he could be standing in the middle of the desert stark naked and still look like a preacher when he threatened a vampire. Emily stopped, but not like she was scared.

“What if he changes?” Dan asked, but soft this time. “What if he’s a different person? Think about it, Rhett. Sam is a man of sunlight, of kindness and good cheer. How will he feel, waking up a creature of the night? He’ll never see another sunrise again. Did you consider that?”

His hands were in fists, his teeth clenched, and Rhett couldn’t take it any longer. He turned and shoved Dan as hard as he could, a year’s worth of rage launching the man into the dust on his ass.

“Do it, Emily. Now. And as for what I’ve considered Dan, I suggest you stop trying to know my mind. I’m beyond your teaching, beyond your preaching. This is what I am, pigheadedness and all. I’m the goddamn Shadow and I’m a Ranger Captain and I already made this decision before I ever kissed Sam’s dying body on the lips and galloped away. So it’s on me, and you can go on with your stiff spine and judging eyes, knowing you might be right, but that don’t mean I’m wrong.”

Dan rose, slow but wary, more animal than man for all that he hadn’t gone over coyote.

“You’re damn right it’s on you,” he said, each word deadly heavy. “And I hope you tell Sam I fought you every step of the way. I hope you’re happy with your grand folly.”

Moving like a wraith in the starlight, Emily kneeled by Sam’s side. “He’s so close,” she said, softly. Inés, still supporting Sam’s head, said nothing, but her veil inclined just the tiniest bit in agreement.

Rhett’s fingernails dug moons in his palms. “Do it, girl.”

“This is wrong,” the nun said softly, her fingers feathering Sam’s hair as if he were a sleeping child.

“Wrong is a silly thing,” Emily murmured as she pulled down Sam’s collar and settled into position, tender as a lover. “I remember what the preacher used to say on Sunday morning, all that business about sin. I thought I was a bad girl because my pa told me so, and then the preacher told me so, and then the old man they married me off to at fourteen told me so, too.” She looked back at Dan, fangs sparking with moonlight. “I’m a person. I ain’t bad. I’m just different from you. I reckon you know what it feels like to be different. This boy might feel different when he wakes up from it, but in his heart, he’ll still be mostly the same.”

She winked at Rhett and bit into Sam’s neck with a soft crunch that made Rhett wince. Concern and jealousy reared up in his heart, and he kneeled on Sam’s other side and took his cold, limp hand.

“You know that if you mess this up, I’ll kill you, right?” he asked, voice rasping.

Emily moaned and gulped softly as she drank, but she didn’t respond with words. She just lifted the middle finger of one hand and kept on.

“I can’t watch this,” Dan said. He walked away, but not far, and paced in an annoying sort of fashion.

As for Cora, she stepped closer, arm still around Meimei, who cowered against her sister’s side. “Fascinating.” Cora leaned in, cocking her head in that doctor way she had. “I’ve never seen this process before.”

Rhett stroked Sam’s waxen cheek. “It ain’t pretty.”

Inés had gone so still and quiet that Rhett had forgotten she was there at all. “That word: mostly,” she mused. “Did you even notice it, in your haste? The girl said Sam would be mostly the same.”

“I’m mostly the same as I used to be,” Rhett shot back. “Folks change. They got a right to change. I reckon nearly dying changes a man.”

“You lost an eye. He’ll lose his humanity.”

“Better than his life.”

“What about his soul, Rhett?”

Before he could say something cruel or clever, Emily pulled away with a soft pop, her eyes all pupil and her lips red and kiss-swollen. Her milk-white skin had a rosy flush, and she swayed in place a little like she heard music on the night breeze.

Sam’s hand was beyond cold now, and Rhett barked, “Well, girl? Get on with the next bit!”

Emily nodded as if suddenly remembering where she was and what she was doing. Holding her wrist up to her mouth, she bit it open and held the wound to Sam’s lips. After a few long moments of nothing happening, Rhett was getting ready to snap the girl’s goddamn neck and stab her in the heart. His first kill flashed in his head, the monster in Pap’s barn that had started his life as a cowpoke, as a man, as a Ranger, as the Shadow. The twig had sunk into that wicked vampire’s heart like a knife in butter, and Rhett reckoned it would be about the same with Emily, especially considering she was currently dumb as a blood-fat tick.

“Is it working?” he asked, heart in his throat, his rage collapsing into terror as Sam continued to refuse the girl’s blood.

“I … I don’t know,” Emily murmured. Fear flashed in her eyes as she squeezed her arm, a squirt of fresh blood painting Sam’s still chin. “I never done this before.”

“What do you mean, you’ve never done this before?” Rhett roared, hand on his knife.

Dan walked to them and stood over Sam like the graven angel on a tombstone.

“Maybe it’s for the best,” he said, soft as anything.

Rhett had never wanted to throttle Dan so badly, to shove those words back down his faithless throat. “It’s gonna work, Dan. He’s gonna be fine. It has to work.”

Dan sighed in that way that he had, the one that suggested Rhett was a naughty child who would never, ever learn. A child who would burn his hand at the stove, again and again, until he was just a big ol’ mess of scar tissue and regret.

A hand landed on Rhett’s shoulder, and he ignored the instinct to sink his teeth into Dan’s fingers as the man said, “Even the Shadow can’t change destiny, Rhett.”

Rhett’s head fell forward.

The only thing he hated more than admitting Dan was right was admitting Dan was right about this.

Sam wasn’t waking up.



Rhett had pretty much given up when Sam’s body convulsed, twitching like a bug that wouldn’t die. His cold fingers jumped in Rhett’s hand, and his blue eyes popped open and fastened on Emily’s face. She smiled a sweet and almost motherly smile as Sam pulled his hand out of Rhett’s and clamped it down on the girl’s wrist, holding it to his lips as his throat began to work, swallow after swallow.

“Sam?” Rhett rasped.

Blue eyes sprang to his face, latched onto his own eye. Sam’s golden eyebrows raised in confused question, but he didn’t stop drinking.

Rhett’s heart leaped like a kid goat, joyful and filled to the brim with hope. He wanted to say a hundred honeyed things, call Sam darling and sugar and sweet petunia and tell him how it had seemed to him for a minute there like life wasn’t worth living, not without Sam. But he wasn’t a man of words and sweetness, and all that came out was, “You still in there?”

Sam grunted but made no comment.

“How long’s this going to keep going on?” Rhett asked, for although he couldn’t deny his happiness that his plan was working, he was having doubts about the method. Sam wasn’t looking at him with adoration and gratefulness and love; he was looking at Emily like a starveling dog looks at a piece of raw meat, and it made Rhett feel all hollow inside and a little jealous. Sam had never looked at a girl like that, not ever. But his lips were red and plump against the girl’s skin, his cheeks flushed and his eyes wide and soft like when he and Rhett had been in Buck’s bar, or in the hayloft, or …

“Goddammit, Sam! Let go of her!”

But when he reached for Emily’s arm, she swatted him away with more strength than he expected. “He has to finish,” the girl said. “Don’t risk it.”

“Risk? What if he doesn’t finish?”

She gave a bosomy little shrug. “Don’t know. Never asked.”

Since Sam had already let go of his hand, Rhett stood and paced along with Dan. But he had to carefully avoid looking at Dan’s face, because the feller was looking sad and smug at the same time, and the possibility of an I-told-you-so-idjit didn’t bode well for Rhett’s temper.

“Where’d the humans go?” Rhett asked Cora, just for something to take his mind off of Sam’s mouth making love to the vampire whore’s arm wound.

“They took the wagon back to town.” Her voice was oddly formal now, as if they’d never shared anything at all. “Dan said they would most likely send the sheriff here tomorrow. Or that at least they’d try. Their story will be difficult to believe. Still, it would be best if we were … elsewhere.” She looked around the plat, nose wrinkling in disgust at the half-built ranch house. “The fools. Such a waste. I hate it here. I can’t wait to get back.”

Rhett did a double take. “You mean back to San Anton, or back to your wagon?”

Cora stood tall, and her face went over cold. “Back to Calafia. I told you: I’m taking Meimei back to our family, where she’ll be safe.”

“I can’t believe I’m hearing this,” Rhett muttered. “I don’t got time to take you to Calafia, girl. I got business in Durango. And the Shadow doesn’t want to go there, neither.”

“I never said I wanted you to go to Calafia, Rhett.”

The way she said it, stern but kind of sad, made Rhett want to shoot a cactus full of holes. He glanced at Sam, who was still drinking, still not looking at Rhett. His eye went to Dan next, finding the man standing over Sam, arms crossed, mouth grim. Inés was just a shape in black and white, witnessing Sam’s transformation, as still as one of her statues. The night suddenly seemed a very empty, cold, hard thing, sharp as stone. Rhett’s hand went to the small leather bag he wore around his neck, shifting the contents in his palm. So many people had left him, and all that remained of them hung heavy against his tightly bound chest. Monty, Chuck, Chicken, the Captain, Earl. Everybody was leaving him.

“You can’t go,” he said, and he was ashamed at the sound of it, the cowardice of it. The selfishness of it. The pleading in it.

“I can go, and I will. Not tonight. Not tomorrow. But soon. I can hitch the wagon by myself now, or we can take a stage, if Winifred wants to keep the wagon for her child.” Her small smile was no comfort. “You’ll be fine, Red-Eye Ned. We are safe. You did your duty. The necromancer is gone.”

“But I ain’t gone.”

She shook her head sadly. “Neither is the Shadow, and it never will be. That’s the problem. I am not a cart you can drag around. I have my own destiny, and it is in the west.” Her hand cupped his cheek, soft and warm and dainty, so unlike the feel of Sam’s big, broad fingers. “Some things are not meant to be. Some things never were.”

Meimei’s round face peered up at him from under Cora’s arm, solemn as an owl. To think: He’d gone to all this trouble to free Cora’s baby sister from an alchemist’s whim. But that was a lie, wasn’t it? He hadn’t killed Trevisan for Meimei, nor for Cora. He’d done it because it needed to be done, because the Shadow demanded it. And now that the tug to save Sam had relaxed, the Shadow was already pulling him somewhere else. Back to San Anton, sure, but it would take him in another direction after that. He was only seventeen, but his life stretched before him like a mountain he’d never finish climbing. Hell, he couldn’t even really take a rest to enjoy the view. His hands would tear and bruise, his muscles would ache and cramp, and he’d just have to keep climbing until the day he fell.

“Goddammit,” he murmured, turning away from Cora before she could see him cry.

But there weren’t many safe directions to look, just then. Instead of Cora, now he saw Dan’s damning eyes and the distasteful scene of Sam sucking off a girl’s arm like he’d die if she made him stop. And that, Rhett quickly realized, was exactly what the girl was trying to do. She’d given Sam her right wrist, and he had her arm trapped in his big hands. Now she was tugging away from him, rocked up onto her heels, her fangs bared in frustration and her left hand shoving his cheek, nails dug in.

“Make him stop!” she mewled. “He’s gonna kill me!”

Rhett looked to Dan with alarm, and Dan gave him a cold glare.

“This is your shindig, Rhett. You break it up.”

“Hellfire,” Rhett muttered, hurrying to kneel on Sam’s other side to try to pry him off the girl.

Inés scrambled out from under Sam’s head and stood some bit away, hands holding down her veil like she wasn’t taking any more chances today—or like she wanted to be able to lift it quickly, should the situation call for a sudden end. Cora and Meimei were already out of range of the struggle. Watching everybody else find somewhere else to be, Rhett realized he was the only person willing to tussle with two vampires for Sam’s life—which was gonna be a hell of a tricky thing since he’d stab himself in the foot before he caused Sam a lick of pain. That was his self-appointed job: stand between Sam and danger. But Sam wasn’t human anymore, was he? And Rhett had to make sure it had worked, that Sam was what the girl said he would be. That he was fixed and nowhere close to dying. He stopped trying to pry up Sam’s fingers and flipped up the cowpoke’s shirt to show a smooth belly rusty with stains that looked black by moonlight. The knife wound was gone, leaving only rippling white muscles and spare hipbones that Rhett longed to trace in a quiet moment, worshipping Sam like he’d dreamed about for years and finally gotten to do for a few short weeks.

Fine, then. It had worked. Which meant Rhett couldn’t let Sam kill his savior.

Sam wasn’t even aware of him, not really. He was still latched onto the girl’s arm, his eyes gone fiery and furious.

“Aw, hell,” Rhett said.

Pulling out one of his revolvers, he pistol-whipped Sam Hennessy, clocking him hard enough across the temple to lay a human man out cold for a full day if not scramble his wits permanently. Apparently vampires could also go unconscious, because that’s exactly what Sam did. His hands fell away from Emily’s arm, his wild blond hair flopping back into the dust. Emily cried out and staggered to her feet holding her arm like she’d been snakebit. She had lost the dreamy, rosy look and was white and panicked now.

“Take me back to San Anton,” she hissed. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Hands on his hips, Rhett considered their present situation. Three horses, an unconscious vampire, a scared vampire, an angry coyote, a gorgon, a dragon, and a traumatized human child, and he had to get them all to San Anton safely before the sun rose. Because Sam was a vampire now, wasn’t he? And if Sam didn’t get back inside by the time those first golden rays peeked over the horizon, something horrible would happen.

A new kind of terror kicked in, and the Shadow did what he always did. He led, whether he wanted to or not.

“Inés, if you’d please take Meimei behind you on the chestnut. I’ll drape Sam over Ragdoll’s saddle and ride behind; that prancing gelding of his’ll break his damn teakettle. Dan can take Emily behind him on Sam’s gelding. Cora, you turn into a dragon and fly. I don’t care if y’all approve. We’re heading out. Now.”

Ragdoll waited just a few steps away, cropping at the scant greenery, and she didn’t complain when Rhett took her reins and led her over to Sam’s unconscious body. But she hadn’t complained about Emily, had she? Either horses couldn’t smell monsters, or the filly knew she had nothing to fear.

“I know you’re mad at me, Dan, but I’d appreciate your help getting Sam up here.”

With a sigh of great frustration, Dan helped Rhett drape Sam over Ragdoll’s saddle. It was an awkward thing, swinging up on the little mare’s rump with deadweight spread out before him, and she danced a little and snorted to show her annoyance. Dan’s chestnut trotted over at his whistle, and he held the reins while Inés swung up into the saddle and settled her habit. Crooking a finger at Meimei, Dan gave her a smile he’d never shown Rhett, sweet and open.

“Come here, little one. Let’s get you ready for a ride,” he said, his voice kind and gentle. Cora murmured something to Meimei in their language and Dan swung her up behind Inés, who spoke to the child in tiny, sad kindnesses, reminding Rhett that the nun had once been a mother herself. Meimei’s bitty fingers curled over the edge of the saddle, her eyes never leaving her sister. Cora went a bit away, but not too far, and rippled into her fearsome dragon form. Watching her, Meimei’s face lit up with a joy that made Rhett’s heart ache.

Dan and Emily worked out their own riding arrangement, their voices too low for Rhett to hear. Of course, he just assumed they were all complaining about him, but he’d never let that stop him before. At least Emily was accustomed to naked fellers acting peculiar, considering she lived her life above a saloon. As soon as everybody looked ready enough, Rhett gave Ragdoll a gentle squeeze and set her walking back toward town, steering her according to the Shadow’s whims. Not that he needed to; she knew well enough where she was going, and she stepped gentle as if sensing Sam could use all the help he could get. Or maybe, Rhett considered, recognizing that a predator was splayed over her meaty muscles and she’d do well not to disturb him from his rest.

Rhett was out in front, the others following along at their own pace. Inés kept up her conversation with Meimei, too low for Rhett to hear what passed between them, but he figured it was something nunnish or instructive, or—oh, hell, who knew? Meimei didn’t speak, but Rhett assumed she was probably pretty shook up, having had Trevisan inside her for so long, the poor little critter. Dan and Emily, too, shared their whispers as Cora’s wings beat lazily overhead, sounding like flaps of tarp billowing in a storm.


  • " will love this final chapter in Bowen's story."
    Kirkus (starred review)
  • "Thrilling...a fine feather in the cap of Bowen's uniquely superb series."
    Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • "With this latest entry in The Shadow series, Bowen burnishes her particular brand of Western mythic odyssey to a high shine. Outstanding pacing takes us from one exciting, well-crafted scene to another.... Extraordinary."—RT Book Reviews on Malice of Crows
  • "The stakes couldn't be higher, and the story couldn't be more absorbing. Fans of the Shadow will love returning to his world, and fantasy fans who haven't yet encountered this colorful cowboy should hurry up and dive in."—Kirkus (starred review) on Malice of Crows
  • "Rhett is one of Bowen's (Dawson's) best characters to date, and the world built in this series is rich and complex. One of my favorite new series, to be sure. If you haven't picked up the first book, Wake of Vultures, you really should. Then pick this one up too."—--- Pop Culture Beast on Conspiracy of Ravens
  • "Conspiracy of Ravens isa heavy-gauge follow-up to Wake of Vultures' wicked opening salvo, serving up huge helpings of humor and tension and making another strong bid for the year's best list."—B& on Conspiracy of Ravens
  • "Bowen's writing is as sharp and superior as ever - her examination of Rhett's growing and complex sexuality and gender identity is wondrous, and is a topic that is truly not being explored anywhere else."—RT Book Reviews on Conspiracy of Ravens
  • "Gritty and well-realized... The unforgiving western landscape is home to supernatural beasties as diverse as the human inhabitants, and no-nonsense Nettie is pragmatic and brave. Themes of self-worth, gender, and the complexity of identity are treated with frank realism and sensitivity, and the narrative is a love letter to the paranormal western genre."—Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Wake of Vultures
  • "Of all the books I've reviewed this year, Wake of Vultures' Nettie Lonesome stands out as the most compelling, well-crafted protagonist I've encountered... Bowen's superlative grasp of both character development and worldbuilding elevates a familiar story to mythic heights. "—RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!) on Wake of Vultures
  • "Bowen's Wake of Vultures overflows with imagination and voice, channeling shades of Stephen King's Gunslinger and Western classics like Unforgiven. Nettie Lonesome is sure to become one of the iconic characters of this generation. This book puts you under its spell and will not let you go!"—Jason M. Hough, New York Times bestselling author on Wake of Vultures
  • "Bowen has created a fascinating, textured Wild West world...Readers will love this absorbing fantasy adventure [and] its strong, dynamic heroine."—Kirkus (starred review) on Wake of Vultures
  • "Wake of Vultures is, quite simply, brilliant. A mind-bending mix of history, fantasy and folklore, it's a wild bronco of a read that'll leave you breathless for more."—Rachel Caine on Wake of Vultures
  • "Nettie Lonesome is a complex, tough, all-around wonderful protagonist. And Lila Bowen is equally wonderful for bringing us Nettie's story, set in a magical old west full of harpies and monster-hunters and stolen children and more. I look forward to more of Nettie's journey."—Jim C. Hines on Wake of Vultures
  • "I don't care what else you've seen in the bookstore today. Buy this book because it's the thrilling, delightfully written, and important one you've always wanted to read."—Kevin Hearne on Wake of Vultures
  • "Wake of Vultures doesn't just fly -- it soars. Lila Bowen brings in a wild fantasy quite unlike anything I've ever read, with a voice that's weird and wonderful. Bowen is truly a talent to watch. Hot damn, is this book good."—Chuck Wendig on Wake of Vultures
  • "Sharp as a silver Bowie and unsentimental as a stray bullet, Lila Bowen's Nettie Lonesome earns a place among the legends of the Weird West."—Matthew Stover on Wake of Vultures
  • "Wake of Vultures is a ferocious, fascinating take on the magical Old West - creatively and unsentimentally grim, yet rich with hope and heart."—Cherie Priest on Wake of Vultures
  • "Nettie Lonesome kicks major ass. There is something strange and wonderful going on in Lila Bowen's head. It's the weird west fantasy that I never knew I've always wanted to read. Now I need more!"—Wesley Chu on Wake of Vultures

On Sale
May 7, 2019
Page Count
416 pages

Lila Bowen

About the Author

Lila Bowen is a pseudonym for Delilah S. Dawson, the writer of Star Wars: Phasma, The Perfect Weapon, and Scorched; the Blud series, the Hit series, Servants of the Storm, and the Ladycastle comic. She won the RT Fantasy of the Year award for Wake of Vultures. Delilah lives in Florida with her family.

Learn more about this author