Book Review – The Serpent’s Coil by Elizabeth Silver

Tin Star Witches: The Witches of Ruby Gulch #1
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 182
Characters: Marcus/Will
POV: 3rd
Genre: Western, Paranormal, Series.

New Mexico Territory. 1868.

Marcus Rivers knows something is very wrong with the magic around Ruby Gulch. He’s kept his suspicions to himself, but his investigations have gone nowhere. And after months of living rough and fruitless searches, he’s on the verge of giving up. Then the mine owner’s son comes home.

Freshly graduated from the San Francisco University of Magic, William Dolan returns to find the town on edge. Even the land thrums with tension. When he meets Marcus and together they stumble onto the secrets of the mine, Will is going to have decide if he’s able to defy his father. If he’s strong enough to go for what, and who, he knows what’s right.

The differences between the two men are as wide as the desert. Wealth, race, status – despite all this, fate keeps throwing them together again and again. They’re going to have to work together if they’re going to save countless lives. The hard part, however, is going to be figuring out what to do with their hearts if the ruby dust ever settles.

Buy Link


This is a new author to me, and I loved my latest read in this series.

The characters feel very real, and I liked that the author didn’t shy away from the issues of skin colour of the time, and the preconceptions and bigotry associated with it, or the obstacles Will and Marcus face coming from such different backgrounds. I loved Marcus and Will as individual characters, as well as together. They fit so well, not just physically, and in personality, but with their magic too. I enjoyed Will’s journey especially as he starts off quite naive about Marcus’ world, and finds his own place within it.

As with other books in this series, their guardians steal the scenes they’re in, and I loved their interaction with each other too. I liked Will’s brother and his mother especially. She’s a strong woman and I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her. His father is a greedy pretentious bigot, and unfortunately a not so good reflection of the time period.

I love the series set up of the mix of paranormal and western, and the real reason behind the earthquakes in this story. Very clever. I liked the way it was resolved—for now—and the very real consequences for Jimmy along the way. I’d love to see more of these characters, and also find out what happens to Jimmy later. He needs his own HEA once he’s older.

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
This entry was posted in book review. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.