Mildred is a widow living and working in Tombstone. When her husband passed away a year ago she could have moved back east, but she stayed, proving to be made of sterner stuff than most. Working at one of the local papers by day as a typesetter, spending her nights penning serial stories for a sensational magazine, she is content. When Jesse walks into The Nugget to pick up a paper she is caught off guard, but then, so is he.
As the battle for Tombstone whirls around the residents, Jesse with his knack for finding trouble and Mildred with her newspaper eye get to know each other, discovering that there might be a reason they have been drawn together. Wyatt Earp, busy manipulating people, is sure that his way is best. Whatever the means might be they justify the end in his eyes; if he has to use his family and friends to make peace a permanent part of life in Tombstone he plans to do so.
From the main street of Tombstone to the exotic smells of Chinatown you are presented with clear cut images; a dark brush stroke figure against a light sky, a flooded river rolling boulders downstream, a fire licking and eating the buildings as it spreads through Tombstone. As each layer is peeled away, magic slowly blossoming around the characters, dark secrets and hidden truths are revealed. Emma Bull has woven a spell binding story.
Territory has also given us wonderful characters to love. Jesse Fox is brilliant. Mildred with her eccentricity and solid good manners all rolled into one is enchanting. Ms. Bull’s Doc Holliday is truly inspired. The Earp brothers and their wives are by turns human and something so much more. This is everything a good fantasy novel should be and I cannot recommend Territory highly enough.