Saturday, October 24, 2015

Walk on Earth a Stranger - Rae Carson

Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Author: Rae Carson
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2015 (Hardcover)
Length: 431 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Started: October 15, 2015
Finished: October 24, 2015

From the inside cover:

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend - who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees to California - where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

I read the author's famous Girl of Fire and Thorns series (The Girl of Fire and ThornsThe Crown of EmbersThe Bitter Kingdom) and loved it to pieces, so of course when I heard the author was writing a new trilogy called The Gold Seer, I of course had to pick it up.

This first book, Walk on Earth a Stranger, introduces us to Leah Westfall, called Lee, who can sense gold around her. She lives in Georgia in 1849, where her parents migrated from New England to stake a claim and find gold. They manage to survive despite the infrequent gold discoveries thanks to Lee's gift. But when Lee's uncle Hiram hires men to kill her parents in order to use Lee's power for himself, she escapes in the night dressed as a boy to follow her friend Jefferson to California. Not only does she have to worry about being found by Hiram and his men along the way, Lee has to survive the arduous journey from Georgia to California.

I'll have to admit, I felt the story was slow in the beginning while waiting for Lee to leave. Once she meets up with the Joyners and Jefferson and the other families she travels with, things picked up greatly. I liked how Lee and the other women in the book are strong in their own right and touch on how women are viewed as possessions (it is 1849 after all) and fight against that. I also like how the author touched on slavery and Native American relations, and even managed to incorporate LGBT characters moving to California in order to begin anew. I didn't love this book like I loved Girl of Fire and Thorns because I'm not a big fan of novels where all the characters do is travel from place to place with nothing of substance happening. I might like the subsequent novels better since the group is in California and can finally get in on the action.

Definitely worth the read but so far not as satisfying as the author's previous series.

Thoughts on the cover:
Simply gorgeous.

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