Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson. After you have read my thoughts, don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a finished copy and visit the other tour stops!
I received this galley in consideration for an honest review.Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #2
Published by Harper Collins on September 27, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Amazon, - B&N
After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.
Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.
The second epic historical fantasy in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson, the acclaimed author of The Girl of Fire and Thorns.
Walk On Earth A Stranger was one of my very favorite books of 2015, so I was thrilled to be on the blog tour for Like A River Glorious. Before I go any further, I want to say that Like A River Glorious completely lived up to the awesomeness of book one. When a first book in a series is strong, it’s always a little scary starting the second installment, but my fears were quickly washed away by the marvelous story and characters that become very dear to me as the book progressed. Lee, and the the group that is left, are in California and finally ready to start looking for gold. Of course, Lee is constantly on guard for her uncle, which is a worry that weighs heavily on her. The descriptions of their camp, which turns into their home, were fascinating. They had to build, from the ground up, everything they had. There was no police force, no homes waiting for them, no grocery stores with pre-packaged meals. While I think we all know this, seeing the struggles come to life on the page really gave me a sense of how hard it was to survive. Lee is still independent and determined to be the mistress of her own fate, but to me, it seems like her character was even more determined to make a life for herself after surviving the long journey across the country. It isn’t just Lee who changes, the people that have become her family change, too. They all grow stronger as they forge their sense of community and it forces them to leave behind some of the preconceived ideas about race and gender roles that were so prevalent at the time. This growth as a group was probably one of my favorite things about Like A River Glorious. It was a wonderful realization for Lee, who had no more blood relatives other than a sociopathic uncle, to see that a family can also be made. Lee’s ability to find gold plays a particularly big role in this book since they are surrounded by so much hidden gold, and I felt like Lee had to start seeing it as a part of what made her strong rather than something that made her “weird”.
As the story moves forward, we get to know Lee’s uncle Hiram and he is pretty much as evil as he can be. Lee learns more about his history and let me tell you, there are few book characters that I have wanted to punch more than Hiram. After making her own decisions for so long, his misogyny and cruelty do no go over well with Lee. The description of the mine and surrounding camp is interesting and horrifying. Hiram’s mining operation highlights the incredibly cruel and inhumane treatment of Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. While Hiram and his lackeys are fictional, it is sobering to realize that there is truth to this story, as well. The gold rush brought great wealth to some people, but many, many more people unwillingly paid with their lives. This knowledge is shocking to Lee and Jackson, as well, and I really appreciated that their characters acknowledged the cruelty and unfairness that was inherit to the search for gold in lands that already belonged to the native people of the area. The story really highlights the way money and gold can corrupt fully, but it also highlights how California was a place where people who didn’t fit inside the norms of the time could find a home. Like A River Glorious was just as engrossing and joy-making as the first book. I loved the history, the characters, and the way I got sucked into the story. If you have not read this series you are missing out on some fabulous writing!