Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #2
Published by Greenwillow Books on September 27th 2016
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.
Remember that time I freaking loved Walk on Earth a Stranger? I do. It was magical. Literally and figuratively. Now, we’re back with Lee and the gang and… well I mean, go away if you haven’t read WOEAS, because literally just telling you where they are and what they’re doing will spoil that book. Actually, don’t go away, just scroll down and watch me play The Oregon Trail again. As you do.
Still here? Great, let’s do this!
So, this book was full of awesome. In the very beginning, I was the teeniest bit concerned, because the book started off a little predictably. But that was basically my only qualm whatsoever, and that was out of the way within the first 50-75 pages or so. Then things got awesome, but in a totally different way than the first book.
Where Walk on Earth a Stranger was all about the actual getting to California, Like a River Glorious is about actually surviving it. California circa 1849 is… not great. The author does a phenomenal job of showing why it isn’t great, too. The era comes to life on the page, and I could almost feel the discomfort of the unknown, undeveloped land. Lee is of course used to this harsh way of living after months on the trail, but it doesn’t really get easier- she just has to keep coping, as to her companions.
This book also goes even further in depth with a lot of issues that were touched upon in the first book. Sexism, racism, discrimination of pretty much all kinds are rampant in California. And since the laws are murkier (and in some cases, non-existent) the treatment of women and minorities is downright appalling. Really, it’s quite hard to read, but in a good way because it is clear that this is accurate. The author sugarcoats nothing; she shows us the way people really were treated.
Lee gets even stronger in this book- but in much different ways. Yes, we know she can handle herself on the trail, but this book has Lee in some very difficult situations that require a lot of mental strength.
A few other things I really loved:
- I feel like we get to know the secondary characters so much better, and I love them! They are very multifaceted, and I love getting to know them better, and as more than just a wagon party.
- The romance is still super slow burning and sweet- and I still ship it a lot.
- There’s still plenty of adventure– no one is just hanging around in California!
- The fantasy element plays more of a role in this book. While I was fine without it as much in book one, I did like how it was worked into book two.
Bottom Line: An awesome sequel with very well developed characters (who I also happen to love!) and a raw and honest look into life in 1849 California. I cannot wait for the third book!
So last year, I tried to kill off our favorite villains. This year, I decided to see who would actually make it to California if I loaded the wagon with some tougher (and less evil) characters. The verdict? Women are boss on the trail.
We start the game with Clarke at the helm, because of course. She’d never let anyone else make any decisions anyway, let’s be real. Finnick, Celaena, Kenji, Lia, and Octavia round out our happy little wagon party.
Things are pretty boring, at first. Basic river crossings, some fog. I was getting bored and I think Clarke was too. Octavia was definitely ready to kick some ass. Celaena too, I am sure. SO when this happened:
Clarke obviously decided to greet them! But it was rather anticlimactic, as this dude didn’t want to pillage or stab us.
Then there was a buffalo stampede, which I forgot to screenshot because Clarke got wayyy too excited about hunting buffalo, which I obviously chose to do instead of something silly like “wait for it to pass”. Then we stumbled upon this little gem:
And like, who doesn’t look through it? Of course you look through it! I mean, you kind of hope you don’t find the skeletal remains of those before you, but this isn’t exactly Clarke’s first rodeo, now is it? Anyway, we found candles and some kind of candy. I feel like there should have been an option to NOT eat the candy, but whatever.
YAY maybe these ones will try to stab us! No, just this nice lady. Womp womp. O and Celaena are probably itching to fight at this point.
Thanks for the advice and all, but you don’t know my life or my magical powers.
Then on some seemingly benign hill, we tip over. Oopsie. Usually I just get sad about my lost bacon and move on but….
Well shit. That didn’t go as planned. But, onward we go. We stop at this little shop in Salt Lake City, and it helps because this game is like, 20 years old and Windows doesn’t let me click on the map, so Clarke got to see map details, yay!
So off we go, wherever this Hudspeth fellow tells us to go.
So Kenji is sick. Sad, since he’s kind of our comic relief on this trip. But it’s a cold, so Clarke gives him some water and tells him to buck up.
But Kenji is kind of being a baby about this fucking cold, so Clarke rests for a few days. Only…
“See what happens when you rest!?” Clarke screams to the group. They look at her in dismay. Celaena agrees with Clarke, and now everyone is confused.
Clarke is now reminded of the time that Jaha took Murphy across the desert and decides to wait until night. Hopefully there aren’t any land mines and/or Emori this time.
Since the animal is clearly not made for this trip, we butcher it for meat. Fluffy was delicious.
He died of a cold. A COLD. The common freaking cold. So now, it’s the girl’s team, heading onto California.
Clarke had planned to rest for a bit to help Lia out, but then this happened:
Oh shit. No one wants to be there. No one. Especially this lady:
I feel you, sister. Let’s get the hell out of here!
We were so close to California, when O decides she needs to get scarlet fever. We have to take a few days off. One of our companions wasn’t thrilled.
Like, we get it, but if Octavia dies three miles outside of town, Clarke will probably kill you, so…
Woo hoo! Our entire badass female contingent made it to California! And in my head, Finnick and Kenji impregnated someone along the way so that they can live on in the west. Or something.
So Clarke got rich, and her legacy lives on. This should surprise no one. I assume she has an awesome settlement with the other women too.