Thursday, 17 March 2016

I fell in love with historical fiction all over again | Walk on Earth a Stranger

Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) by Rae Carson

Published: September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: young adult, historical, fantasy

Goodreads summary: Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

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 west 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 was hesitant to dive into this book, because I didn't finish Rae Carson's debut, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, even though I had heard great things about it. Nevertheless, since there was this western trend last year, I added it to my TBR. I had already read Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman and Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, but Walk on Earth a Stranger is by far my favourite of the three. I also have to say that I couldn't resist the cover, and the cover of Like a River Glorious is even more gorgeous.

This book isn't for everybody, because the whole plot is just about getting to California, so it's just about the characters' journey. Of course it was slow-paced, but I was warned about it when I got into it, and I found it wasn't boring at all, since Carson introduced us to interesting characters and a realistic plot. Moreover, I really loved the writing style. Now that I think about it, it's logical that she chose to write a whole book about their journey, because it was so long to cross the country at that time, and since there will be two more books, I can accept it. I still found that despite the slow pace of this book, a lot of things happened, it was all about the caravan's journey and its accidents.  

It felt true to this time period and I was really invested into it. At some point it was really hard to read because there was a disgusting scene but it had to happen. I totally felt like the author did her research, because I could actually picture all the places she talked about. I couldn't help but think of Frontierland in Disneyland Paris, which always brings back happy memories.

I really enjoyed reading about these characters, they were so different from each other, basically a band of misfits, the ones left behind while the other caravans started their journey. Because of that, I found them to be realistic and easy to attach to. Lee was an enjoyable main character, not the typical 19th century girl, because she was an only child and had to do men's chores. Also, another character wanted to be like her, she wasn't the only one to have a different mentality about women's place.

Moreover, she wasn't the only character to be different from what to expect from this time period : Carson introduced us to a diverse cast of characters that actually represented - at least in my opinion - people going to California at that time. At the end of the novel, the people in the caravan actually had a family dynamic which I found so cute.

There wasn't really romance into this book and I didn't mind at all, because it was part of Lee's character. Of course, there was some hints here of what to expect for future books. I don't really know what to think about it yet, because I don't think it will be a big plot device... It should just be portrayed as a part of life, which I'm okay with. 

My only little regret with this book is that... I needed more of the fantasy aspect. I'm confident Lee will use her power more in the next book and I'm really excited about that. I loved the ending because it showed a lot of things were going to happen in the sequel, and now I'm a little too excited for it. I just loved this book so much, because I feel like it made me love historical fiction again, which used to be my favourite genre of them all.
If you're a history nerd like me, you should love this book! Yes, it was slow-paced, but the writing totally made up for it. I was really attached to the characters and can't wait to see what happens next, because they now are where things will get interesting.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you think I should try a second time to read the Girl of Fire and Thorns?


  1. Oh I thought the EXACT same thing about the magic! I was honestly expecting more from the whole "gold-feeling/whatever" witchy powers she had, but it only came up like once or twice? Although I still loved the book because I loved all the characters, and also the Oregon Trail.

    I actually haven't read Girl of Fire and Thorns, so I don't know whether you should try it or not. Maybe?

    1. I really hope we'll get more of her powers in Like a River Glorious, this trilogy is called the Gold Seer so I'm sure we will. Now that she has arrived, it would be a good time to use it. Yes, it was such a good book anyway! :) I'll think about it, but I'm not convinced yet.