Tuesday, September 27, 2016

California Gold Rush in: Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2)
Author: Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer, #2
Released: September 27th 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow
Length: 432 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.

Like a River Glorious, Rae Carson’s fifth novel and the second book in her Gold Seer trilogy, cements her status as one of the best, most reliable authors of YA fiction. Her long string of literary successes without a single glitch shows us that we can indeed trust an author to always deliver and constantly stay at the top of her game.

Walk on Earth a Stranger left Lee and her friends finally in California, trying to find a good settlement and put down roots. The losses they’d suffered along the way left an indelible mark on them all. Some are strong enough to recover, and some decide that safety is more valuable than any amount of gold. Those who remain, Lee and Jefferson among them, are a tight-knit group, practically a family, and only the danger caused by Lee’s powers has the ability to tear them apart.

As a non-American, I didn’t know much about the fate of Native Americans during California Gold Rush. The abhorrent treatment shown in this book might be a bit exaggerated, but likely not by much. Lee has to face a very ugly reality in her uncle’s mine, both towards Native American and the Chinese. With Jeff and Tom by her side, she has to move past sympathizing and come up with a way to save not only herself, but all of Hiram's slaves as well.

Leah’s witchy ability to sense gold is explored more and constantly developed in this book. She grows along with it and becomes braver and more open about what she can do. It’s a dangerous secret, but Lee and Jefferson finally have a large family to share it with, people they can trust to always have their backs, even when the risk is too great for them all. 

Henry and Tom, two of our “confirmed bachelors”, play a more important role in this book. Their relationship could be considered queerbaiting if not for the historical context. As it is, theirs is a kind of don’t ask, don’t tell situation, but I’m hoping for a more open approach in the final book, at least among the folks in Glory. If they can handle a witchy girl who can sense gold, they can surely handle two gay men being a bit less discreet about their relationship.

The book has a brilliant, well-rounded ending that could be quite enough for most readers, even without the final part of the trilogy. Knowing a third book is coming makes me equal parts excited and afraid for Lee and her people at Glory, California. Apparently there’s still a difficult road ahead of her and with the way things are going, the final part might just be the best of them all.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I truly need to make it a point to start this series this year! Wonderful review Maja!

  2. AH! So excited for this one Maja! I love that her ability is more prominent in this one, that was my only complaint with the previous book. So looking forward to more Leah and Jefferson (and Henry and Tom!)!!

  3. This sounds like a great series. I need to get going with book 1!

  4. I think after reading the beginning of your review, that I need to read more from this author. I am loving this series, and I thought this was just ast strong as the first.

  5. Oh, I'm really hoping that this installment spotlights Lee's abilities so I'm glad to hear that. Love the first book so I'm going to pick up a copy of this one for sure!

  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I love your perspective on this as someone who isn't an American! I didn't LOVE the first book the way I did Carson's debut trilogy, so I don't quite know if I'll be picking this up but you certainly have me leaning towards yes. Wonderful review, Maja!

  7. I am curious about this series. I hope the next one is good too!

  8. I haven't read the first book and I liked but didn't adore her first series (though I'm not a huge fantasy reader.) This sounds like historical fiction with paranormal elements, which I generally enjoy. Will have to give these a try!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  9. I'm SO mad at myself. The 1st book was really cheap on Amazon, but I wanted to wait until I was on my computer to buy it. Then I forgot about it! Now the price is back up. Sigh.

  10. I remember the first book didn't really address Leah's power so it's good that this one explores it a bit more. I didn't love the previous book in the series and so wasn't really planning on continuing with this series but perhaps I'll give it a second chance.

  11. Aw, yet another series I need to read.

  12. I heard great things about this series but I haven't tried it. I'm happy to see it continues to be that good!

  13. "...cements her status as one of the best, most reliable authors of YA fiction" is the reason I want to read it. Your praise is always well placed. As far as the treatment of both the Native Americans and Chinese, my bet is on that it was still a bit sanitized and not exaggerated. What was done to both was horrendous. :(

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