Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
(The Gold Seer Trilogy #1)
Published by: Greenwillow Books
Release date: September 22nd 2015
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Timesbestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America.
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, dazzles with this new fantasy that subverts both our own history and familiar fantasy tropes.
Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.
After surprise attack that shuttered Leah’s family, Leah has no other choice but dress as a boy and set up on dangerous journey to California - a place where she can put her secret gift of sensing gold to use during American Gold Rush era and start a new life for herself. And so it began, the adventurous tale that I grew to love so dearly.
Leah - an ordinary girl forced to live not so ordinary life thanks to her unusual magical gift. It was very easy to connect with her. Hardships of life in Golden Era America made a tough girl out of her. She was able to take care of herself in all situations. She was a strong admirable heroine, not some damsel in distress. As a (young) female in that particular period, she had to prove her worth twice as hard as any man. And she did. Oh boy, did she. Leah may not be perfect but she is a heroine to look up to. I wish there were more characters like her in YA books. It would make my readings less frustrating for sure.
On the top of that, you won’t find a single one-dimensional character in this book! Author presented awesome variety of realistic side characters which made my reading experience special and memorable above any other YA historical novels I have read before. Moreover, this novel has one of the most realistic teenage romances I have encountered in YA genre. It was all based on genuine feelings and it was developed gradually in believable way. This is what I call superb slow burn.
I am not an expert in this particular part of history but I got an impression that author did her research well. The use of period slang and words, detailed descriptions of museum worthy things; it all sounded very authentic to me and showed me clear picture of given historical period.
Fantasy aspect is important but somehow it doesn’t play a leading role in this book. I didn’t mind one bit since story concentrated mostly on heroine’s thrilling journey across the nation for the chance at new beginning, not her ability. But I have a feeling that it will play much bigger role in next instalment!
What are your favorite YA historical novels?
Do you plan to read this one?