Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Title: Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2)
Author: Rae Carson
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Source: Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss

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.
Review by Nara

Like a River Glorious was certainly a very solid follow up to Walk on Earth a Stranger, and has pretty much guaranteed that I will read anything that Rae Carson writes in the future. She writes so well, and having conquered high fantasy and western/historical, I feel like she could write anything.

A large portion of the plot involving Uncle Hiram made me quite angry- it was that weird feeling where I sort of wanted to book to go faster so that we could get out of the sections with our characters in horrible predicaments. There certainly wasn't a lot of the book where I was thinking, yeah the characters seem fine. Pace is just as slow as I remember from book one, and I think the overall plot is quite similar (although perhaps with higher stakes).

The world building is really great- the writing is so atmospheric and really transports you to the US in the Gold Rush days; which is really good because I know so little about that historical time period. To be honest, it could have been completely historically inaccurate and I would have had no idea (history is not my forte). We still don't really get an explanation of the gold sensing witchery, in terms of why she has it or whether anyone else in the world has it, although I'd still kind of like to know. Solid magic systems can only ever be favourable in my eyes and that is one area where the Gold Seer trilogy falls a little short.

THE ROMANCE. GAH IT'S SO GOOD. I think there a couple of things that make it so fantastic, one of them being the fact that Lee doesn't prioritise the romance over all the other important conflicts she has to face and she doesn't feel like she immediately needs to marry him. Their relationship develops slowly throughout the book as they work out their feelings for one another.

The ending was actually so satisfying and so perfect: I was tempted to give the book an extra star based solely on the ending, but I had to admit the middle dragged a little, so the book overall falls just that little bit short. I would actually be completely satisfied if this was a duology and this was the end of the series. That's how good the ending was. But we're getting another book, and I am certainly not complaining about that at all (as long as we get more Leah x Jefferson).

Definitely recommend this series for something a bit different in young adult.

Really liked it
Overall: 9/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5