Title: Walk on Earth a Stranger
Series: The Gold Seer Triology, #1
Author: Rae Carson
Publication: September 22nd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: YA, Historical fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 432 pages
Format: Library book
About the book:
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.
So here’s the alphabetical run down:
The main character, Lee Westfall, is strong and powerful and speaks her mind in a time period in history where unwed teenage girls had little to no power at all. She does, however, have to pretend to be a boy for the majority of the story, so that obviously effects how the other characters view her. There is a whole host of secondary characters on this trip west. I feel like there were so many I got confused about who was who for a while, but I feel like the characters that remained at the end of this first book will be fleshed out more in the second book of the series.
I actually love this cover. The sunset and the gold dust and the gold lettering just make the whole thing glow. I typically don’t like pictures of people on the front covers of books. I feel like it limits your imagination of what the character actually looks like, and I feel like seldom does the cover model actually match the description within the book. However, the picture of the girl on this cover is too small to negatively effect my opinion.
Considering our main character is pretending to be a boy, there isn’t a lot of romance in this book. There’s a very slow-burn romance, but it’s really only through Lee’s longing for him that you get any sense of it. There is, however, a great portrayal of love for family or the people that become your family along your journey.
This book is reminiscent of the computer game “Oregon Trail” I remember from elementary school. Complete with a bout of cholera and broken axels and sick oxen and all the details I remember about that game. Despite the almost constant action in this book, it still felt somehow slow to me. As if I was always waiting for something that didn’t ever happen. The last chapter, however, was a great conclusion to this book and set up for the next. It made me excited that the series continues, but I don’t think I’ll want to reread this one before starting the next (which I typically do). The fantasy element is very minor in the book. Lee can sense the existence of gold around her, but besides that small fantasy element, this book was historical fiction.
“Trust someone, Mama said. Her dying words, burned into my heart. But she was wrong. When there’s gold to be had, you can’t trust anyone. Not a single soul.”
“There’s not a place in the whole world where everyone isn’t willing–no, eager–to give a girl up to a man.”
There was something about this book that didn’t make me eager to pick it up again when I put it down. I will definitely still read the second book in the series and have high hopes that the story will continue to pull me in even more.