BOOK REVIEW : Like A River Glorious
By Rae Carson
February 4th BY SULPHIA IQBAL
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
I LOVED the characters in this book. I was used to most of these characters from the first installment of the series, but there was a great deal of development that I think really had me liking this book as I read.
The Joyners, a family which consisted of Rebekah, a widower whose husband died coming to California, and her three young children, were a really endearing part of this book. I felt for Rebekah throughout this book because her struggle was real, dealing with three children, one just recently born, all on her own, with no female assistance aside from Lee. I find it amazing how she dealt with all of it in 1849 Gold Rush after taking a cross country trip from Tennessee to California. There were so many labels that could’ve stopped her - widow, women, single mother of three, even bad cook - but she defies all of them.
And then there’s Leah “Lee” Westfall and Jefferson McCauley. For those who have not read the first book, Lee is a girl with a magical ability to sense and attract gold. She ran away from her home in Georgia after her uncle murdered her parents to use her powers and soon joined her best friend Jefferson in Missouri. They both joined a traveling group that was heading for California to earn gold, except Lee has to disguise herself as a boy because her evil uncle is coming after her. Jefferson is my favorite character in this book. He’s kind and considerate, willing to keep Lee’s secret until she was ready to spill, offer the Indians peace offerings,and take in Martin when he had no family.
NOTE : THERE WILL BE A UNEXPECTED PLOT TWIST. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The beginning was really good.
It’s starts out with Lee and the rest of her group deciding on an area to begin their camp. When she finally decides to reveal her dangerous secret, The Hoffmans, one of the families who had accompanied the group, decide to head back to their home. When her Uncle, who is after her, sends his men to Glory, the group knows they’re in for a whole lot of trouble.
The development of Glory and the people that begin to inhabit it is pretty much what happens for the entirety of the book, until the last 40 pages or so. What I didn’t really like was the ending because it was a bit too fast for my taste. We don’t get to see much of the villain until the end.
I would say read this book just purely because of it’s characters. Their development is enjoyable and their interaction with each other had me laughing at times. I applaud Rae Carson for spotlighting diversity in this novel as well.
“So I pull harder. More gold coats my arms and legs. I don’t have to look to know I am a golden statue, shining like the daughter of Midas. Except the gold is mine. I’m the one in control. Come.”
“What did we ever do to him?” Jefferson asks.
“We exist,” Tom says simply. “Look at us. Look at who we are.”
We’re a half-Cherokee boy, a one-legged war veteran, three confirmed bachelors, and two uppity women. Little does Frank know we also have a runaway slave with us, but I’d die before I told.”
IN THE END
It was an enthralling addition to the Gold Seer Trilogy and I would recommend it to anyone. You do have to read the previous book to understand it , though.
Check it out at the library and goodreads :