Review: Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on September 19, 2016 | 3 Comments

Review: Like a River Glorious by Rae CarsonLike a River Glorious by Rae Carson
Series: The Gold Seer Trilogy #2
Published by Greenwillow (9.27.2016)
Genres: Historical Fiction, Western, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 432 pages
Source: Edelweiss

4 Stars

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.

My thoughts

Just like with the first book, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. As I stated in my review of Walk on Earth a Stranger, I went into the series expecting a historical fantasy. This book is NOT fantasy. The only thing fantasy about this series is Leah’s ability to witch gold. This series is hardcore Historical Fiction, set during the gold rush. I think it’s the latter part that makes it interesting to me. It’s no secret that I hate anything historical. I think these books are the first historical books I’ve ever enjoyed so much, actually!

Just like the first book, this is a very character driven novel. The focus in this series is the characters and the bonds that they’ve created. Something I loved so much about WoEaS is that it’s about a young woman trying to make her way in a man’s world. There’s not quite as much about Leah’s struggle as a woman. But she does struggle with the decision not to marry and her feelings toward Jeff, as she doesn’t want to be his property. She wants to be her own woman.

Carson’s writing has seriously improved since Girl of Fire and Thorns (which I hated). Her writing in Like a River Glorious is quite beautiful and engaging! I never got bored, despite the fact that it’s outside of my genre comfort zone. Carson did a beautiful job capturing the historical feel of a world ruled by white men. The sense of unfairness and injustice was strong toward the way that women and other races were treated. Especially the indians in Hiram’s camp. I was absolutely appalled! Hiram was such an awful man. The way he treated his workers slaves as well as Leah (his own family) was horrendous!

View Spoiler » I’m eager to see where things go in book 3!

LaRG gunpowder grit

Favorite quotes

“Jefferson McCauley Kingfisher, you have the swagger of a rooster and the swelled head of a melon.”

“All this time I thought I was coming to California so I could finally have something of my own. But I had it all along.”


Overall Assessment

Plot: 4/5 
Premise: 4/5 
Writing style: 4/5 
Originality: 4/5 
Characters: 4/5 
World-building: 4.5/5 
Pace: 4/5 
Feels: 4/5 
Cover: 4.5/5 
Overall rating: 4/5

Previous Book

walk on earth a stranger

Jessi (Geo)

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3 responses to “Review: Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

  1. I started the first book and stopped because I wasn’t getting into the story, but after your reviews I definitely want to give it another shot. Seems like a really interesting series and I do enjoy historical fiction set around various situations. Thanks for your great review. Glad you enjoyed it :)

  2. danielle hammelef

    I don’t usually seek out historical fiction, but more and more authors are writing really great books that are historically based. I love that this book is character driven! I’ve never read about the gold rush, so this will be fun and especially fun because of a woman trying to make it in a man’s world.

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