Walk on Earth a Stranger (Gold Seer #1) by Rae Carson
Published Year: 2015
Genre: Historical Fantasy
"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."
I'm going to pause a moment here and talk about the cover. I was cruising through and just stumbled across this one, and that cover roped me in. I just think it's gorgeous. All dark hues and golds with a sunset landscape! Ugh, it's just beautiful! Okay, swooning over (maybe?).
Walk on Earth a Stranger has some great historical aspects with some fantasy bits tossed in. However, if you're looking for more fantasy and less historical, this isn't the book for you. It's definitely heavier on the historical and extra light on the fantasy. I did think the history was fascinating though. It's set during the California Gold Rush of 1849, which I think is super interesting to begin with, and throw in a wagon ride across the country circa Little House on the Prairie? I'm all in. There was definitely a lot more risk and fear involved for Lee than Laura, I will just point out.
Which segues nicely into Leah Westfall, or Lee as she prefers. Lee's keeping a lot of secrets, and she's shoved into a situation where she has to make some pretty big decisions on her own, really fast, with some high risk and high cost. Unfortunately, I don't see a lot of character development from her in this book. Maybe RC is planning that for books 2 and 3 (oh yeah, it's a trilogy btw), but Lee was pretty steady in how she acted and reacted throughout this book. Which is pretty remarkable considering how much her circumstances changed... I don't think is realistic in terms of how a person would react to these types of situations and circumstances, but an argument can be made for shock and just getting to safe haven.
The plot was pretty slow for me. While I could be wrong seeing as I haven't read books 2 and 3 yet, so I can't say this definitively yet, but I think this will be one of those cases where a plot was stretched into a trilogy but was better suited to a standalone.
Overall, I did enjoy the story and the historical aspects of it! I'm interested to see where books 2 and 3 will take Lee and her chosen crew.
3 out of 5 stars.