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The Gold Seer Trilogy #2

Like a River Glorious

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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.

432 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 27, 2016

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About the author

Rae Carson

35 books5,864 followers
Rae Carson was born in 1973 in California and now lives in Arizona. She developed an enthusiasm for storytelling in her earliest childhood. She studied social sciences and worked in various industries after graduating from university before she realized her dream and became a writer. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is her debut novel.

In her own words, she "write[s] books about teens who must do brave things. [Her] books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. [She] especially love[s] to write about questions [she doesn't] know the answers to."

Has also published as Rae Carson Finlay.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,030 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,946 reviews292k followers
December 5, 2017
A decent sequel, even if it is marred by uneven pacing and some problematic misrepresentation of North American history.

With an equally beautiful cover and intriguing title, Like a River Glorious picks up where the last book left off. Leah Westfall, Jefferson, and accompanying crew have reached California and set about gold digging on a new piece of land. It's the California Gold Rush and they have the biggest advantage ever - Leah can magically sense the presence of gold. Good times.

However, Leah's money-grabbing uncle Hiram is still on their tail and he's getting closer.

The book counts on our hatred of Hiram to keep us turning pages and, frankly, it works well. A despicable, murdering traitor coming after our heroine is enough to make us care. Which is lucky because, in truth, this feels like exactly the same premise of the first book. Sure, they're in California now. But Walk on Earth a Stranger was about evading and escaping Hiram's clutches, and this book is more of the same.

Thankfully, as I said, Hiram is easy to despise. His cruelty made my blood boil, both in the way he treats Leah herself and his attitude towards the Native American "Indian" slaves he has captured and forced to work. Additionally, the language and setting in the book feel very true the time - it is not difficult to convince yourself you've been taken back to 1849.

Unfortunately, I cringed at some of the messages left lingering after the book's close. If you were one of those people who felt like The Help portrayed white people aiding and sympathizing with African-Americans at a time when such help wasn't being offered, then this book will probably bother you too.

Leah Westfall and her friends are established as the "good" white settlers because they offer clothing to the naked natives, making it somehow okay for them to steal and settle on their land. Not only did it feel like a misrepresentation of history to show white settlers being kind toward the Native Americans, but it is also troubling that, in the end, the Native Americans essentially help Leah and the other "good" settlers to steal the land instead of Hiram and the "bad" settlers. Intended sympathies toward the treatment of the natives get lost under confusing messages.

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Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
853 reviews3,765 followers
February 15, 2019
Content warnings: Familial violence. Violence, racism, and slavery of Chinese and Native American people is present due to the time period and is difficult to read.

I did mostly enjoy this and will finish out the trilogy. I really enjoyed the audiobook.

I am not a history scholar, nor part of any of the marginalized groups portrayed in this book so I cannot speak fully on the representation, but I will say that I wondered if this played into the white savior trope. We're told the story through a white main character's POV and though she works together with Native American and Chinese characters to better all of their circumstances, she is the one mostly being hailed as heroic in the narrative lens since she is the main character. She does get her privilege checked a few times, which I appreciated.

(I am looking for more reviews about the representation because I know the first book had issues with the Native American representation. If you know of any own voices reviews, please send me a link!)

Personally, I enjoyed that the book tried to challenge the ways of its time period, though I'm sure it's not perfect. I think most readers will be able to hash out why the situations were wrong. I continued to love the survival element of this series, although in this book it is less about surviving the elements and more about surviving various groups of people. I loved that the book had the same overarching threats, but gave us a wholly new situation and plot. Several reviews have mentioned problems with the pacing but I had no issue with it at all.

My biggest pet peeve with the book was the romance. The love interest says things like "I will make you love me, wait and see" several times despite the main character verbally telling him she isn't interested. It made things feel very forced and like Leah had no choice in the matter. I was pretty unsatisfied with the romantic dynamic.
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews976 followers
October 11, 2016

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Bad men are never all bad, and good men are never all good, and it makes it hard to know up from down.

The thing with Like a River Glorious is that it's weaker than its predecessor. Simply like that. When I first read Walk on Earth a Stranger, it felt like I've found a gem of a book. Authentic historical settings, flawless language fitting the era, likable characters and Wild West adventures. What more could a girl dream of in a book? So, it was obvious I'd want the similar set of coolness in the sequel.

Alas my dreams did not turn as glorious as the title promised. I felt like there could've been more to the plot and character development. As the heroine - Lee - noticed:

I’ve come so far, but in some ways, I haven’t gone any distance. I’m still hiding from bad men. I’m still trying to figure how to make my own way, my own fortune.

It felt like we were reading the same book as the first one, only with slightly changed settings. The strange thing is, though, this book actually has more action than the previous one, it felt more slow-paced and lacking events. It doesn't mean it was boring - no, I rather enjoyed the plot, but I still wanted more from it.

The author, again, rises important questions like slavery, women's rights, genocide, and I immensely enjoyed the writing style, which was easy-flawing and suited the Gold Rush era perfectly. Plus Lee was a strong reliable heroine I wanted to hug more than once.

I need air and light and a kind word. I need my friends. I need Peony.

I need my guns.

The romance part was extended, so to say, and for me Jefferson was not only a likable love interest, but also a character whose view on things I highly respected. As we know, he's half Native American (Cherokee if I am not mistaken), and it was a hard time for people like him to live back than, but he never bent under horrible circumstances and was a resolute, head-strong young man; his strengths did not only help Lee to keep going, but also helped her to see the world in a more optimistic way. Plus they were so cute together I totally shipped them.

The other thing that bothered me was the ending. Strangely, we have a logical conclusion with tied ends. But there's going to be the third book, and I can't imagine what it will be about, or what there's to write when everything was already said? Maybe there will be different characters to follow or our old characters will find a new adventure? Who knows.

To top it all off, a highly recommended series with authentic historical settings and likable characters. I am sure it will be fun to join the Wild West adventure if you haven't started the series yet.

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,689 reviews1,267 followers
September 10, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“The truth is I’ve got witchy powers that lead me to gold as sure as the west leads the sun.”

This was an interesting sequel, and Leah finally got to put her gold-finding powers to good use!

Leah was a strong character in this, and she tried really hard to be honest with people, and to keep them from danger in whatever way she could. It was unfortunate that she once again had problems with her uncle though.

The storyline in this was about Leah and her friends finally staking claims in California, and beginning to mine gold. We then had Leah’s uncle causing her problems, and we got some real action and excitement, as well as greater development of Leah’s powers with Gold, which had been a little lacking in the previous book. We also got a little more in the way of romance too, although I wouldn’t classify this as a romance story. The pace in this was quite slow though, and I did find the book dragged a bit in places.

The ending to this was pretty good, and tied up a lot of loose ends.

7 out of 10
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,694 reviews702 followers
September 27, 2016
I'm not normally a fan of westerns, but I do adore Rae's words, so I was definitely going to continue this series.

I've liked Leah from the start. She's smart and strong and not afraid to stick up for herself. The cast of characters who have joined her on this crazy adventure is just as awesome as she is.

As always, I didn't bother doing a reread of the first book because I was excited to start. Thankfully it was easy to settle right into what was going on. The plot is a bit of a slow burn, but there is a lot of build up and the ending is explosive. There were some interesting things that take place in this installment and for a while it felt like this was a duology. I'm quite eager to see what happens next.

**Huge thanks to Greenwillow Books and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Aditi.
920 reviews1,323 followers
November 20, 2016
“Gold conjures up a mist about a man, more destructive of all his old senses and lulling to his feelings than the fumes of charcoal.”

----Charles Dickens

Rae Carson, the New York Times best selling author, is back with the most awaited sequel of her young adult fantasy trilogy, The Gold Seer Trilogy called, Like a River Glorious. After the first book's major cliffhanger, the readers were frantically looking forward to this book, to learn about the edgy journey filled with tons of challenges for the young magical teenage girl dressed up as a boy coming to an end and on whether the girl has managed herself to free herself from the clutches of her tyrant uncle once and for all. And this book answers all the questions that the readers were left with in the last book.


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.

Leah Westfall has somehow deluded herself from the grips of her materialistic, evil and cruel uncle, Hiram, who also happens to be her only living relative in this world. But that seems to be very wrong, as soon Hiram's men find Leah and her group of friends who are all travelling towards the land of opportunity in California during the era of Gold Rush. Although Leah had to tell about her biggest secret about her ability to sense the presence of gold nearby to her friends, and since her uncle already knows about her esoteric ability, he will do anything to trap that girl's power for his own benefit, even if he needs to kill a few souls on his way. But now that Leah and her friends are here, they are in full form to make money and settle down, also they barely come across any resistance from the Native "Indians" Americans, instead this group of teenagers help those native folks and in respect, they too help Leah to get her the land from her uncle and his cunning men.

Disappointment slowly and silently seeps in to my soul while reading this book! This was not expected from an author who in her previous book made her readers gather that rare sense of feeling like they are actually living and breathing in that historical era which brought so many changes in the face of the world ~ the gold rush era. That time warp feeling got so wrong in this book, even though we are aware what happened in reality, the author tried to project a fantastical image of that time line, which did not make any sense to the story. The whole plot came crashing down just because of this fictional projection of the accurate facts of history, moreover, the protagonist's demeanor too wasn't justifiable with the attitude of then Western settlers.

The author's writing holds the flair of that bygone era of history, also the coherent prose is laced with proper emotional depths to make the readers feel for the story and for the characters as well. The narrative is free flowing, even though somewhere the narrative tends to be too long and boring at times and also there are unnecessary dialogues which make the story too tedious. The pacing is very, very slow, often dragging its readers with its trivial and too thorough descriptions about some scenes or dialogues those are unwanted and makes no sense in the story at all. The previous book was unraveled through many layers and twists, although this book, too, has some surprises in store but those are thoroughly foreseeable.

The characters never cease to disappoint in the midst of such an inaccurate story line, as they are once again strongly developed with their flaws and perfection, layered with emotions to give them a realistic outlook and also they feel like they are pulled out of some history book, since the time and the era syncs well with their demeanor. The main protagonist, Leah, is one of a kind who is brave, determined and a strong-minded girl fighting for the land and for her powers all by herself through danger. And surprisingly most of the characters are bound to leave an imprint on the minds of the readers. There is a bit of cliched love drama that also makes the plot so unreal and dull, especially its hard to digest the fact that white western settlers are falling and scheming together with the Native Americans for the downfall of that cruel man's gold mine and the land where Native Americans are treated as slaves.

In short, this story falls below my expectations, moreover, I do not feel the need to continue reading this trilogy further. So that ends my tryst with The Gold Seer Trilogy .

Verdict: Compelling yet somewhere the book lost its old charm!

Courtesy: Thanks to the author's publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and review a copy of this book.
Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
November 4, 2016
Though Like a River Glorious was definitely enjoyable - Rae Carson is a wonderfully descriptive, gifted writer - I definitely preferred the first book. At first I was certain I was going to love this, as the beginning was very thrilling - but as it went on, the plot sadly became scattered and messagey.

Carson does a great job at the historical part of this series; within the first few pages I was transported back into the 1800s, into a time of rough cowboys and claim jumpers, a time when people were desperate and dangerous. She captured the culture and speech of the ol' Wild West so it felt authentic.

In Walk on Earth a Stranger, we were introduced to Leah Westfall, a girl with an ability to sense gold during the Gold Rush. I loved the descriptions of scenery and slow journey in book one. But in this sequel, the tone was very different.

For one, it had a lot more action, but I wasn't a fan of it because it felt like filler action. The plot focused on Leah's evil Uncle Hiram hunting her down to use her gold-sensing powers to make him rich. It was also much heavier on the romance between Jefferson and Leah. Jeff proposes to Leah multiple times, but Leah is conflicted about marriage and "being tied down to a man."

I didn't care for Leah's attitude. I don't quite remember if she was this way in the first book, but here she was constantly saying she "wasn't a proper lady." Now, there's nothing wrong with saying that, but the way she said it felt like she was opposed to anything ladylike.

“I’m not at all a proper lady, and don’t you dare imply that I am.”

Her "tough" attitude felt forced. Leah shuddered at anything even mildly feminine. This was the message I was getting: Girls are badasses who can shoot people! Girls hate dresses and new shoes! Um, actually most girls love those things. They're called girly for a reason. And then there was that whole ending where . It felt like an awkward feminist message where the author flipped the gender tables.

There was also the whole thing with Hiram being a "bad racist white man" while Leah and her friends were, of course, the "good" non racist white people. My question is, as a young person of the time era when most white people were racist, where did Leah get that kind of independent thinking? It didn't feel realistic.

Such an exhausting, message filled book. I did like one point this book made, though. Leah's response to Hiram claiming he was her father was pretty awesome:

“Doesn’t matter who I was born to. He’s the man I’d pick for my daddy, no matter what, and that counts way more than blood, to my way of thinking.”
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
September 6, 2016
4.5 stars
Like a River Glorious, Rae Carson’s fifth novel and the second book in her Gold Seer trilogy, cements her status as one of the best, most reliable authors of YA fiction. Her long string of literary successes without a single glitch shows us that we can indeed trust an author to always deliver and constantly stay at the top of her game.

Walk on Earth a Stranger left Lee and her friends finally in California, trying to find a good settlement and put down roots. The losses they’d suffered along the way left an indelible mark on all of them. Some are strong enough to recover, and some decide that safety is more valuable than any amount of gold. Those who remain, Lee and Jefferson among them, are a tight-knit group, practically a family, and only the danger caused by Lee’s powers has the ability to tear them apart.

As a non-American, I didn’t know much about the fate of Native Americans during California Gold Rush. The abhorrent treatment shown in this book might be a bit exaggerated, but likely not by much. Lee has to face a very ugly reality in her uncle’s mine, both towards Native American and the Chinese. With Jeff and Tom by her side, she has to move past sympathizing and come up with a way to save not only herself, but all those slaves as well.

Leah’s witchy ability to sense gold is explored more and constantly developed in this book. She grows along with it and becomes braver and more open about what she can do. It’s a dangerous secret, but Lee and Jefferson finally have a large family to share it with, people they can trust to always have their backs, even when the risk is too great for them all.

Henry and Tom, two of our “confirmed bachelors”, play a more important role in this book. Their relationship could be considered queerbaiting if not for the historical context. As it is, theirs is a kind of don’t ask, don’t tell situation, but I’m hoping for a more open approach in the final book, at least among the folks in Glory. If they can handle a witchy girl who can sense gold, they can surely handle two gay men being a bit less discreet about their relationship.

The book has a brilliant, well-rounded ending that could be quite enough for most readers, even without the final part of the trilogy. Knowing a third book is coming makes me equal parts excited and afraid for Lee and her people at Glory, California. Apparently there’s still a difficult road ahead of her and with the way things are going, the final part might just be the best of them all.

Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews166 followers
October 17, 2017
Ok, I need book three right now! I cannot wait to go pick it up this week. I was not expecting to be as enthralled as I am with this series. It is fascinating. I have seen reviews where a problem seems to be the inaccuracy on American History but that doesn't bother me because honestly I do not go looking for accurate facts in a fiction book. Authors take creative liberties in fiction. If I wanted to make sure I am getting facts on the Gold Rush of California I will go read The Age of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the New American Dream (which yes, I do plan to do at some point).

Overall, I am so loving this series and cannot wait to go pick up the final book this week. Heck, I may just go ahead and pick up Age of Gold and get a fiction and then nonfiction fix!
Profile Image for Michelle.
478 reviews105 followers
Want to read
February 18, 2016
Another amazingly beautiful cover reveal. Thanks Epic Reads.
Profile Image for Emma.
2,394 reviews824 followers
January 27, 2018
Loved it! I have a special fondness for stories of the Californian Gold Rush and this was a very well done one. We definitely see a bit more of Leah’s ‘witchiness’ as she calls it, but this is essentially an excellent work of historical fiction. Hiram Westfall makes the perfect villain! If you enjoyed the first in the series (and I know some were disappointed by the lack of fantasy elements), then you’ll love this too.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,112 reviews301 followers
January 22, 2018
4.5 stars

Intense, exciting, and downright brutal at times, this was a page-turning follow-up to Walk on Earth a Stranger. The story picks up right where the last book left off, but just because the group has arrived in California, doesn't mean their troubles are over. They have to deal with claim-jumpers, overly curious neighbours, and of course, Leah's wretched uncle Hiram.

The book doesn't pull any punches about how horribly the Native Americans of California were treated during this period. I'll be honest, there were parts that were difficult to read.

Carson does explain in her author's notes why her portrayal of Mary is understated--she says she did not want to play into the common trope of sexualizing Asian women in media--although it's pretty clear what is happening and that it isn't Mary's choice. It didn't need to be more explicit to transmit the utter distastefulness of the whole situation.

As before, Carson did a great job of showing how much Leah suffered because she was a woman, while also showing how much worse it was for others not insulated by the privilege of being white and somewhat moneyed.

A really satisfying read that has me picking up the last book in the trilogy right away.
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews798 followers
February 8, 2018

Like a River Glorious is pleasant read and great sequel to amazing first book - Walk on Earth a Stranger. Once again, Rae Carson transported me right into the 19th century California Gold Rush era and provided engaging and believable YA historical novel. Smart and realistic characters in this series make such a nice change from all those annoying teenage characters that are so very often present in YA literature. And for that I am incredibly thankful to Mrs. Carson.

My favorite part of this novel was romance between Lee and Jefferson. I shipped them in first book but this sequel brought my shipping level to new heights! I absolutely loved dynamics between Lee and Jefferson and I loved how truly slow burn and real their romance was. I ship them so much and cannot wait to get more of them in final third book!

Even though Like a River Glorious wasn't as perfect as first book, it was more than worthy sequel. If you haven't picked this series up yet, I urge you to do so now!

*ARC provided by publisher as an exchange for honest review*

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Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
2,005 reviews2,597 followers
October 9, 2016
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/10/09/...

I was super excited to read this sequel to Walk on Earth a Stranger, and not least because the first book was one of my favorite Young Adult reads of last year. Knowing how rare it is for a series to strike gold twice though (pun intended) I wasn’t surprised to find that I didn’t find Like A River Glorious quite as earth-shattering as its predecessor, but it was still an excellent sequel and a fun YA fantasy western.

At the end of Walk on Earth a Stranger, a novel which takes place in the midst of the great California Gold Rush, protagonist Leah “Lee” Westfall and the survivors of her party had managed to reach their destination at last. They’d wasted no time in settling in and staking their claims, and thanks to Lee’s remarkable secret, she and her friends have done pretty well for themselves.

After careful consideration though, Lee decides to let her trusted circle in on how she’s been helping them find the best plots. The truth is that she has a mysterious magical ability to sense gold in the environment around her, and being in gold-rich California, her powers have been practically humming within her. However, Lee also wanted to come clean to her friends to warn them that being close to her may have its own dangers. Her uncle Hiram, who knows about her secret, is still hunting her and wants to use her gold sense to his advantage. He had already killed Lee’s parents, and now she’s afraid that she’s put everyone associated with her at risk too.
Lee had good reason to be worried. Despite their best efforts to remain discreet, news of Lee and her group’s success begins to spread, and it’s just a matter of time before Hiram tracks them down. Unwilling to put her friends through more pain and grief, Lee ultimately decides to take matters into her own hands and begins to plot a plan to confront her uncle.

First, the good stuff: Readers who felt that the first book did not have enough “fantasy” in it will be a lot happier with this sequel. Lee’s gold sense plays a bigger role this time around, and has a much greater impact on the outcome of the story. Her power is also evolving, growing stronger somehow. And as to why this is happening, that’s a mystery Lee is also trying to figure out for herself.

Then there’s the romance. While it wasn’t a big part of the first book, Rae Carson did plant a seed of something between Lee and her best friend Jefferson, and those feelings finally come to fruition. The pacing of the romance remains slow-burn though, which for me is a breath of fresh air especially after having read a string of YA novels featuring instalove, or female protagonists who immediately hurl themselves at a guy the moment he shows a hint of interest. I liked how Lee kept a level head despite her growing feelings for Jeff, keeping in mind what she would be gaining and sacrificing for marriage in an era where women have little power. It may seem like a rather cold, unromantic way to think about love, but it does show that Lee is mature, independent and insightful—traits that I admire in a protagonist.

Despite the book’s strengths though, I did have some issues with the depiction of Lee and her friends, especially given the historical setting and social climate of the times. I understand that, especially in a YA novel, we need our protagonists to be the good guys to cheer for and look up to, and true to form, Lee is heroine who wants to buck the system and fight against injustices. The problem is that it’s not subtle at all, and it’s immersion-breaking when looking at this book through a historical fiction lens. When it comes to historical novels I think it’s important to look at how context shapes character motivations and attitudes, and while I can understand why a lot of Lee’s experiences would shape her opinions on land ownership, slavery, religion, women’s rights, etc., a lot of the actions of her and her settler friends do come across a bit revisionist. At some point in this novel, Lee also started to feel too much to me like a present-day teenage character transported to the 1850s, but this probably didn’t bother me as much as it would have if this had been an adult novel.

Other than that minor issue, I honestly have no complaints. Overall I really enjoyed Like A River Glorious, and like the first book this one was also blessedly free of pesky cliffhangers. I like how both installments have so far ended with all its major story conflicts resolved, while still being a part of a greater narrative. This is another chapter in Lee and Jefferson’s lives, and I loved the happy conclusion. Looking forward to where the next book will take them.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,119 reviews1,335 followers
September 28, 2016

Wow! Like a River Glorious was simply put … glorious! I’m in complete awe of what Rae Carson has crafted with this series. If you thought Walk on Earth a Stranger was a good story, wait until you pick up this sequel that surpassed every monumental expectation that I have. It’s official, I’m obsessed with this series.

Leah Westfall is probably the fiercest and most badass character I have ever come across in a YA series. And I’m not saying just physically. It was clear from the first book that Leah was a strong-willed and brave girl, especially after she found her parents dead bodies and traveled over the Oregon Trail to reach California. Here, she was even stronger and I didn’t realize that was even possible. Rae Carson constantly tested Leah, with the threats of her Uncle Hiram looming throughout the book, but she was so resilient faced every obstacle with a courage that not many people possess. Lee is the sort of heroine that will inspire readers, young and old, as she navigates the dangers of the Gold Rush era.

Thankfully, Lee is no longer alone. She’s found herself an incredible group of people to call her family. Rae Carson does a wonderful job with these characters, making each and everyone of them rich, complex and layered. The kinship that they’ve formed with each other, despite being from such diverse backgrounds, was beautiful to watch develop even further in Like a River Glorious. These are characters that will stay with you long after you finish the book. I also can’t forget Lee’s slow-burn romance with her friend, Jeff. I love how these two were always there for each other no matter what. It’s hard not to root for these two because they are so sweet together, and pretty much the perfect complements.

One reason why I think this series is unique and refreshing is its setting of the Old West. Rae Carson has a simple, yet vivid writing. The descriptiveness of her writing is in the little things. Here, I particularly loved the scenes in the gold mines and of Leah and her group building their small town in California. I was so invested in the story that I almost felt like I was there along with these characters. We also see some real life historical issues such as slavery and discrimination, especially when it came to the Chinese and the Native Americans at Hiram’s camp. Violence and death plagued that camp, and it was hard to stomach at times, but I have to hand it to Rae Carson for showing those realities in a harsh, yet raw way. We also get to know more about Lee’s gold-sensing powers in this installment, and while we don’t have all the background yet, it was enough to satisfy me.

I’m thrilled with how this series has evolved over the course of these two books. While Like a River Glorious ended on a positive and hopeful note with no cliffhanger, I’m still eager to get my hands on the final book in the Gold Seer Trilogy and to be back with one of my favorite ensemble cast.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,723 reviews6,664 followers
October 12, 2016
Like a River Glorious is the second installment in Rae Carson's mildly magical, historical fiction series titled The Gold Seer Trilogy. Although this ongoing story feels like a refreshing addition to the young-adult genre due to its originality and gold-rush setting, it's not as engaging as I hoped it would be. This may be an expectation issue on my part as the storyline focuses primarily on group dynamics versus the magical element, and based on her previous work, I was expecting more of a balance. Regardless, I plan to complete the trilogy and am hopeful the ending will warrant many more gold stars.

My favorite quote:
"“Thanksgiving is a stupid celebration,” Mary says. We all turn to stare at her. “You’re grateful enough to have a holiday, but then you go and slaughter Indians and steal their land. It makes no sense.” I start to protest, “We didn’t slaughter them. Not all—” Mary mutters something in Chinese, and even though I have no idea what she’s saying, I’d bet my witchy powers it’s something unseemly. Then she adds, “Your people. You. There’s no difference.” “Giving thanks is not stupid,” Tom says. “Killing Indians is.”

The Gold Seer Trilogy includes the following installments as of October 2016:
#1-Walk on Earth a Stranger
#2-Like a River Glorious
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) by Rae Carson Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #2) by Rae Carson Untitled (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #3) by Rae Carson
Profile Image for Christy (TheReaderBee).
852 reviews583 followers
October 10, 2017

Reread in October 2017

Like a River Glorious is definitely one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. I read Walk on Earth a Stranger last year, and really, really enjoyed the unique and captivating story, and I was dying to know what was going to happen next for Leah and her crew. This sequel was great, and I'm thrilled to add it to my collection!

Leah has been a character that I have loved since I first met her in Walk on Earth a Stranger. She's such a strong, well written young lady, and I swear her character just grows more and more as the story goes along. And not just as a person, but with her ability as well, which is just amazing. She's definitely a fave character of mine, as are SO many of the secondary characters in the story. There are a LOT of them, and I really love them all!

Even though this book is 400+ pages, I devoured it in just a few hours time. It seriously felt like I was flying through the pages, and I just couldn't get enough of it. Unfortunately I do not have any other books in my collection that are set in the same time period as this book, or have the same setting. That needs to be fixed, because both are completely fascinating, and leave me wanting more. Although, as with a lot of our history, there were some things in the story that made me sad, and ANGRY. The sexism towards women made me rage, but it was the treatment of Chinese immigrants and Native American's that was completely horrific and heartbreaking. I cannot imagine living during this time period. At all. And not only because of this treatment, which is bad enough, I'm just not sure I could survive the hardships that these people faced. I'm glad there are people willing to tell us the story, so that we will know, and never forget.

Overall; Like a River Glorious is a wonderful sequel to Walk on Earth a Stranger! I'm not even more excited to get my hands on the third book, which is going to release in 2017! THAT is a book that I will be preordering as soon as possible. If you've not yet read this series, and are curious about the Gold Rush time period, you should definitely check out The Gold Seer Trilogy!!

Happy Reading!

Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,588 reviews1,467 followers
April 18, 2020
Now that Leah and company have made it out West to the land of gold and opportunity everything should be easy, right? Well not really, first you have to find some good land with gold on it. Not too hard with Leah on your side since she is a witchy girl and can sense gold. Next you just have to figure out how to keep said land from claim jumpers. Not as easy, as California is a place with few laws and many unscrupulous men.
“Bad men are never all bad, and good men are never all good, and it makes it hard to know up from down.”

Leah has found the spot but then it seems her uncle has found her and he hasn’t given up on the idea that she belongs with him. Just when life is starting to settle on their claim Leah ends up in the grip of her uncle and needs to find a way to get herself and a few of her friends home.

Man, this book was sad and harsh. I’m sure that things like this happened in this time in history and some of it was just so sad. Leah’s uncle stole Indians to work in his mine and barely fed them, treated them as less then people. The prejudices and injustices were really horrid. The time with Leah’s uncle was hard, I wanted to burn him and all of his men with fire. Almost everyone deserved a brutal death that ran that mine.

But in the midst of all the trouble there are bright points. Leah and Jefferson are finding a way into each other’s hearts after growing up and being best friends all their lives. Jeff is adorable in his devotion to Leah and no matter the circumstance he always had a smile the lit up his eyes every time he saw her. He just needs to find a way to convince her that marrying him isn’t akin to giving up everything she is.
“I think you’d better stay extra alert tonight.”
“I’m serious, Jeff. Someone snuck up on both Hampton and Martin, and neither of them are shirkers.”
He grins. “You’re worried for me, aren’t you?”
“Course I am.”
“Know what I think?”
I scowl at him, which only widens his grin.
He steps closer, puts a hand to my chin, and lifts it so I can’t avoid his gaze. “I think you’re in love with me,” he says.
I stare at his lips. What comes out of my mouth is: “Jefferson McCauley Kingfisher, you have the swagger of a rooster and the swelled head of a melon.”

Leah’s past is full a few mysteries and while I’m not sure we’ll ever discover them all it was good to get some insight into the dynamic between her Mom, Dad and uncle and why he is so set on keeping her.

I liked a few of the new characters that we meet in this book. From Tug and the boys to Mary and the big silent guy. I few people are gems in the wilderness. I liked where the book ended but it was really dark at times and I wasn’t sure how many people we might lose along the way.

Time to finish the journey though and I’m onto the final book in the series.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
720 reviews1,172 followers
April 8, 2017
Rae Carson is one of my favorite authors for the amazingness that is Girl of Fire and Thorns, which still holds the spot as the best YA Fantasy I’ve ever read. The Goldseer series, so far, has many of the same attributes that set GOFT above the rest:

◾Strong heroines who are endearingly atypical and always feel like real people.
◾Beautiful, immersive writing that will totally transport you.
◾Enough magic to drive the plot without being the sole focus.
◾Gut-wrenching moments that will Tear. Out. Your. Heart.

In fact, even more so than GOFT, the Goldseer Trilogy will hit you left and right with horrible injustices (some which make me so mad I could spit). Carson really understands conflicts and how to put her characters through hell. To be honest, it was so well done that I wondered on several occasions how I was able to enjoy the story while hating it at the same time. It never ceased to evoke emotion and make me feel engaged.

As far as the magic goes, Like a River Glorious had more magic than the first book, but not enough for me to feel confident recommending it as a fantasy verses a historical fiction. I’ve always been of the mindset that the more magic, the better, but I still enjoyed the book for all the other elements. It’s one of those stories written so well that it’ll appeal to readers of multiple genres. I’ve read a little criticism of the supposed historical inaccuracies in this book, but as someone who remembers only what I was taught in grade school about the gold rush, it was realistic enough for me. I thought she did a great job transporting me to this era and, let’s face it, I didn’t pick it up for a history lesson… Even so, the criticisms surprises me because Carson acknowledges at the back of the book that she had to take some creative liberties to streamline her story.

Anyway, Like a River Glorious was a strong sequel that could have satisfied me as a series-ender, but there’s still one book yet to come. I can’t figure out what it will entail, and find the prospect (no pun intended) of discovery really enticing. It’s a damn shame it’s going to be a year before it comes out!

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com
Profile Image for Jessica.
Author 29 books5,609 followers
November 16, 2016
Ah! Glorious!

Carson is doing a wonderful job of bringing the Gold Rush to life. The details are amazing, and it's the perfect combination of fact and fiction and magic.

Now in California to stake their claims, Leah Westfall and her friends encounter claim jumpers, the enslavement of the local Native Americans as well as the Chinese, and the continued threat from her uncle. You can see and smell and even taste Lee's world in this book, and I loved it. I can't wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Jaime (Two Chicks on Books).
825 reviews400 followers
July 25, 2016
Ok so I may be biased because this book is set in my hometown and around where I live but I think this is better than the first book! I loved the Oregon Trail of book 1 but I LOVED seeing Sacramento and the area around it front and center in a book! I plan on doing a photo trip of the places in this one!!!
Profile Image for JoAnna.
155 reviews34 followers
December 12, 2017
I'm really getting into the western theme!!! More please:)
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