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Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson

Like a River Glorious

by Rae Carson

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This is like a glorious series…*wink*wink*nudge*nudge* feel free to groan.

Leah Westfall and the companions she made in the first novel are looking for a spot to settle down and pan for gold. With her powers, she settles them all down in a spot where she can feel the energy of tons of gold. But when word spreads that her claim has some gold, the information falls into the hands of her uncle Hiram who still wants her back with him. Trying to find a way so that their claim has some protection from her uncle and his minions, Leah, her best friend turned lover Jefferson, and a lawyer named Tom decide to head to San Francisco but are kidnapped by Hiram’s men. Leah is forced to live and work with her uncle who is running a mine operation. Jefferson and Tom are thrown in with Chinese immigrants and Native American slaves doing hard labor.

Carson has no problem torturing her characters and I totally respect that about her. She has this way of writing in realistic tragedies which only then make the successful outcomes so much more satisfying. Problems faced by the characters and how they react to them have been such a delight to read about. The newly found longing between Leah and Jefferson was so sweet that the distance placed between them by Hiram did poke a hole in my heart.

Between (Queen) Becky Joyner building her diner empire, Leah and Jefferson’s slow burn, and Mary the spy I couldn’t get enough of this story. There was plenty of joy and slice of life moments but also dark moments to get the ball rolling. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first of the trilogy which almost never happens for me. ( )
  Jessika.C | Nov 1, 2018 |
It's been almost a year since I read "Walk on Earth a Stranger", the first book in Rae Carson's Gold Seer series, and I was worried I would have some trouble remembering characters or events that happened in that book. However, Carson does a good job with subtly reminding the reader of the people and things that came before, so I was able to jump right into "Like a River Glorious" (side note: I love the titles she's chosen for her books). Leah Westfall and her ragtag group of friends (the ones who survived the dangerous wagon train journey out west, anyway) have set up claims in Glory, California and formed the beginning on their own little town. Thanks to Leah's "gold sense" (she's able to detect and summon gold, a very handy power to have during the Gold Rush), she and her friends become quite prosperous. But of course, good things can't last, and eventually Leah's murderous, douchebag uncle finds her and keeps her and a couple of her friends captive at his mining operation. What follows is a desperate plan to learn what horrors are being committed there in the name of gold, and how Leah and her gang can can stop them from happening. Rae Carson does not shy away from depicting the atrocities that were done against Native Americans and Chinese immigrants, which I think is a good thing (historical fiction, even when tinged with fantasy and magic, should not skirt around the shameful aspects of U.S. history).

I really enjoy this series, and I'm eager to get to the final book! ( )
  kaylaraeintheway | May 31, 2018 |
So so so good! Even better than book one, which was in itself amazing, Like A River Glorious continues the saga of Leah Westfall and her rag tag group of friends as they make a life for themselves in California during the gold rush.

There's action, adventure, romance, and an evil, villainous uncle lurking at every turn. I loved getting to see relationships continue to blossom, both in friendship and romance. I also really loved getting to dig deeper into the world Rae Carson created. You could call this historical fiction, seeing as it's set during the California gold rush of the mid 1800s, but throw in Leah's "witchy" gold sensing ability and you get a whole new layer to the story and the setting.

This is a fantastic middle book to a trilogy, full of great characters, and a well developed world. I absolutely loved it! ( )
  mmalyn | Feb 24, 2018 |
This book had a slow start, but got significantly better by the end. There wasn't really a whole lot of plot development or variety from the first book. The beginning was kinda boring and just too optimistic for me. I enjoyed the characters and liked how they developed throughout the novel, yet I just felt like something was lacking.

2.5/5 stars ( )
  jdifelice | Jan 20, 2018 |
Follows on from Walk On Earth a Stranger. Having survived the journey to California, Leah and her travelling companions are looking to claim land and build a community. As well as the usual risks and challenges of searching for gold and living without the resources and protection of an established town, they are in danger from Leah’s uncle, who is searching for her. He wants to use her magical ability to detect gold and does not care who gets hurt in the process.

Like a River Glorious is tense and eventful, and I ended reading it all in a day. The writing is vivid and lovely, and the historical details are just fascinating. Legally, Leah’s uncle has a right to control her and everything she owns - which is terrifying for her - but there are others in the goldfields who suffer from far worse treatment than she does. I like the way Carson uses Leah’s story to highlight these abuses of power and raise questions about land ownership, privilege and injustice.
Leah’s ability with gold becomes a much more central part of the story, too, and Leah discovers she doesn’t yet know the extent of what she can do.

If I had had the third book at hand, I would have picked it up immediately.

When he gazes down at me, he looks just like the boy I grew up with. But he’s changed so much this last year, it’s like a stitch in my side. Like I’ve lost part of him. We’ve changed together, I reckon. We’re still best friends, for sure and certain, but there are parts of Jefferson McCauley and Leah Westfall that are long gone, dropped like so much baggage in the land we left behind, or maybe scattered like seeds across the continent. ( )
  Herenya | Jan 1, 2018 |
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After her harrowing journey west to California, Lee Westfall has finally found a new home, one rich in gold, thanks to her magical power, a power that seems to be changing every day. But this home is rich in other ways, too: with friends who are searching for a place to be themselves, just as she is, and with love. Jefferson, her longtime best friend, hasn't stopped trying to win her heart. And Lee is more and more tempted to say yes. But her uncle Hiram hasn't given up his quest to get Lee and her power under his control. When she's kidnapped and taken to him, Lee sees firsthand the depths of her uncle's villainy. Yet Lee's magic is growing. Gold no longer simply sings to her, it listens. It obeys her call. Is it enough to destroy her uncle once and for all?… (more)

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