No spoilers in this rapid review of Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. I give it 4 stars.
I love history and therefore when an author like Rae Carson weaves a fictional character through real historical events, you get a book that I thoroughly enjoy. But how could one make it even better? Add a little fantasy of course! That’s just what Ms. Carson did in Walk on Earth a Stranger.
This tale, set in 1849, during the California gold rush, chronicles the adventures and tragedies of Leah Westfall as she makes her way across the United States to a land that promises gold beyond measure. But Leah has a secret: she can sense the presence of gold. There are many that would covet such a gift, even kill for it. When everything is ripped away from Leah, she sets off toward California on her own. She must join a wagon train, pretending to be a boy, and suffer the hardships of life on the trail, all the while watching her back for those that hunt her.
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Leah’s gift helps her along the way as she learns to trust her new friends and work together to survive the long trek. The ending was abrupt, but I think we will see much more conflict and adventure in the books to come. This first volume of the series is mostly about the journey and all of the struggles along the way. The thing that intrigued me was the fact that many years ago people really did make this grueling trip, seeking a better life. Many died along the way, troubles were numerous, prejudice abounded, and sacrifices were made. Leah’s story was a great way for me to experience that life, if only for a moment, as I read Ms. Carson’s well-researched narrative. I look forward to book two to find out where Leah’s gift will lead her next.
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