The second young adult book in the Gold Seer Trilogy by Rae Carson, Like a River Glorious, is just as good as the first (Walk the Earth a Stranger).
Leah Westfall can sense gold, which makes her an invaluable person for the California goldfields in 1849. She and remnants of her wagon train have finally reached California, and Leah has picked a place for them to settle. Unfortunately, her uncle Hiram is never far away. He knows what she can do, and he’s desperate to get her under his control so that he can build a financial empire. He has no problem with kidnapping Leah and forcing her to do what he wants. Is Leah strong enough and smart enough to outfox him?
Carson has written a wonderful historical novel, with just enough fantasy in it to make it enjoyable to fantasy lovers. Her accurate depictions of mining, panning, life in the California gold fields, and the slavery of Indians will satisfy historical fiction lovers, while the idea of someone who can find and summon gold will satisfy others. Her characters are rich and multifaceted without being too analyzed. I love that Carson gives us the clues and lets us figure out characters’ motivations for ourselves. There’s romance without it being the focus of the book, and not a lot of angsty stuff going on. Recommended for high school and adult.