- Page Count: 432
- Release Date: September 22, 2015
- My Rating: 4 stars
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.
The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.
So this is definitely more historical fiction than fantasy FYI. The only fantasy aspect is that the main character has the “witchy power” ability to sense gold, but that really doesn’t come into play very often.
This was mostly a story of a girl who heads west disguised as a boy and meets an assortment of typical mid-1800s characters along the way. The story reminded me a lot of Under a Painted Sky and other YA stories of girls fleeing to California for freedom. There are all the typical threats along the trail: dehydration, cholera, Indians, thieves, snakes, buffalo stampedes, etc.
I absolutely loved The Oregon Trail computer game, Little House on the Prairie, and pretty much anything to do with pioneers as a kid, so I was totally into this story! I thought it had a solid mix of characters and felt like a decently realistic portrayal of that time period (for all I know).
The romance was super slow-burn almost to the point where it’s barely there, but I suppose it just built a solid foundation for the next book. The story IS super slow moving, but I actually didn’t mind that for the most part. It’s more of a peaceful pace instead of boring. The author did a great job of capturing the main character’s voice and the setting! So I like where this is heading overall and will totally check out the next book!