Book Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

walkearthstrangerWalk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Published by Greenwillow Books on September 22, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Historical, Fantasy

Pages: 436 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

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.


Ever since Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson was released I’d been hearing mixed reviews about it. When I discovered it at my local bookstore I just couldn’t pass up a good deal so I decided to give it a shot. Turns out I really enjoyed it. Mixing history and magic will always pull me in and this Gold Rush era story of Lee Westfall’s had plenty of drama to keep me enthralled.

My favorite part of this book was Lee Westfall aka Leah. She dealt with such severe loss and loneliness pushing forward despite all the obstacles that lay before her. Lee did whatever it takes yet still held to a strong moral compass along the way. Her friendship with Jackson was endearing and he held such a solid presence in Lee’s life. I loved their scenes together. The wagon caravans also held a myriad of personalities that brought more life to the story.

The history aspects always get me and this one totally appealed to my fascination with pioneer life from reading Little House on the Prairie when I was younger. Carson gets the perilous journey of crossing the country so right. From buffalo stampedes to the many diseases, the rigors of going west are on full display. Adding depth to the story was the focus on the biases of that era especially concerning women and Native Americans.

I do have a few complaints about this one though. Lee’s gold sensing abilities introduced straight off take a back seat for most of the book, which felt off since it’s the main premise of the book. I do hope that the next installment really explores these powers. I also thought there was a lot of drag during the middle of the book and just wanted a little more from the overall story.

Overall I was pulled in by Lee’s story and truly enjoyed Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson. It had everything you’d expect from a journey west yet was still captivating. With a wide range of characters and a little magic along the way I couldn’t help but love it. This book may not be for everyone but if you love historical fantasy then I would highly recommend giving this a shot.

So have you read Walk on Earth a Stranger? Do you enjoy stories about trekking west? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

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