Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae CarsonWalk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Walk on Earth a Stranger

byRae Carson

Paperback | September 6, 2016

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A New York Times bestseller and National Book Award longlist selection

The first book in a new trilogy from acclaimed New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson. A young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold must flee her home, taking her on a sweeping and dangerous journey across Gold Rush–era America. Walk on Earth a Stranger begins an epic saga from one of the finest writers of young adult literature.

Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety? 

Rae Carson, author of the acclaimed Girl of Fire and Thorns series, dazzles with the first book in the Gold Seer Trilogy, introducing a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance, as only she can.

Title:Walk on Earth a StrangerFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.05 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:006224292X

ISBN - 13:9780062242921

If You Love Fantasy


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating read! This book was more than I could have imagined! I was so engaged with the story and the style of writing. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this. It was a tad bit slow at first, but didn't loose me. The story built nicely.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enthralling Tale Of Young Woman Experiencing The Gold Rush I loved this book. Admittedly, I had very low expectations going in, because I wasn't sure about the concept of the MC's magical abilities in a Wild West setting, but Rae Carson knows how to work magic (pun intended), because this story was one of the best I've read in a while. Carson doesn't shy away from describing the harsher, sometimes gruesome truths of the gold rush - the grueling wagon train journey, the dangers, or natural facts of life (childbirth, for example, or injuries sustained on the road). I was very impressed by this, and grateful that Carson didn't gloss over such things. Leah, the narrator of this story, is even shown to have her natural monthly bleeding, which is something YA authors - for whatever absurd reason - almost never depict. It added so much to the story by way of realism and provided a very real way for female readers to connect with Leah as they read her story. I've been pleasantly surprised by this book, and I'm itching to pick up the next title in this trilogy, Like A River Glorious. Beautifully written, engaging story, and characters I love to hate or felt an instant connection to - this book has very quickly become one of my favorites.
Date published: 2018-05-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprised by how much I loved this book. When I picked up this novel, it was half because of the hype and half because of what it was about. At first, I felt that it rushed through the action a little, which made me feel ripped off, but it wasn't long before the pace not only made sense but was also incredibly fitting. I loved this book, to the point where I was a little angry that I finished it and didn't have the next novel in the series... May have yelled "No!" out loud.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Little Slow I recommend this book. However, be forewarned that the story is slow at first. The compelling characters during the second half of the book redeem the slowness. In addition, the writing style is a little iffy. But if you love compelling characters, and symbolism that reminds you of literature, pick up this book.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A MUST READ!!! I need more stars! This book has been on my TBR shelf for a looooooong time, so long that I'd forgotten what it was actually about. Still, I dove into it knowing virtually next to nothing, and found myself swept along in a heart-wrenching adventure with characters I've come to see as family. This is without doubt one of my favourite books ever! The story is filled with adventure, treachery, shocks, tension, and drama. I was never bored and could truly feel the peril these poor characters were in. There was a healthy dose of realism to this fantasy book, which made the emotional punches all the heavier and even dragged some tears from me. The characters are wonderful. Lee is a dream heroine, with a strong heart, determination, loyalty, cleverness, and sharp wit. Honestly, ever since I finished this book, I've been telling everyone I know they need to read it. I honestly have no complaints, other than wishing I had time to keep reading non-stop! Do not miss out on this one! A must read!
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Strong Female Character Wow, this was so good, I absolutely love Leah as the main protagonist. She is such a strong female character, never wanting or expecting a man to do anything for her. I must read all the things Rae Carson has published and will publish new favorite author for sure!
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Pure Gold (See What I Did There?) I really loved this! For a few months there, YA westerns were trending and I couldn't find the time to read them! Luckily the trilogy is finished now, so I won't be worried about future release dates, and can carry on with my series! Great characters and research; I definitely would have wanted to be Lee when I was that age! Carson doesn't romanticize the gold rush, and I had no idea that the San Francisco 49'ers were related to the 1849 'rush! #learning (That has nothing to do with the plot, however. No weird futuristic American football games spontaneously are invented... in this one anyway!) Also, I would add that this is way more historical-fic than fantasy (for the 1st instalment at any rate) which surprised me given the premise, but didn't affect my overall enjoyment in the least. Happy to read on!
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Read Wasn't expecting very much when I first started this book, but by the end of it, I was completely amazed! Love it! So glad that I gave it a try. Can't wait to read the next book.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lovely writing I didn't know what this book would entail but I had no idea it would be about women and their roles back in the days where everything was unequal. It super sad sad our main character Lee had to be dressed as a boy to get anything done. There are moments where other side female characters had to defer to their husbands in every way. Like they were property and not a human being. The men and women roles in this one had me reeling! There was just so much sexism I could take. I don't know how women back then could take it. Maybe only because they didn't know any better and having equal rights was something they could never dream of. Rae's writing is just as vivid and surreal as her other trilogy which I loved so. She paints a picture of families trying to make a better place out in the west. Along the way our characters lose each other or sometimes themselves. I loved reading how much Lee changes and how strong she is to be able to do the things that she does. This is all about the journey and even though it has some magical elements, it wasn't the focus. It was about getting to the destination in one piece. I've never read about a journey to the western side of America before but Rae Carson has a way with words that gets me interested and enthralled at the same time. Excellent writing! What a wonderful journey Rae Carson has written. Her characters are so strong and independent! I loved it! A girl who has to look like a boy to make it to California and she naturally senses out gold.. I was enthralled at every page. Read this one for the journey, pick it up because of that gorgeous cover and for the mere fact that it's Rae Carson!
Date published: 2015-11-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing read Walk on Earth a Stranger is about Leah Westfall, the daughter of gold miners in Georgia, during the Gold Rush. She has the ability to divine gold from the earth and it has done her family well, though they must keep it a secret because of greedy people. However, when tragedy strikes, Leah cuts off her hair and exchanges her skirts for pants as she runs off to California and away from her home. I like Leah a lot. She's strong and hard working. She doesn't gel with the conformity of women at the time, especially after she's had a taste of the freedom when she dressed as a man. She is best friends with Jefferson McCauley, a half Cherokee boy who also runs off to California. The entire novel was basically about the journey to California and while of course, there are many problems and many trials they had to face, there wasn't a clear goal beyond getting to California. When I was reading it, I didn't realize that this was the first novel in a series, so the ending makes a bit more sense to me now. However, I still didn't like it as it left me with a sense of "nothing happened." I thought the novel would have revolved more around her powers and how it factors into her life during the period of the Gold Rush. So while I enjoyed the novel enough to read it all the way through, I wouldn't subject myself to reading the sequel. I was just kind of disappointed with this novel.
Date published: 2015-11-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historial YA with a paranormal twist = amazing! Lee Westfall can sense when she’s around gold. It’s been useful to help keep her family afloat but they have to be careful to keep her abilities a secret. When tragedy strikes and Lee is left in the care of her uncle – a man who wants to use her, control her for his own gain, she flees. She disguises herself as a boy and heads west to California, where gold was just discovered. The journey is dangerous, but if she can make it, maybe she can find safety. I fell in love with Rae Carson’s writing while reading the Fire and Thorns series so I was really excited to hear she had a new book coming out, and that it was set in the old west. With how easily she made me care about the characters in her other books, I had high expectations of the characters in this one, and they were all met. Lee was a wonderful character. She was strong, brave, sympathetic, vulnerable, and extremely likable. I liked that she started out physically strong, able to hunt, able to take care of herself, and that she was cunning. She knew some of what she needed to survive on the trail but she was also thrown into having to learn a lot more on the journey. She was doing all that while still grieving for her parents and keeping her abilities and gender a secret. There were so many wonderful side characters. Jefferon, Lee’s childhood friend and crush, was her rock. Having left for California a few days before her, finding him was Lee’s main goal and kept her motivated when it would have been easier to turn around. The people she met on the wagon train she joined were all so different. Some were more developed than others but I especially enjoyed the college boys, Major, and Lucy. Most of the book was comprised of the travel to California but it never felt slow to me. There was always something happening, or the sense that something was about to happen. The journey was treacherous and it showed. I couldn’t put it down. I liked that there were more lighthearted moments woven throughout the book as well to show that, even with all the danger, the families on the wagon train had hope of a better life. The setting and protagonist were so different from the Fire and Thorns series but this was no less addicting to read. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2015-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommend! I must confess that I firmly believe Rae Carson can do no wrong. She's a phenomenal writer who can craft stunning worlds with relatable characters without a hitch. The first in her new series proves this like her gorgeous The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy did. In essence, this is a story about a girl's journey towards a better life. The incentive is there, and the stakes are clear. I could not have hoped for a better first book in a new exciting trilogy from Rae Carson. The medley of fantastical and western elements in this novel were exquisite. Everything blended together beautifully! (Which is great because that's what initially attracted me! Who doesn't want to be able to sense gold? I sure do.) As you would expect, the research Rae Carson did for the novel--which is set during the California Gold Rush--shone through. Historical novels aren't always done right, but this one is. Lee did have to cross-dress to be able to ride alone, as the book takes place during 1849. I liked Lee. She was strong, she was brave, she was flawed. Her motive made sense as the girl could sense gold, and therefore, making her way to California during the gold rush made sense. Reading from her perspective was great and I enjoyed it! The rest of the characters in this book are also well-developed, emotionally complex people. This is just a reminder that Rae is an incredibly talented writer, no ifs, buts, or whats. She just is amazing. Walk on Earth a Stranger is filled with high stakes and lyrical prose that will set it apart from others in its genre. I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2015-09-23

Editorial Reviews

“Carson does nice work adding nuance to her side characters, showing minor evolutions that challenge the racism, sexism, and classism deeply rooted in most of the people Leah encounters…Fantasy readers will likely find Leah and her gold-sensing core to be intriguingly different than the usual heroine.”