Lee Westfall has a gift she must keep hidden: she can sense gold. Due to a tragedy, she must dress like a boy and flee west to California to join her best friend Jefferson and stake their claim in the California Gold Rush. Lee must face racism, hunger, thieves, disease, mountains, sexism, the desert — all while being hunted down by her evil uncle. Lee is delightfully pragmatic, capable and a pleasure to read!
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.
“Simply terrific—tense and exciting, while gently and honestly addressing the brutal hardships of the westward migration. …[Leah] takes center stage as a smart, resourceful, determined, and realistic heroine who embodies the age-old philosophy that it isn’t what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
“Lee…is a smart, feisty, and likable protagonist who encounters all the hardships one would expect on the arduous journey West…the fast-paced plot, a hint of mild romance, and the added element of fantasy make this stand out.”
“Carson is known for her world-building and strong female characters and she handles everything with carefully constructed, well-researched aplomb. It’s a book that illuminates an important segment of American history…sustaining YA interest through adventure, fantasy, and romance.”
“With an organically diverse cast, three-dimensional characters, a vividly evoked setting, and the lightest touch of romance, Carson’s novel captures the trepidation and exhilaration of journeying into the unknown.”
“An empowering and powerful read perfect for one who enjoyed history and adventure. …Carson takes us on a wild wagon journey peppered with drama and mystery.”
“Pure storytelling gold. …The author capably crosses genres and breaks stereotypes, and the result is an absorbing adventure that only hints at the thrills that will surely come in the next two books.”
“Carson’s world-building skills are extraordinary…The author paints an early America that is teeming with people from an array of backgrounds and beliefs-the diversity of the characters is as integral to the plot of the book as it was to shaping the United States.”
“Lee is an ambitious, generous, kind and scrappy character…Fans of Carson’s work will enjoy this road-trip-turned-Western, and newcomers will love the flair she brings to her characters and settings.”
“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.”