Historical Fiction has always been a huge hit or miss for me — particularly in the YA genre. While I am partial to half-naked highlander romances, I don’t always enjoy something with little romance, and little-to-no fantasy. For these reasons, I had mixed feelings about this particular novel.
In the first book in the series, Lee decides to venture out West to not only escape her uncle, but to put her gold-finding ability to good use. Along the way, she reconnects with her childhood best friend, Jefferson, and makes a slew of friends whom she begins to consider family. In this second installment, Lee and her makeshift family made it to California and are beginning to choose their land and develop a settlement. Unfortunately, her Uncle Hiram also makes the trip to California, and will not stop until Lee is in his clutches.
Like all of Rae Carson’s books, “Like a River Glorious” is beautifully written. Although I have never been to California, she manages to paint a beautiful picture of the landscape. She writes in such a way that all of the characters are easy to picture, and Lee as a narrator is clever and easy to relate to. She is a strong heroine—not a damsel in distress—definitely something that endears readers to her character.
The romance in this novel, like in the first novel, is almost nonexistent. While it is a bit more present, it still takes the back burner. The story doesn’t suffer as a result, however, I miss the romance at times. “Like a River Glorious” is by no means action packed as Lee spends the majority of her time plotting and scheming. Unfortunately, the pace is a bit slow, and detracts from the reader’s enjoyment of the book.
My Takeaway: “Like a River Glorious” is a mixed bag for me—although I love the author’s writing style and connect with the female lead, the pace and lack of romance put me off a bit. Because it didn’t end on a cliffhanger, I’m not sure if I will purchase the next book in the series—I don’t know that I feel the need to continue reading about these characters.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars