Friday, November 10, 2017

Saturday #Review - Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson #YALit #Fantasy

Series: Gold Seer Trilogy # 3
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Historical

The stunning conclusion to Rae Carson’s New York Times–bestselling Gold Seer trilogy, which Publishers Weekly in a starred review called “Simply terrific.” A historical fantasy brimming with magic, romance, and adventure—perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah Maas, and Westworld.

Leah Westfall, her fiancé Jefferson, and her friends have become rich in the California Territory, thanks to Lee’s magical ability to sense precious gold. But their fortune has made them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Lee and her friends decide they’ve had enough—they will fight back with all their power and talents. Lee’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter the California landscape forever. With a distinctive young heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure, bringing the Gold Seer Trilogy to its epic conclusion. Includes a map and an author’s note. 

Into the Bright Unknown, by Rae Carson, is the third and final installment in the authors Gold Seer Trilogy. Set in 1850 California, shortly before it became a US state, Leah Westfall and her friends have made a small fortune and created their own unique town called Glory. Leah is known as the Golden Goddess because of her talent to feel gold. She's also gotten stronger with her talent since she arrived in Glory. The issue, however, is that Leah was promised a charter by one James Henry Hardwick after she took down her own Uncle who kidnapped and kept her drugged.

Hardwick has other ideas which brings Leah & crew to San Francisco. One could say that this story is where the villain gets the best of Leah at every single angle. The villain even has a woman who knows exactly what is going to happen next which pretty much puts all of Leah plans in the garbage bin. 
Then all of a sudden, Leah comes up with a Sting like plan to bring Hardwick and his people down. The way this book ends is in a curious way. You see, Carson chose not to reveal what was happening until everything was in fact finished. She kept readers in the dark and later chose to do a blow by blow description of who was responsible for what aspect of the Sting.   

If you know me at all, or have followed my reviews, you know how much I love authors who write historical fiction. Especially historical fiction westerns. Carson does a most excellent job in describing the environment that these gold rushers faced when they came to California. In the previous two installments, Carson literally put Leah and her group through hell and back again in their travels across country
Rae Carson is a social justice writer who isn't afraid of digging deep into the sexism, racism, and down right awful treatment that migrant workers faced during this period. 

I am a firm believer that no teacher or politician should ever alter history in any way in order to scrub over the bad things that have happened in this country since its inception. The only way we, as a country, can move forward is when everyone understands our past so we can move together into the future. One of the most ignorant laws of all time is one where neither Leah, because she is a woman, nor her fiance Jefferson, son of a Irish man, and Cherokee woman, are unable to own any property. If you haven't heard of Coverture before, it basically means that any woman who is married is considered to be under the husbands protection and authority. In Jefferson's case, he can't own property which makes things really twisted when it comes to their happy ever after. Thankfully, these ridiculous laws have since been done away with. 

I don't want to give the impression that I didn't like this book. I did. I just felt as though the first book was the standard barer for the entire series. This is like watching the movie The Sting. You have a villain who is basically untouchable being confronted by a diverse caste of characters who have everything to lose. HEA? Yep

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