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The Ale Boy's Feast

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  • Posted June 13, 2011


    Summary: In the land of the Expanse there were four great kingdoms. These kingdoms hailed their ancestry from one ancient group of refugees from the land of the curse, which was beyond the forbidding wall. Now, the kingdoms are being destroyed by various enemies and their citizens are once again becoming refugees. Under Abascar's King, Calraven, a group of refugees begin to search for the lost city of Inius Throan, and with the help of the Ale boy and a girl with magical powers they hope to defeat their enemies and give hope to the peoples of the Expanse.

    This is the last chapter in Jeffrey Overstreet's series, "Auralia Thread." Since I had not read any of the previous books I was wondering if I would be able to enjoy the story. Well, I did enjoy the story. It was exciting, adventurous, and left me wondering, "what's next" most of the time.

    However, the story was not all that it could have been, so here is a short list of some dissatisfying flaws:

    1. The end. Overstreet concludes the story quickly, too quickly, I think. Conclusions should not be stretched out, but they should also draw out enough detail to give the reader the opportunity to savor the end of the story. The ending does not give us much to savor. In fact, I felt somewhat cheated by the ending, because it was not enough. Not all loose ends tied up, which is fine as long as some of them are (or if none of them are, then there needs to be good reason).

    2. Unnecessary deaths. I think too many of the interesting characters were killed off. Maybe I'm short-sighted here, I don't know. Authors should be ready to kill their characters, but for the right reasons. There need to be compelling reasons for the deaths of good characters. They must move the story forward and/or add something important to the story. I'm not sure all the deaths were warranted.

    3. Writing characteristics. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions in the writing. Overstreet uses many good words and creates pictures and sounds and smells and etc. This was good. But he used repetition and alliteration too often. These devices are usually better left to poetry or used only when there is compelling reason to do so in narrative story-telling. I'm not quite sure why this is so, but it is so. Maybe it's because the use of repetition, alliteration, and other similar literary tools, can cause the reader to bounce out of the story; certain literary tools can jostle a reader out of his imagination. Maybe?

    4. Predictable. At times the author made it far too easy for me to see what was coming. This was not done too often, but when it was it did hurt the story.

    The story was good and compelling, but it could have been better, is the argument of this reviewer.

    I received this book free from the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Reaed this series on order

    The Ale Boy's Feast is actually part of a series. Knowing this I feel readers would benefit from starting at the beginning with Auralia's Colors. Many references are made which I am sure I would have understood had I read the first books in this series.

    With that being said, was it well written? Yes. Did it keep me interested? It did, but I found myself reading pages over and over again due to the lack of fluidity in the writing. The parts that were fluid were mastered beautifully and took me away to another place entirely.

    Basically, read this series and order and you will find it much more enjoyable!

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