Auralia's Colors [NOOK Book]

Overview

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.
 
Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors ...
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Auralia's Colors

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Overview

When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history.
 
Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling–and forbidden–talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets.
 
Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse.
 
Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Inside an oversized footprint within a forest rests an abandoned child. Rescued by a pair of thieves, the little girl named Auralia grows up in a community of exiled convicted criminals. As she matures into a young woman, she manifests a forbidden talent to transform simple things into enchanting arrays of colors. Eventually, this seemingly frivolous talent shakes the kingdom itself. A debut fantasy worthy of an adept.
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly (Review, 7/16)
Film critic and author Overstreet (Through a Screen Darkly) offers a powerful myth for his first foray into fiction. The kingdom of Abascar is cloaked in gloom, sentenced to an ongoing “wintering” by a jealous queen, in which colors have been done away with and are only allowed in the royal court. But young Auralia, found as a baby by the river and raised by outcasts, has a talent for finding colors everywhere and bringing them to life in a way no one has ever seen before. The fate of the kingdom rests on what Auralia chooses to do and how the king responds. Overstreet creates a world with not only its own geography but its own vocabulary — it is haunted by beastmen, home to cloudgrasper trees, vawns (something like dinosaurs) and twister fish. ... Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told. Readers will be hungry for the next installment.

“Through word, image, and color Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in. Auralia's Colors sparkles.”
Janet Lee Carey, award-winning author of The Beast of Noor and Dragon's Keep

“Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy, Auralia’s Colors, and its heroine’s cloak of wonders take their power from a vision of art that is auroral, looking to the return of beauty, and that intends to restore spirit and and mystery to the world. The book achieves its ends by the creation of a rich, complex universe and a series of dramatic, explosive events.”
Marly Youmans, author of Ingledove and The Curse of the Raven Mocker

“In Auralia’s Colors, Overstreet masterfully extends the borders of imagination. Whereas so many writers sacrifice characterization for plot or substitute weirdness for substance, Overstreet does neither. His characters are richly crafted but still recognizably human, and therefore, inhabitable. This story is wild and intricate tale, a high-octane full-throttle fantasy. Fasten your seat belts.”
Gina Ochsner, author of The Necessary Grace to Fall and People I Wanted to Be

“The late John Gardner said that a good story should unfold like a vivid and continuous dream. With Auralia's Colors, Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted just such a story, one that will leave readers ready to dream with him again.”
John Wilson, Editor, Books & Culture

“Jeffrey Overstreet weaves myth and reality, hope and loss into his tapestry, and he ties off The Red Strand with a cataclysmic flourish.”
Kathy Tyers, author of the Firebird trilogy and Shivering World


“Welcome to the land of the fangbear, the muckmoth, and the Midnight Swindler. To a story brimming with lovely literary rewards and a cast of characters by turn loathsome and hilarious, winsome and mysterious. It’s not often one gets to be present at the birth of a classic, but Auralia’s Colors is that kind of storytelling. A true delight on so many levels.”
Clint Kelly, author of the Sensations Series: Scent, Echo, and Delicacy

“In this new fantasy novel Auralia’s Colors, Jeff Overstreet weaves together a wide cast of compelling characters and an intriguing story in the setting of a world both imaginative and arresting–a world phantastic in both old and new meanings of that word.  Readers will care what happens both to the characters of the tale (all of them) as well as to the realm of Abascar itself, and will not want to put this book down.”   
Matthew Dickerson, co-author of From Homer to Harry Potter: a Handbook of Myth and Fantasy and Ents, Elves, and Eriador: the Environmental Vision of J.R.R.Tolkien

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307446206
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/20/2008
  • Series: Auralia Thread
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 585,252
  • File size: 658 KB

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Overstreet lives in two worlds. By day, he writes about movies at LookingCloser.org and in notable publications like Christianity Today, Paste, and Image. His adventures in cinema are chronicled in his book Through a Screen Darkly. By night, he composes new stories found in fictional worlds of his own. Living in Shoreline, Washington, with his wife, Anne, a poet, he is a senior staff writer for Response Magazine at Seattle Pacific University. Auralia’s Colors is his first novel.
.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Old Thieves Make a Discovery

Auralia lay still as death, like a discarded doll, in a burgundy tangle of rushes and spineweed on the bank of a bend in the River Throanscall, when she was discovered by an old man who did not know her name.

She bore no scars, no broken bones, just the stain of inkblack soil. Contentedly, she cooed, whispered, and babbled, learning the river’s language, and focused her gaze on the stormy dance of evening sky–roiling purple clouds edged with blood red. The old man surmised she was waiting and listening for whoever, or whatever, had forsaken her there.

Those fevered moments of his discovery burnt into the old man’s memory. In the years that followed, he would hold and turn them in his mind the way an explorer ponders relics he has found in the midst of ruin. But the mystery remained stubbornly opaque. No matter how often he exaggerated the story to impress his fireside listeners–“I dove into that ragin’ river and caught her by the toe!” “I fought off that hungry river wyrm with my picker-staff just in time!”–he found no clue to her origins, no answers to questions of why or how.

The Gatherers, House Abascar, the Expanse–the whole world might have been different had he left her there with riverwater running from her hair. “The River Girl”–that was what the Gatherers came to call her until she grew old enough to set them straight. Without the River Girl, the four houses of the Expanse might have perished in their troubles. But then again, some say that without the River Girl those troubles might never have come at all.

This is how the spark was struck.

A ruckus of crows caught Krawg’s attention as he groped for berries deep in a bramble. He and Warney, the conspirator with whom he had been caught thieving so many years ago, were laboring to pay their societal debts to House Abascar. The day had been long, but Krawg’s spirits were high. No officers had come to reckon their work and berate them. Not yet. Tired of straining for latesummer apples high in the boughs of ancient trees, they had put down their picker-staffs and turned to plucking sourjuice and jewelweed bushes an applecore’s throw from the Throanscall.

Warney was preoccupied, trying to free his thorn-snagged sleeves and leggings.

So Krawg smiled, dropped his harvesting sack, and crept away to investigate the cause of the birds’ cacophony. He hoped to find them eying an injured animal, maybe a broad-antlered buck he could finish off and present to the duty officers. That would be a prize grand enough to deserve preparation in King Cal-marcus’s kitchens. Such a discovery might bring Krawg closer to the king’s grace and a pardon.

“Aw, will you look at that?” Krawg flexed his bony fingers. The feathered curmudgeons flapped at the air over the riverbank, their gaze fixed on a disturbance in the grass.

“Now, hold on!” called his even bonier friend. “Whatcha got there? Wait for me!” Twigs snapped and fabric ripped, but Warney made no progress. “Speak up now, what’re them flappers squawkin’ over? Are beastmen coming to kill us?”

“Stop spookin’, fraidy-brain,” Krawg growled, and then he gusted air through his nostrils. “There won’t be no beastman savages out here in the afternoon.”

“What is it then? Merchants?”

“No merchants.”

“Is it a swarm of stingers?”

“Nope.”

“A fangbear? River wyrms? Bramblepigs?”

“Don’t think so.”

“Some young buster sneakin’ up behind us? Come on now. What’s got them birds so bothered?”

According to his nature, Krawg tossed back a lie. “They’re just fightin’ over a mess of reekin’ twister fish they snatched out of the shallows.” Groundwater closed over his feet as he made his way through the reeds on the riverbank. Increasingly perturbed by the way Krawg was stalking their target, the crows descended to the branch of a stooping cottonbeard tree and pelted him with insults.

As Krawg combed the grasses for an answer, Warney at last emerged from the trees with worry in his one good eye, gripping as if it were a hunting spear the long, clawed picker-staff he had used all day to drag down the higher appleboughs.

Warney seemed barely more than a skeleton wrapped in loose flesh and a rough burlap cloak. “What are they fussin’ about now if they’ve gone and eaten their fill?”

Krawg’s vulturebeak nose twitched in the middle of the few undisciplined whiskers that grew where a mustache did not. He leaned forward, apprehensive, and saw not a pile of fish bones but two tiny pink hands reaching into the air.

“One of the fish has got hands!” gasped Warney.

“Shush now! It isn’t a pile of fish.” Krawg took hold of the appleknife in his pocket. “Whatever it is, it’s harmless, I’m sure.”

Warney glanced back at the woods. “Don’t forget to watch for you-knowwho. Duty officers’ll haul us in, bottom ’n’ blockhead, if they catch us messin’ with anything other than them berries. They’ll ride their stinkin’ lizards right through here soon. Come on now…there’s a nice bramble just back here. You don’t want the duty to string us up in the hangers, do ya?”

“Good creepin’ Cragavar forest, of all the bloody wonders I ever seen…

Looky!” The braver Gatherer flipped his black hood back from his hairless head and bent to examine the child. Warney remained where he was. “Krawg, you’re givin’ me the shut-mouth again. What is it, old boy?”

“Just a creepin’, crawlin’ baby, it is.” Krawg massaged the flab beneath his chin. “Mercy, Warney, look at her.”

“It’s a her? How do you know?”

“Well, howdaya think I know?” Krawg reached for the child, then thought better of it. “Warney, this must mean somethin’. You and me…findin’ this.”He scanned the spaces between trees on both sides of the mist-shrouded river and confirmed that the only witnesses were crows and a tailtwitcher that clung upside down to the trunk of a birch.

Warney splashed into the river shallows and prodded the submerged ground with his picker-staff before each step. The weeds around his ankles whispered hushhh…hushhh…hushhh.

The child convulsed twice. She coughed up droplets of water. And then she made a sound that might have been a laugh.

“Now that’s odd.” Krawg gestured to the child’s tiny head. “She got brown and silver hairs. She’s seen at least two seasons, I’d say. Probably born before that hard freeze we had awhile back.”

“Yeah, gotta ’gree with ya there.” Warney’s eye was white as a sparrow’s egg in the shadows of his hood.

“And she’s not the spawn of those beastmen. Everything about her seems like a good baby girl, not some accursed cross between person and critter. Looks like she’s been fed and looked after too…well, until she got tossed into the river, I suppose.”

“Gotta ’gree with ya there.”Warney now leaned over the child, swaying like a scarecrow in the wind. “She’s better fed than any of us Gatherers…or crows, for that matter.”

The crows were quiet, watching, picking at their sharp toes. Krawg knelt and took to picking at his toes as well, poking at yellow places, which meant he was thinking hard. “We’re too far east of House Bel Amica for her to belong to them proud and greedy folk. But how could she be from our good House Abascar? Folk from Abascar only step out of the house walls if
King Cal-marcus tells ’em to. Too scared of beastmen, they are…these days.”

“Gotta ’gree with ya there.”

“Do you always gotta ’gree with me there?!” Krawg snatched the pickerstaff from Warney’s hands and clubbed his hooded head. Warney jumped away, growled, and bared his teeth. Krawg tossed the staff aside and rose up like a bear answering the challenge of a rat. Warney, like a rat realizing he has awakened a bear, fled back toward the quiet woods.

“Now don’t you get it in your head to leave me here with this orphan,” Krawg called, “or I’ll rip that patch off your dead eye!”

“Have ya thought…”Warney paused, turned, and clasped his head with both hands, as if trying to stretch his mind to accommodate a significant thought. “Has it occurred to ya that… Do ya think…”

“Speak, you rangy crook!”

“Oh ballyworms, Krawg! What if she’s a Northchild?”

Krawg stumbled back a step and narrowed his eyes at the infant. The tailtwitcher, the crows, and even the river seemed to quiet at Warney’s question.

But Krawg at last shook off worry. “Don’t shovel that vawn pile my way, Warney.You been eatin’ too much of Yawny’s stew, and your dreams are gettin’ to you. Only crazies think Northchildren are actual. There’s no such thing.”

They watched the baby’s hands sculpt shapes in the air. “And anyway,” Krawg continued, glancing northward at the sky purpling over the jagged mountains of the Forbidding Wall, “everybody knows Northchildren are taller, and they drape blankets over themselves.”

Nearby, branches broke with sharp echoes as something moved in the woods.

“Grab for a weapon,” hissed Warney, “because I smell prowling beastmen!”

“Doubtful,” said Krawg, but he bent his knees and sank into the grass.

“Duty officers then!”

In case their overseers were, in fact, looking for them, Krawg shouted, “We better get back to the patches, Warney! I sure don’t see any berries out here.”

He lifted Warney’s picker-staff and marched to join his friend in the trees. But Warney seemed stuck, as though the girl had tossed a rope and snared his ankle. “You know what they say. If a man leaves a good deed undone, Northchildren will come creepin’ at night and drag him off into the curse of the–”

“I’m not scared of you, butt-guster,” Krawg whispered. “Now hush before anybody hears you!” The girl, aware that she was alone again, began to murmur as if talking with someone they could not see. The Gatherers watched her clap her tiny hands.

A crow took wing from the cottonbeard tree and made a wide circle over the child’s bed.
“They want that fresh meat,” Krawg observed. Warney nodded. “Gotta ’gree with ya…” His mouth snapped shut, and he winced.

Krawg loosed a weary sigh, waved a scornful gesture at the birds, and returned to kneel beside the baby. Warney hopped back to peer over Krawg’s shoulder. “What’s that she’s lyin’ in? That isn’t a sinkhole.”

“No, somebody carved out this hole with their hands.”

“Not with their hands, no. Look, Krawg…toes. This Northchild’s lyin’ in a footprint!”

Warney’s grin signified a victory. “Gotta disagree with ya there!”

The child had gone quiet and still. And that was what Krawg would remember for the rest of his troubled life–the moment when her eyes gathered sunset’s burning hues and flickered with some element he had never seen; the way she rested, as though commanded to surrender by some voice only she could hear; the way he clenched his jaw, made his decision.

A wave of wind carried a few slow leaves, a shower of twirling seedpods from the violet trees, spiders on newly flung strands, and a hint of distant music–the Early Evening Verse sung by the watchman of House Abascar to mark the dusk of the day.

“Oh, our backs are strapped now. They’ll string us upside down for certain. It’s late, and we’re bound to be found missin’.”Warney’s eye rolled to fix on the sun’s fading beacons. “Let’s turn the baby over to the first officer we see, and maybe–”

“What do you think a duty officer sees when he looks at us, Warney? I’m the Midnight Swindler, and you’re the One-Eyed Bandit! They’ll say we swiped this baby from somewhere. We already been punished for our thievin’.

They made us live outside the walls as Gatherers, and there’s only one shelf in the pantry lower than that: the dungeons.” Krawg threw the picker-staff down– splack!–against the wet ground. “I can’t hand her over, but I can’t leave her either. If I do, some officer’ll ride through here and stomp her into the ground. We’ve got to take her. And hide her.”

“Ballyworms!”Warney shuddered. “You ’n’ me ’n a Northchild ’n’ all!” A commotion erupted just south of the marsh. First came a three-toned bellow, which the Gatherers recognized as the complaint of a vawn, one of the duty officers’ reptilian steeds. Then came the din of crushed bracken and shaken trees. It was certainly an officer come to measure their progress.

Krawg bent low and lifted the naked child by the arms. “She’s harmless. Didn’t cast no spell on me. Didn’t drag me off into darkness. She isn’t a Northchild! There’s no such thing.”

“Well, let’s hurry it up then,” said Warney, grinning in spite of his fear.

A few minutes later Krawg and Warney reached the shelter of thatched grass roofs and crooked mud walls in the woods just outside House Abascar’s boundary.There, the kinder sort among the Gatherers would tend to the River Girl’s needs and protect her from the dangerous sort.

Warney clapped a hand over his mouth, muffling a laugh. “Don’t it bring back memories, Krawg? Sneakin’ off with treasure like this?”

“Warney,” Krawg replied, “we’ve never, never lifted treasure like this.” Krawg and Warney weren’t punished for carrying back the child. But they were “strung up in the hangers” and dangled from their ankles there a full day, scraping the filthy gutters of their vocabulary, when it was discovered they had returned without their designated picker-staffs.

Meanwhile, at the river’s edge, water seeped from the soil into the footprint, turned to mud, and solidified. A mist rose, hovered over the place, then wisped away without wind to carry it. It would remain a mystery and a memory to the three men who had found it there–the two troubled Gatherers and one other.

Just after Krawg and Warney had absconded with the child, a solitary rider emerged from the trees and sighted that damp impression in the grass.

The young rider, small and eager, dismounted and studied the outline even as it began to fade. He pulled from the earth a riverstone and touched the face of it with his fingertips, where a dull magic blurred. The stone’s color warmed, and it softened to clay under his touch.

Sensing the magic, the crows on the cottonbeard branch shrieked and scattered.

The boy etched a mark in the stone as similar to the contours of the footprint as he could–a sculpture, an equivalent. Then he walked up and down the banks awhile, surveying the soil. When the vawn snorted impatiently, he returned and climbed back into his ornate saddle. The two-legged steed stomped off, happy to head away from the water and into the trees.

No one knew of the rider’s visit to the river. No one saw the record of his discovery, which he kept like a clue to a riddle. And he locked his questions up tight for fear of troubling the volatile storms within the heart of his father, the king.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(26)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(10)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 91 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2014

    Poetic World In spite of not really liking the book all that muc

    Poetic World
    In spite of not really liking the book all that much, I have to admit that the world is poetically interesting. The characters and story are unusual. I liked the foundation of the story and world, but I couldn't engage with the magical realism. For example, I read it several years ago, but it still bothers me that Auralia's leaf shoes were green, or that she used flower petals for clothes. As a kid who played with making things out of whatever weeds grew in the lot next door, I know how fast leaves turn brown. I simply couldn't participate in the poetry of the fantasy. At the same, I think it says something that I still think about the novel years later.
    If you read a sample and it doesn't draw you in, then you might have some of the same problems I had with the story. I felt that the lyrical quality of the prose was consistent from beginning to end. It feels seeped with meaning, somewhat like The Scarlet Letter.
    Auralia is not a character that you get close to. It's not really her story. It's more the story of those affected by her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    A fan now....

    I can't stop thinking about this series ever since my friend loaned me the first one. Now she has passed it on to another friend and I am reading the 3rd book in the series. I look back and I am beginning to see that the Keeper is God and truth and Auralia is maybe an angel or Jesus to show us Gods true colors. It is very poetic and yet the people live so simply.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    Beautiful book--creative and lyrical.

    Beautiful book--creative and lyrical.

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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    Many will remember that the Bible states “the love of mone

    Many will remember that the Bible states “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil,” but the sacred text goes further than that. “Some by longing for [money] have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). Change that warning to the love of colorful things, and you have a fair summary of Jeffrey Overstreet’s debut fantasy, Auralia’s Colors.

    The people of Abascar live in browns and grays. Many years ago they gave up every bit of color they had to please the Queen, whose idea was to collect and mature the beauty of the kingdom before returning it to the people, royally blessed by her. In this way, the whole kingdom would be glorified over the other kingdoms of the Expanse. But the Queen never returned the promised honor to her people, so anyone making or finding something beautiful is required to give it to the king for storing in the vast royal vault.

    Enter an orphan with enchanting spirit and eyes for nature’s color. She sees what no one cares to see or is afraid to see due to the proclamation of colors. She weaves illegal clothing for the Gatherers who live outside the walls working off criminal sentences. If there were faeries in this world, Auralia would resemble one. She was discovered by the river in a gigantic footprint. She can infuse new color into things she holds. She rides a wildcat and observes beastmen from yards away. All she cares to do is paint her world with new life, and that could make her a criminal.

    Some modern fantasies echo Tolkien’s work with names, places, or characters that feel lifted directly from The Lord of the Rings. Auralia’s Colors echoes Tolkien in only one significant way, in the use of magic. This world is infused with natural magic. Royal soldiers ride two-legged lizards called vawns instead of horses. Black birds rise from the forest like a sheet every evening to pull up the night. Auralia can draw color out of anything she finds, making paint or dye or thread with it for her artwork. She does this by instinct and experimentation, not knowing how the colors multiply when she weaves them together.

    In a sense, she is innocent of the nature and power colors have in her world. Similarly, she is innocent of how the adults around her think. Her perspective clashes with the king’s once they finally meet each other. She is a servant of nature; he is servant to none. She would rejoice in the wonders of creation; he would control and store them. While inside a castle room, she says, “Such a small space makes people seem enormous. In the woods, everybody’s properly small.” That humility may be the essence of this recommended novel.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Beautiful!

    I stumbled upon this in a random quest for a story to capture the imagination. I'm so glad I found it and I can't wait to read more of the story in the books the follow. It is not a traditional way of story telling, but it is rich and enthralling none the less.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    Great read

    I was completely pulled in by this book. I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely buying the next one.

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    Best of the Summer Freebies!

    Another of the free books that blew me away! I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have bought this but I am so glad that I read it.
    I want to thank Mr. Overstreet for making this available to us. I will definitely be buying the next one!

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  • Posted February 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    wow

    and that bout sums it up, wow. Amazing this book will make you see thigns around you a little difrently, colors arnt just red green blue and yellow.

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  • Posted December 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A unique story of a world searching for color.

    Two Gatherer thieves find an abandoned child lying in a massive footprint near the river. They take the girl back to the village where she grows up wild and mysterious amongst the Gatherers, those unworthy of living inside the walls of House Abascar. The girl, Auralia, has a unique gift, the ability to weave breathtaking colors from the world around her. When Queen Jaralaine issues a proclamation that sends all of House Abascar into a colorless season of winter, Auralia¿s gift becomes illegal.<BR/><BR/>As Abascar¿s Winter stretches year after year Auralia grows up, nearing the age of sixteen when all enter House Abascar for the Rites of Privilege to show what gifts they might offer the kingdom. As the Rites draw near, Auralia must decide if she will go and reveal her gift to the king or if she will remain safely hidden in the forest all her days. Either way, her choice could mean the end of life as she knows it.<BR/><BR/>Auralia¿s Colors was a unique book. The writing was beautiful. I couldn¿t read it as fast as I like to read. It had many point of views, but the author brought them all together in the end in a wonderful way that fulfilled most of the plot lines, but left several dangling so that I have to read the next book to find out what happens. It was entertaining, creative, and unique. Recommended.

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  • Posted October 22, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A world to journey into

    What an interesting story Jeff has woven together through the novel of "Auralia's Colors". This is a story to set sometime aside to read and let it soak in. I will bet that this is one that would even fascinate my husband to read.<BR/><BR/>Sections in this book lost my interest, and I wanted to walk away, but I am glad that I did not because all in all it was quite an enjoyable journey and I plan to read the rest of the Threads as they present themselves.<BR/><BR/>I found the atmosphere for me was very reminiscent of Stephen Lawhead", especially his lately series including "Hood", "Scarlet", and in 2009 "Tuck".<BR/><BR/>As a Fantasy novel, this is one of those that you fall into and forget about what is real and what is not. That is one of the hardest parts for me, but once I click into the world, I do not want to leave. I'm so glad that I have "Cyndere's Midnight" that I can jump into right away.<BR/><BR/>If you enjoy Lawhead, or Toilken, or Madeleine L'Engle, I do believe that you will find enjoyment through the creative prose that is practically poetry in the writings of Jeffrey Overstreet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2008

    Excellent Book

    I could hardly put this book down. It seems different than any other fantasy I've read before. Since finishing the book I can't help but look around and see things differently. I highly recommend this book for people of all ages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    An Enchanting Fantasy Dream!

    In the heart of the woods two Gatherers Krawg and Warney hunt for berries for the House of Abascar. The sound of crows catches Krawg¿s attention. Krawg decides to investigate and he finds a small baby by the river¿s edge placed gently so no harm may come to her, in a giant footprint of a creature they do not recognize. They sneak her back to the other Gatherers careful not to attract the attention of duty officers and beastmen. And there she becomes the `River Girl¿ and is raised until she becomes old enough to let them know that her name is ¿Auralia¿. Something about Auralia is different ¿ magical even and all who know her love her and are enchanted by her. She seems not afraid of man nor beast but no one knows where she comes from. Some think she is a Northchild but others claim that can not be as there is no such thing. She weaves magical colors from things she finds in the woods and presents the Gatherers with gifts of her many colors and a cloak that she wears that just seems to come alive with color. But the colors are illegal banned by the Queen who has gathered everyone¿s treasures and stored them in caves under the castle but strange the Queen herself has disappeared, leaving the prince Cal-raven to be raised by the king Cal-marcus. But the beauty and enchantment of Auralia seems to have split the king and his son. The King feels she¿s dangerous ¿ rebellious even but the Prince feels she may have come from the ¿Keeper¿ which is also forbidden to speak of. But the King feels the Prince¿s enchantment may also interfere with his plans for the Prince to marry Stricia, Ark-robin¿s daughter. But what role is the mystery of Auralia to play in the Expanse and what is the Expanse? Enter in and meet ale boy and the part he must play, Ark-robin whose duty it is to protect the king and the prince, Scharr ben Fray the tales and magic he teaches Cal-raven and who has been banned by the king from Abascar and the Queen and find out why she has banned colors. So if you¿re a fan of fantasy such as Lord of the Rings or J.R.R. Tolkien than you¿ll love Auralia¿s Colors an awesome tale for young and old alike. Enter into the fantasy world of fangbears, river wyrms, bamble pigs and ride upon varns. As the dream world unfolds you too will be swept up and enchanted by the marvelous imagery of ¿Auralia¿s Colors¿. The author Jeffery Overstreet takes you into an awesome dream in this his first fantasy novel that is not only colorful but flows so smoothly you will not want to awaken.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    homage to Narnia

    Except for her royal court, the Queen has outlawed all colors thus the kingdom of Abascar is draped in dark gloomy grey as King Cal enforces his wife¿s decree. Two old thieves, Krawg and Warney, exiled from the House Abascar as part of paying off societal debts, notice the activity of crows by the River Throanscall. They investigate only to find a girl sleeping like she was dead inside a strange footprint. They take the River Girl who tells them her name is Auralia to their criminal community. She shows a talent to bring out the enchanting colors hidden behind the grey in everything. Her skills reach the monarch and his queen as well as the rest of the Four Great Houses of the Expanse. Will the River Girl prove the savior of the houses or their destruction although some wise philosophers point out that if she never existed, there would be nothing to save the houses from. --- The first Auralia Thread tale is a magical inspirational fairy tale fantasy that brings to life the Overstreet world filled with colorful creatures like beastmen, vawns and the enigmatic Keeper. The story line is fast-paced with an obvious homage towards Narnia. Auralia is a fascinating character who keeps the story line anchored as her re-coloring the kngdom puts her on a potentially lethal confrontation with King Cal who has implemented his wife¿s demand of a colorless realm. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2007

    Top Quality Fantasy!!

    A good fantasy story draws you in and holds you captive until the story has finished its telling. You find yourself lost in the tale, uncertain of which world you dwell in, and once it is finished, feel as if you have dined on a masterful literary feast. 'Auralia's Colors' is just such a story. Filled with magical creatures and lavish with imagery that teases the senses, 'Auralia's Colors' is more than just a story. I found allegory that paralleled Narnia and The Lord of the Rings...a richness of Heaven revealed through fantasy. And it's good stuff! This is the first in a series called Auralia's Colors...this is the Red Strand...Jeffrey is working on the Blue Strand...which I hope is to release soon. I want to go back to the Expanse and learn what happens to House Abascar and her people...to get lost in 'Auralia's Colors' once again.

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