Monday, January 21, 2008

"Auralia's Colors" by Jeffrey Overstreet on CSFF Blog Tour

Hi all:

I just finished a fascinating fantasy novel called Auralia's Colors by movie critic and all-around cultural observer Jeffrey Overstreet. You can read his commentaries and other writings here.

This book is the first in a series and is identified as "The Red Strand in the Auralia Thread." The Blue Strand is next and based on the set-up in the premier story I'm intrigued about what the blue strand will accomplish. 'Cause the Red Strand brings a society to its knees and forces it into an exile of sorts. Will the blue strand bring healing and restoration?

Auralia's Colors compares to the first book in another fantasy series by an English chap named Lewis in that a society has been cast into a perpetual winter of colorless grays and browns by a misguided queen. The Expanse is also similar to the work of a friend of that chap called Tolkien in its depiction of dark, misty woods with Beastmen creatures and an Underkeep full of tunnels and passages that only the King has the complete map for.

Overstreet tells his story from multiple points of view and readers get to see the Expanse and House Abascar and the Gatherers through Auralia's eyes. But we also get to see Auralia through the eyes and experience of the inhabitants of the Expanse. And what an impression she makes. She and her weaving and her colors.

The other main character is the unnamed ale boy, who gets closer to Auralia than anyone else and is transformed by the experience. And he is perhaps thus prepared to handle the life-changing revelation he receives about himself at the end of this first tale and turn it into a means for heroism.

I wasn't intending for today's post to be more than informational to kick off this month's Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy (CSFF) Blog tour, but such is the impact of the book that it's hard not to write about it!

In any case, here are the other particpants in the tour. Take a moment to visit them to hear more of this remarkable opening novel in what may turn into an epic series.

Brandon Barr
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Timothy Hicks
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Mike Lynch
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Pamela Morrisson
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Deena Peterson
Steve Rice
Cheryl Russel
Ashley Rutherford
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Rachelle Sperling
Donna Swanson
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise




John (Grasping for the Wind) said...

Interesting comparison to Lewis. That hadn't occurred to me.

Valerie Comer said...

Auralia did make quite a main character, didn't she! And, like you, I was amazed we could go the whole story and not know the name of the ale boy. I'll have an interview up Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'd say you did a fine job kicking the tour off with this post. I love reading what other people thought, especially about this one since it is a sharp turn away from what people seem to expect from Christian fantasy. THIS is the real deal, in my opinion.


Robert Treskillard said...

My thought is that the next book will show Exiled Abascar fighting for their lives against Cent Regus, and maybe healing at the end of the third book. That is assuming that their are three books ... I guess I am just assuming! Does anyone know? I think I need to check out Jeffrey Overstreet's blog.

Hey, I forgot to tell Becky that I was participating in the CSFF Blog tour this month, and so I am not on the list of participants. If you have time, take a look at my review of the book on my blog.


Mike Lynch said...

I also liked your comparison to Tolkien and Lewis. I made a similar commentary in my review.

Kait said...

That irritated me, just at the end when you thought you were going to get Ale Boy's name, and you didn't. AAAAHHH!!! Hopefully he'll appear in the rest of the series.

Sojourner said...

I also thought it was interesting that the ale boy was never named and how Auralia started off as river girl until the time that knowing her name carried some impact. I guess we will have to wait until the next book to find out ale boy's name.

Donna said...

It is so enjoyable reading so many diverse and enlightening opinions on the same book! I look forward to reading the rest of the reviews as the blog progresses.
Now, if I can read those verification letters with eyes blurred with so much reading, maybe this will see the light of day!

hrh said...

Thanks all for your comments on a great book. I enjoyed this month's CSFF tour. A great venue for discussing a great book. Looking forward to the rest of Overstreet's tale.