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.
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Heather R. Hunt
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here
John W. Otte
Monday, January 21, 2008