by Jeffrey Overstreet
(Book 1 in The Auralia Thread Series )
Book web site: http://lookingcloser.org/auralia/default.htm
Jeffrey Overstreet Author blog: http://lookingcloser.wordpress.com/
Blog Tour - Day 1
Jeffrey Overstreet has managed to weave colorful words and descriptions into a story tapestry. Auralia is found as a baby on the Throanscall River by Krawg and Warney - two Abascar outcasts called Gatherers - and raised as their daughter. Years before, the Queen reserved colors for all but the privileged few living within the city walls. Everyone else must wear or own muted colors. Their world has devolved into shades of gray or brown.
Within Abascar City colors denote status and citizens will go to incredible lengths to earn colored 'honor stripes'. Ouside the city walls, gatherers are limited to browns and grays. Wearing other colors without royal permission results in arrest and stays in the dungeon. Free spirit Auralia finds colors in everything she sees and creates beautiful gifts for the poor gatherers in her village - a red yellow scarf, a pillow, all created from colorful forest treasures.
At first read this preoccupation with color seemed odd, but Overstreet pulls it all together into a masterful story. City officials and Abascar's rich manage to drape themselves with brilliant colors so that other's would know their importance. This seemed a strong allegory for extravagent displays of wealth and power in our world. Instead of colors, our world's rich and powerful use money and expensive items for the trappings of their importance.
Overstreet weaves a picture of a world both beautiful and foreboding at once. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the world of the Expanse may soon find the true beauty of the Keeper's world outside the city gates.
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