Monday, January 21, 2008

Jeffrey Overstreet
(Book 1 in The Auralia Thread Series )

Book web site:

Jeffrey Overstreet Author blog:

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.

Participants’ Links:

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...

You had a good point over at my review. I do think the story was brought together in the end, but It took me a while to find that cohesion, something I always find annoying

Valerie Comer said...

I thought Overstreet juxtaposed the two sides well: the drabness of the Gatherers' lives even while surrounded by color in nature--royalty can't decree nature into submission!

Robert Treskillard said...


I hadn't thought about the colors of the royalty representing the materialistic elements of our own society, so that is very insightful.

I also like how you said "the world of the Expanse may soon find the true beauty of the Keeper's world outside the city gates". It was interesting how at the end of the book when the "housefolk" are forced to travel outside that they are surprised that it wasn't all bogs and thorns. They had believed a lie about, as you say, "The Keeper's world".

Your mention of the dungeon made me think about how well written those scenes are, and by that I mean creepy/scary. It really was a brutal society in many ways.

I forgot to tell Becky that I was participating in the CSFF Blog tour this month, and so 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 liked your overview of the book. It made it much easier for me to understand the author's intent.

Fantasythyme said...

Thanks for visiting FantasyThyme!

I looked at the Abascar City as an allegory for our society. It looks nice on the outside, and most everyone wants in, but underneath many dark secrets are hidden away. The city dwellers blocked out and explained away The Keeper as best they could. But how long will a city - or a socity - last when the citizens turn their faces from the Lord?