Auraliaâ€™s Colors by Jeffrey Overstreet
Waterbrook Press (September 2007)
An infant is discovered in the midst of uninhabited forest land where the Gatherers collect necessities for those inside the walls of House Abascar. An elusive force draws two of them to forsake their harvesting one day and they stumble upon a mysterious child who oddly seems quite content ensconced in an unidentified footprint like mark near the river bank. No one knows who she is or where she came from and as she grows so do her powers and knowledge that could be a curse or a blessing.
Colors are not only outlawed they have been removed from everything within Abascarâ€™s walls except the palace and as far as the house royalty can reach outside those walls as well. That reach includes the Gatherersâ€™ village where criminal exiles are sent to live out their days as slave labor for the House. These exiles take her in not knowing that she has a gift that could threaten not only her existence but theirs if it is revealed to the wrong people or at the wrong time. Will her gift be discovered by the wrong people? Will it lead to catastrophe or will it bring an end to an oppressive ruling made at the behest of an absent queen? What mysterious powers might these colors own that remain a mystery even to the girl who cannot resist their lure and deny her creativity? Auralia’s Colors will answer these questions as well as others while presenting some wonderful inspiration and encouragement to allow our own gifts to flourish.
This is one of the most vivid and imagery rich stories I have read. Yet while the land of the Expanse was born in Mr. Overstreetâ€™s lively imagination, it could really be anywhere and anytime. The ban on colors serves to illustrate the effects of a dictatorial ruling that imprisons the minds and lives of the people and keeps them enslaved to a selfish government that allowed its â€œloveâ€ for another to blind it to the peopleâ€™s needs and interests. Auralia’s gift and her response to the risk it entails provide a glance at how we should respond to our own giftings from the Lord despite what the world may think or expect of us. She cannot deny or bury her gift and we should not try to do so with our own. God has a purpose for the gifts He gives each of us and a place of service those gifts are intended to uniquely fit. Like Auralia we will only find our unique place when we use our gifts in their Giver’s service.
Mr. Overstreet has composed an intriguing story with a glowing cast of characters and a world that I am still unable to shake from my vision after putting the book down. On top of that his language is so lyrical it is almost like hearing someone recite one of the old unwritten tales of folklore. The ideas and concepts woven into this plot are amazing and yet so much a part of the language and story the reader is not distracted by them. These ideas and concepts stick with the reader despite their near invisibility or perhaps because of it. I look forward to the upcoming strands in Auraliaâ€™s Thread. The Red Strand still has me entranced as well as wanting to know more about the characters I have come to love and the events in which they are enmeshed. According to the publisherâ€™s website The Blue Strand will be available Fall 2008 and I am eagerly awaiting this next installment in an enchanting new fantasy series that provides much more than just entertainment value.
Check out Jeffrey Overstreet’s Blogs Auralia’s Colors and Looking Closer
And don’t forget to see what other CSFF Members are saying about this novel, author, website… and leave your comments:
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, Kait, Karen, Carol Keen, Mike Lynch, Margaret, Rachel Marks, Shannon McNear, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Mirtika or Mir’s Here, Pamela Morrisson, Eve Nielsen, John W. Otte, John Ottinger, Deena Peterson is posting an interview and review written when she became a test reader for Mr. Overstreet. Yesterday she also posted the story of how she became a test reader. Rachelle, 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
Links are also in my sidebar under the CSFF Graphic.
IN CONCLUSION: I have a copy of this book that I will be giving away. Please leave a comment on this post including a website or email that I can use to reach you if your name is drawn.
NOTES FOR DRAWING: US Mailing addresses only. Use a camouflaged method of typing your email (such as forest_rose[at]yahoo[dot]com) to avoid the spambots. Last but not least – Only comments with a timestamp of 11:59PM Tues Jan 29th or earlier will be eligible.
Check out my friend Deena’s Interview with Jeffrey for another chance to win a copy of this book.