Jeffrey Overstreet’s Auralia’s Colors is a bright, colorful fantasy debut. Painting with a unique palette, Overstreet tells the story — both heartening and tragic — of a young girl with a special mission of change.
Auralia is an orphan found by a group of Gatherers, laborers who are indentured to the local Noble family, House Abascar. Living in this rough community she has a chance to grow up untainted by some of the attitudes prevalent in the Householder community that lives in direct contact with House Abascar.
House Abascar is in something of a tragic situation due to events that occurred before the novel begins. The previous Queen and her power-hungry nobles took the right to wear colored clothing away from the people, reserving that and most other luxuries solely for the royal family and a few select others. Overstreet skillfully uses imagery of color and luxury to demonstrate repression.
Overstreet has a strong vision of his world, and fills it with many interesting characters who serve well to lead the narrative along. I also appreciated his ability to bring this novel to a satisfactory close while giving the sense of a larger story that continues beyond the last page. Fairly gentle for a fantasy novel, Auralia’s Colors is replete with moral lessons but doesn’t allow them to become intrusive. Overall, this is a great read.
The Auralia Thread — (2007-2011) Publisher: When thieves find an abandoned child lying in a monster’s footprint, they have no idea that their wilderness discovery will change the course of history. Cloaked in mystery, Auralia grows up among criminals outside the walls of House Abascar, where vicious beastmen lurk in shadow. There, she discovers an unsettling — and forbidden — talent for crafting colors that enchant all who behold them, including Abascar’s hard-hearted king, an exiled wizard, and a prince who keeps dangerous secrets. Auralia’s gift opens doors from the palace to the dungeons, setting the stage for violent and miraculous change in the great houses of the Expanse. Auralia’s Colors weaves literary fantasy together with poetic prose, a suspenseful plot, adrenaline-rush action, and unpredictable characters sure to enthrall ambitious imaginations.