Cyndere’s Midnight: Dark but hopeful

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Jeffrey Overstreet The Auralia Thread 2. Cyndere's MidnightCyndere’s Midnight by Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet‘s previous novel, Auralia’s Colors, took us to a sublimely well-imagined land and introduced a cast of imaginative characters. In Cyndere’s Midnight, the story begins where Auralia’s Colors left off. Overstreet adds a few more characters and moves the plot several huge steps forward.

Cal-Raven continues to grow in his magic as a stoneshaper and as a leader of fallen House Abascar. The remnants of his people are living with him in abject poverty as they attempt to survive the continued predations of the Beastmen of House Cent Regnus. It is a very bleak picture, but not hopeless.

From House Bel Amica, a young princess, Cyndere, and her husband, Duneroi, make plans to redeem the fallen Beastmen of Cent Regnus as well as lead a mission to help any of the survivors living amongst the ruins of House Abascar. Cyndere and Duneroi are truly motivated by the best of intentions, yet tragedy follows them every step of the way.

Other highly interesting characters include a selfish young knight, a scheming evil religious seer, and most importantly, a Beastman who has been touched at his heart by the magic of what Auralia created. This Beastman, Jordam, is extremely well-written, and some of the best parts of Cyndere’s Midnight come when Overstreet shows how Jordam is affected by Auralia’s work. His character is really stretched by the differing forces that are tugging at him. It’s not only well done, but it also shows that there can be nobility even among those considered savage.

None of the characters are simple place holders, but are allowed to regress or change based on events that occur. Changes are effected not just by an act of will, but by a combination of many factors including external violence. The mood of Cyndere’s Midnight is somehow hopeful despite exceedingly dark, harsh conditions. Bad things happen, good people are harmed, but nothing seems to be wasted effort, but a concerted vision that leads the reader to question and think.

Cyndere’s Midnight is an excellent book. Overstreet doesn’t rush the story; he adds the elements of excitement and violent action but without tainting the feeling of gently flowing events. As the sequel to Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight is a worthwhile step forward.

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.

Jeffrey Overstreet The Auralia Thread: 1. Auralia's Colors 2. Cyndere's Midnight Jeffrey Overstreet The Auralia Thread: 1. Auralia's Colors 2. Cyndere's Midnight 3. Raven's LadderJeffrey Overstreet The Auralia Thread: 1. Auralia's Colors 2. Cyndere's Midnight 3. Raven's Ladder 4. The Ale Boy's FeastJeffrey Overstreet The Auralia Thread: 1. Auralia's Colors 2. Cyndere's Midnight 3. Raven's Ladder 4. The Ale Boy's Feast


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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years. We still hear from him every once in a while.

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