Where’s Auralia Today? Report #17: In Barbara Warren’s newsletter

September 20, 2007

Barbara Warren has just reviewed Auralia’s Colors in her newsletter. And, well… I’ll let her speak for herself, because I’m a little dizzy from the surprise:

I flat out loved this book. How would you like to live in a world where color had been banned? As an individual who has recently had cataract surgery and can now truly see colors again, I find this too horrible to contemplate. No brilliant blue, rich green, or royal purple. No radiant red, or blazing yellow. Well, that’s the way it is in Abscar, by edict of the king. Only drab, dingy shades of gray and brown allowed. All the treasures of a happier time have been locked away in the king’s palace.

Then Krawg and Warney, who were supposed to be gathering berries for the House of Abscar, found an infant girl lying in a muddy footprint. They took her home and she lived with the Gatherers, a community of convicted criminals, living in exile, and condemned to work their way back into the king’s good graces. They called her River Girl. As the baby grew older, things began to change. Auralia, the name she gave herself, had some mysterious power to take the ordinary objects and weave them into marvelous creations full of magnificent colors, some never seen before.

Auralia knows things she should not be able to know, and she doesn’t understand how she came by the knowledge. Her love of color and her cheerful disdain of life inside the walls of Abscar put her in direct conflict with the king’s laws. But the mysterious Keeper, whom no one has ever seen, has a plan for the River Girl, far beyond anything she has ever dreamed.

This is Jeffrey Overstreet’s first novel, and it has it all; enchanting characters, a lyrical, almost poetic writing style, and nerve-wracking suspense. This is book one in his new fantasy series and I’m betting fans will line up for book two. Highly recommended.

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