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The Ale Boy's Feast: A Novel (The Auralia Thread) Paperback – March 15, 2011
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Praise for The Auralia Thread
“Overstreet’s writing is precise and beautiful, and the story is masterfully told.”
“The rich details, well-developed characters, and complex story will make this a new favorite among fantasy readers.”
“With a skillful pen, Overstreet shows a world that exists in another dimension. A true treat to fantasy fans.”
—AUTHOR’S CHOICE REVIEWS
“The Ale Boy’s Feast is a great, sprawling poem. Its rich language moves and breathes and awakens every sense. Jeffrey Overstreet has made something beautiful here. His story reminds us that beauty is an agent of grace.”
—JONATHAN ROGERS, author of The Charlatan’s Boy
“Jeffrey Overstreet’s imagination is peopled with mysteries and wonders. Reading Raven’s Ladder is like staring at a richly imagined world through a kaleidoscope: complex, intriguing, and habit-forming.”
—KATHY TYERS, author of Shivering World and the Firebird series
“Jeffrey Overstreet writes like Van Gogh painted. He is a literary impressionist, and his understated yet vivid narrative style overwhelms the imagination. The Ale Boy’s Feast does more than just tell the end of a story; it invites the reader into the world of the Expanse with a cast of beautifully complex characters to join them in pursuit of the mystery that calls us all.”
—LINDSAY STALLONES, evangelicaloutpost.com
“Through word, image, and color, Jeffrey Overstreet has crafted a work of art. From first to final page, this original fantasy is sure to draw readers in.”
—JANET LEE CAREY, award-winning author of The Dragons of Noor
“It’s entering a beautiful dream you don’t want to leave, with exhilarating tension that takes you beyond story and into deep truths.”
—SIGMUND BROUWER, author of Broken Angel and Flight of Shadows
“A darkly complex world populated by a rich and diverse cast of characters, in which glimpses of haunting beauty shine through. Sometimes perplexing but always thought-provoking, Raven’s Ladder is the work of a fertile and striking creative imagination.”
—R. J. ANDERSON, author of Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
About the Author
Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of three previous books in The Auralia Thread fantasy series. Publisher’s Weekly called Auralia’s Colors a story “precise and beautiful… masterfully told,” and it was a dual finalist for a Christy Award. An award-winning film reviewer, he has written a moviegoer’s memoir, Through a Screen Darkly, and contributes regularly to Image and other journals. He lives in Shoreline, Washington and works at Seattle Pacific University.
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Top Customer Reviews
While this book is very good, it is not quite in the same league as the series I mentioned above. However, I did enjoy this book immensely, and I plan to obtain copies of the first three books so that I can see how the story began. However, the ending is a little vague, and I can't help but wonder if there is a fifth book, or if the author just wants to leave it to our imaginations. But enough of the loose threads were tied that I don't feel like I was left hanging. I do recommend this book with the caveat that you should really start with the first one in the series.
I want to thank WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books Program for sending me a copy of this book to review, but my opinions are my own.
It is the realness of the characters I am especially drawn too. The heroes are flawed, but not simply cynically dismissed. The villains whom we despise one moment, are shown to be redeemable at another. And yet the very rage and animousity the reader feels for these villains who have betrayed and caused such sorrow gives us insight into how difficult it may be for characters inside the story to forgive (and, of course, how difficult it may be in the real world.)
The previous paragraph might make the book sound more didactic than it is. It is also a very captivating story, with rich drawn detail and description, and poetic language. It was difficult to put down once I started it. I not only cared about the characters, but about the world itself. There was something important at stake.
Keep in mind that this is the fourth (and final) volume of the Auralia's Colors quartet. You should read the previous volumes before reading this one. It successfully brings together several of the twists and turns introduced in the previous two volumes, while introduce some new twists of its own. Most satisfying to me in reading this book as a conclusion to the series was the final revelation of the true story behind this world's great myth--and how various characters react to that story.
I would recommend this book not only to readers of the highest quality fantasy literature, but to any reader who appreciates compelling characters and a captivating story.
The book is right my alley genre-wise but I think I was handicapped by the fact that I hadn't read the first three. I had a lot of trouble getting through this book. I read and read and just could not follow the story at all.
I pushed on thinking maybe I just needed to get more familiar with the author's very descriptive way of writing, but I still could not make sense of it all.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review
1) You need to read the first three novels Auralia's Colors, Cyndere's Midnight, and Raven's Ladder before you read The Ale Boy's Feast. You must read them in order or the final one won't make sense, so just go ahead and buy all four right now. You don't want to miss the connecting threads that are woven through each of the novels. Overstreet has created such an intriguing world that to read The Ale Boy's Feast by itself would deprive you of enjoying the journey that comes to an eloquent end in the final novel.
2) The plot of the series is so compelling that you won't be able to wait to move on to the next book. It is very complex, yet the writing is so good that each scene flows seamlessly together. Each novel leaves you wanting more. Luckily, if you are just finding out about the series, you won't have to wait as long as those of us who started from the beginning when the first book came out.
3) The characters are a lot like real people. They are flawed, yet somehow the least of them are capable of heroic acts that to me make epic fantasy films worth watching. We are all looking for a hero and what's better than to be made to believe, at least within the pages of a novel, that we might find it in ourselves to be heroes, too.
4) I wouldn't begin to try to dissect the many themes of this series in a review, but the one that spoke to me throughout had to do with the practice of art. What happens when art and beauty are suppressed in a culture? Do we forget how to appreciate art as we grow up? Why do we stop seeing its beauty all around us? And especially, what happens when art is introduced to someone who has never experienced its beauty?
5) The last book in the series, The Ale Boy's Feast, was a satisfying ending to the story, and yet it left just enough threads untied to keep my mind thinking about the characters and wishing I could go back and revisit the story to see what else might happen to them.
Read an expanded review over at my blog, Tina Ann Forkner's Random Ramblings, [...]