Wednesday, May 18, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour Day Three: The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet: Closing Thoughts



The Ale Boy's Feast: Closing Thoughts


Finishing The Ale Boy’s Feast was a moment of disappointment, not for the fact that I didn’t like the ending, quite the contrary. I enjoyed the ending, and loved the balance of both mystery and resolution. But it was a disappointment that the story has come to its end, in a sense. The story obviously, goes on. But our reading of it has reached its end.

It’s not merely the end of the one book, it is the end of the series, and our part in discovering that world. All throughout the Auralia Thread was this sense of being an explorer of that world, discovering it, as if for the first time ever. It wasn’t so much a setting as a place for us to wander in. But now, our wandering is over, and I must reflect on what it is I have seen in the expanse over the course of the last four books. And in my case, the last four years.

There is comfort that in a matter of time I can reopen the pages of Auralia’s Colors and once again be filled with wonder.

Part of the reason that these books have the ability to transport the reader into the story is, no doubt, the power of the language used to write it. There is a richness to the writing itself that lends itself to the world within the words, rather then sidetracting the reader, it draws them, to quote C. S. Lewis’s The Last Battle further up, and further in.

I am, in addition to disappointed, very pleased with the story and its resolution. Of all the characters in it, and there are many, I still love Auralia the most. There is something about her that I’ve always related to, yet she always has, and still remains a mystery. I like that in a character. It gives the sense that there is so much more to the person to be revealed then is given us, that their personality and so forth goes so much deeper then what we read about, it really helps to bring them to life. It is her mystery that makes her so interesting, and I’m not sure I would want to know every detail about Auralia. I think that would flatten her character a bit, it would deaden, rather then bring her to life.

In closing, I found The Ale Boy’s Feast a satisfying end to the wonderful Auralia Thread.

The Ale Boy's Feast on Amazon.com

Author Website: Jeff Overstreet, looking closer.org



As part of the CSFF blog tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, for the purposes of this tour.


Participants’ links


Gillian Adams

Red Bissell

Grace Bridges

Beckie Burnham

Morgan L. Busse

Valerie Comer

CSFF Blog Tour

Shane Deal

Chris Deane

Cynthia Dyer

Andrea Graham

Katie Hart

Ryan Heart

Bruce Hennigan

Jason Joyner

Carol Keen

Dawn King

Inae Kyo

Shannon McDermott

Shannon McNear

Karen McSpadden

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Eve Nielsen

John W. Otte

Sarah Sawyer

Kathleen Smith

Donna Swanson

Rachel Starr Thomson

Robert Treskillard

Steve Trower

Fred Warren

Dona Watson

Phyllis Wheeler

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour Day Two: The Ale Boy's Feast: How The Auralia Thread Has Impacted Me



The Ale Boy's Feast: How The Auralia Thread Has Impacted Me

Rather then focusing on just The Ale Boy's Feast this post deals with the series as a whole, of which the fourth book is indeed a part.

Jeffrey Overstreet's book series has been one of small handful of book series that over the past few years have impacted my outlook, even after I had set the book back on the shelf. The overwhelming feeling for me that came through the books and into the way I view the world is the appreciation for beauty. I also have gleaned from these books the sense that art can impact the world very powerfully. Of all the things I've learned from them it is to look for the beautiful, even in the most unlikely of places. This of course is something I have gleaned from other places besides The Auralia Thread. But among many things this book series took some of those thoughts, those passing moments of wonder when I see something beautiful, and gave it a voice. The book is clearly not an allegorical work, nor is it meant to be. But I did draw some parallels to many things, political, and yes, spiritual from the book. This I think is more from the book being in a world with characters, both of which seem alive in that world of theirs. These things are part of the fabric of the tale, not the tale in itself. They are little lights that shine out of the entirety of the book, which shines as if it were a single light composed of all these little lights of meaning and wonderment that I found within the pages of the books. Other lights I saw were themes of redemption, of forgiveness, of mercy, of grace, of love. The book series reflects my own love of art and beauty, in many ways it seems as though I am looking in a mirror rather then reading a book. Seeing myself and the world around me through the lens given me within its pages. At other times it seems as though I'm the mirror and that the wonder and the beauty of things in my own world, experiences, and imagination is reflected in the pages, and in the reading of them the things in my world become clearer, sometimes the beauty is drawn out in the words, sometimes the darkness is amplified, yet both are things that need light to shine upon them; beauty to reveal and darkness to expose. The Auralia thread has deepened my appreciation for beauty, and for the wonder of the world around me, and perhaps, part of the magic of books like these is that it is different for each person who reads it, yet it remains the same looking glass before all, reflecting what is already there within each of us, shining its own light upon us, giving us something of its own reflection back to us. That is the mark of a good book, and such is The Auralia thread.

The Ale Boy's Feast on Amazon.com

Author Website: Jeff Overstreet, looking closer.org


As part of the CSFF blog tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, for the purposes of this tour.

Participants’ links

Gillian Adams

Red Bissell

Grace Bridges

Beckie Burnham

Morgan L. Busse

Valerie Comer

CSFF Blog Tour

Shane Deal

Chris Deane

Cynthia Dyer

Andrea Graham

Katie Hart

Ryan Heart

Bruce Hennigan

Jason Joyner

Carol Keen

Dawn King

Inae Kyo

Shannon McDermott

Shannon McNear

Karen McSpadden

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Eve Nielsen

John W. Otte

Sarah Sawyer

Kathleen Smith

Donna Swanson

Rachel Starr Thomson

Robert Treskillard

Steve Trower

Fred Warren

Dona Watson

Phyllis Wheeler

Monday, May 16, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour Day One: The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet: A Review




The Ale Boy's Feast: A Review

I've been a reader of the Auralia thread since late 2007, I have always found each of the four books to be something astounding and beautiful, but always in a different way. So it was with the first three, and so it was with the fourth and final book of this series. At first I thought that The Ale Boy's Feast didn't quite match up to the others as far as holding that beauty that the other three endeared themselves to me so deeply with, and I continued to think so until I reached the final chapters. Then once again the story became beautiful to me as all the various threads and loose ends of this book, and the previous books, started to resolve a bit. The last few chapters were the most beautiful of The Ale Boy's Feast

My one complaint that I did have while reading it is that it took me nearly eight chapters to get into the story, at that point there were many plot-threads being given but with very little resolution and no sense of being tied together as one story. Each chapter seemed to be going in a different direction then the one before it. Of this, it is that it took me so long to get into the story enough for it to capture my interest.

Yet, as the book reached its conclusion I was thankful for the laying down of threads that once resolved, made sense. It made for a much more pleasant conclusion then if the conclusion had been written without the confusing beginning.

The writing style is, as usual, well done. However for much of the book it didn't seem to hold the same sense of wonderment that the first book of the series did. There were many passages throughout that were beautifully written, but it wasn't until the end that the familiar beauty of Mr. Overstreet's word-craft really seemed to present itself. Yet, again, looking back from the end of the book. It was beautiful. I don't know whether to be awed by that or disappointed that I missed it at the time I was reading it.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with this book, especially as the conclusion of so much that went before it. I felt it resolved very beautifully and believably the many threads that Mr. Overstreet has woven throughout, not only The Ale Boy's Feast but the entire Auralia thread. When I finished I felt, not disappointed, but satisfied, as if I had just taken a drink after being thirsty, and found my thirst quenched.

I would definitely recommend this book, but definitely would recommend reading the other three first. For anyone who hasn't been following along the books are in this order: Auralia's Colors, Cyndere's Midnight, Raven's Ladder, & The Ale Boy's Feast

The Ale Boy's Feast on Amazon.com

Author Website: Jeff Overstreet, looking closer.org


As part of the CSFF blog tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, for the purposes of this tour.

Participants’ links

Gillian Adams

Red Bissell

Grace Bridges

Beckie Burnham

Morgan L. Busse

Valerie Comer

CSFF Blog Tour

Shane Deal

Chris Deane

Cynthia Dyer

Andrea Graham

Katie Hart

Ryan Heart

Bruce Hennigan

Jason Joyner

Carol Keen

Dawn King

Inae Kyo

Shannon McDermott

Shannon McNear

Karen McSpadden

Rebecca LuElla Miller

Eve Nielsen

John W. Otte

Sarah Sawyer

Kathleen Smith

Donna Swanson

Rachel Starr Thomson

Robert Treskillard

Steve Trower

Fred Warren

Dona Watson

Phyllis Wheeler