The Ale Boy's Feast: The Auralia Thread #4  -     By: Jeffrey Overstreet
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The Ale Boy's Feast: The Auralia Thread #4

WaterBrook Press / 2011 / Paperback

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Product Description

The usurper mercilessly rules the house of Abascar, but meets his match in Rescue, the ale boy who leads his people in a daring escape. Elsewhere survivors of the beastman's cruelty search for the legendary city King Cal-raven saw in a vision. Will Auralia's colors illuminate the way to salvation for Cal-raven and his subjects?

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1400074681
ISBN-13: 9781400074686
Availability: In Stock
Series: Auralia Thread

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Publisher's Description

Book 4 of the Auralia Thread series

The king is missing.
His people are trapped as the woods turn deadly.
Underground, the boy called Rescue has found an escape.

Hopes are failing across The Expanse. The forests, once beautiful, are now haunted and bloodthirsty. House Abascar's persecuted people risk their lives to journey through those predatory trees. They seek a mythic city - Abascar's last, best hope for refuge - where they might find the source of Auralia's colors.
They journey without their king. During a calamitous attempt to rescue some of his subjects from slavery, Cal-raven vanished.

But his helper, the ale boy, falling through a crack in the earth, has discovered a slender thread of hope in the dark. He will dare to lead a desperate company up the secret river.

Meanwhile, with a dragon's help, the wandering mage Scharr ben Fray is uncovering history's biggest lie - a deception that only a miracle can repair.

Time is running out for all those entangled in The Auralia Thread. But hope and miracles flicker wherever Auralia’s colors are found.

Author Bio

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.

Editorial Reviews

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."

"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."

"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

Product Reviews

4 Stars Out Of 5
4 out of 5
4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
4.6 out Of 5
(4.6 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Nicely written
    February 28, 2014
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This was a very different genre for me. I think it was very well written but this was Book 4 in the series. I wish I had begun at Book 1. It was a little hard for me to get into the story and follow the characters. I think this is a book my boys will simply love though.
  2. BC, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Stunning Series Finale
    July 4, 2011
    BC, Canada
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I've loved the Auralia Thread series since the beginning, and this finale did not disappoint.

    1. The prose is as beautiful as the other books in the series, which is, to say, literary in the best sense of the word.

    2. There are a lot of characters because it ties three previous books together. Also a list of them, which is helpful, being as it had been too long since I'd read Book 3.

    3. This is NOT a stand-alone book. It will confuse the heck out of you if you attempt to read it without the other books.

    4. I found the size of the font difficult to read, especially as large sections were in italics. This made me wish I'd bought the Kindle version rather than the paper version, but I needed the paper to complete my set.

    5. If you like literary fiction AND fantasy, you owe yourself the opportunity to read the entire series, in order: Auralia's Colors, Cyndere's Midnight, Raven's Ladder, and now, The Ale Boy's Feast. You won't be disappointed. Take the time to savor it.
  3. Oregon
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Mr. Overstreet writes beautifully
    June 27, 2011
    Jill Williamson
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 3
    The characters from book three, Cyndere's Midnight, continue along their way. We follow many different groups of characters, most importantly: Cal-raven and the ale boy. King Cal-raven, having escaped Cent Regus, eventually meets up with some companions and sets off to find the New Abascar. The ale boy attempts to lead a group of former captives toward a safe location. Deathweed and visorclaws are growing throughout the land and killing many.

    Mr. Overstreet writes beautifully. I tend to favor books that follow one or two main characters, and his book follows many, though they are all wonderful, deep, realistic, fun, yet flawed characters. It took me a while to remember who everyone was and where they were and why. If I had read these books one after another, this wouldn't have been an issue. But it had been a while, so I had a hard time following so many characters and caring about what happened to them all.

    The storyworld is amazing and creative and beautiful. I love it. And I like the questions Overstreet posed about creation and a creator, though I admit I was painfully seeking out the Christian allegory the whole time. Turn out this isn't that kind of series.

    A Jeffrey Overstreet book is not one to read through in a day. It is one to read slowly and thoughtfully. It is not a fast-paced adventure but a literary journey. I was happy to discover some very interesting answers in this final volume, some of which I guessed, some of which totally surprised me. But as to the ending_ I'm a happy ending girl. And while this ending wasn't necessarily unhappy, if was murky. I couldn't quite tell what happened. So I went back and re-read the last few chapters again, thinking I somehow missed something major. Alas, no. So I had to take my best guess as to what happened. And it left me feeling slightly disgruntled, like I couldn't understand what the author was trying to say. So I would have liked a little more resolution. Even if one minor character said, "Well, I guess this is what happened," I would have felt better. My two cents.
  4. Midwest
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Descriptive and Intriguing
    May 26, 2011
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    When I agreed to review this book, I didn't realize that it was the last book in a series—a series of which I have not read the first three. As a result, I don't have much to say about the plot, because it didn't make much sense to me (I am definitely looking forward to finding and reading the first three, though!).

    What did stand out to me about this book was the beautiful, vivid, multi-layered descriptions the author used to bring the story to life.

    In a recent discussion with a friend, I heard the complaint that the vast majority of fantasy novels contain almost no animals except for the horses necessary for the plot, a few dogs and cats, perhaps, many rats, and that's all. Not the case with this book!

    From vawns to gorrels and a host of unusual creatures in between, The Ale Boy's Feast is full of colorful, fascinating, and sometimes unnerving creatures of all shapes and sizes.

    The scene settings were another aspect of the story that intrigued me. From desolate mountains to ruined cities and underground rivers, the story is an ever-changing journey into realms the likes of which you've never seen before. I have no idea how Jeffrey Overstreet does it—which, for me as a writer, is infuriating—but he leaves you feeling like you've been there, seen it, felt it, taken part in it.

    The Ale Boy's Feast is well worth reading, if for no other reason than just to experience the vivid and mysterious fantasy world that Jeffrey Overstreet has created in The Expanse.


    I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my review. A favorable review is not required; Waterbrook is committed to gathering honest opinions about the books they publish.
  5. Troy, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    May 17, 2011
    Troy, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    I honestly wasn't sure about this book when I requested it. And I was even more unsure of it once I started reading it. But then I had to take a mental step back. This is the fourth book in a series about Auralia's colors. Auralia has brought colors into a normally drab world. This series tells what happens once the colors are introduced. Reading this as a stand-alone book is definitely not a recommendation.

    Aside from the fact that I have only read The Ale Boy's Feast and don't understand the rest of the storyline, the author does an excellent job creating an atmosphere for his story. You can actually see the characters Jeffery Overstreet has created. He has a gift for the imaginary. There are creatures in this book that I would have never even dreamed of, much less been able to describe.

    Like anxious road-sweepers, dust columns whirled between the purple dunes, brushing bones, branches, and snakeskins aside in their hurry. The muskgrazers, shaggy as haystacks, ignored the whirlwinds. They hung their hairy heads and thrust curly, sinuous tongues into the grit, probing for burrowbirds and redthislte bulbs. After the dust phantoms passed, the cattle shook clouds of debris from their golden hair.

    You can actually see the muskgrazers out there, standing in the middle of a dust storm. The entire book is filled with descriptive phrases to give you a feeling that you are there, that you are a participant in the story.


    In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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