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Number of Pages: 336
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.19 (inches)|
Series: Auralia Thread
“Cyndere walked down to the water to make her daily decision — whether to turn and go back into House Bel Amica, or to climb old Stairway Rock and throw herself into the sea…”
In Cyndere’s Midnight, the power of Auralia’s colors brings together a bloodthirsty beastman and a grieving widow in a most unlikely relationship… one that not only will change their lives, but could also impact the four kingdoms of The Expanse forever.
Jordam is one of four ferocious brothers from the clan of cursed beastmen. But he is unique: The glory of Auralia’s colors has enchanted him, awakening a noble conscience that clashes with his vicious appetites.
Cyndere, heiress to a great ruling house, and her husband Deuneroi share a dream of helping the beastmen. But when Deuneroi is killed by the very people he sought to help, Cyndere risks her life and reputation to reach out to Jordam. Beside a mysterious well–an apparent source of Auralia’s colors–a beauty and a beast form a cautious bond. Will Jordam be overcome by the dark impulse of his curse, or stand against his brothers to defend House Abascar’s survivors from a deadly assault?
Critics hailed Jeffrey Overstreet’s first fantasy novel, Auralia’s Colors, as “exceptionally well crafted,” “beautiful,” and “masterfully told.” Now he continues weaving this fantastic tapestry with an enchanting fairy tale for ambitious imaginations of all ages.
To achieve her late husband's goal of releasing the beastmen of the curse put upon them, Cyndere sets out first to heal Jordam and then to free all beastmen from their addiction to "Essence" and their murderous natures. Secondary characters begin to appear in the plot at this time, such as a young lad known only as Ale Boy, who seems to have benefited from Auralias power and guidance. There also is Ryllion, a spurned knight looking to find favor in Queen Thesera's eyes by performing underhanded deeds with the assistance of a dark and sinister Seer named Prater Xa.
Jeffery Overstreet's flowing diction and lovely prose make it difficult to tear away from the story. He creates a unique world in beautiful ways. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to get a bit too flowery with his passages at times, which slows the pace of the book and delays the plot action. Additionally, because there is a lack of adequate back story for some of the characters, the readers are confused at times by their actions, as in the case of Ryllion, who first seems to be a noble and gentile knight, only later to be shown to be deceitful. Furthermore, Overstreet is very effective at making small scenes vivid and three-dimensional, but in the large scale scenes he fails to give details and images that make the full canvas come alive.
One weakness the book has is in its author's effort to insert some Christian symbolism. He tries to make messages related to service, sacrifice, humility, and grace very obvious, but in order to do so, he adds a lot of drawn-out scenes that would have improved the book if they had been cut. Most readers will prefer to stick to the core of the story and maintain momentum. Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, who also likes to insert long symbolic scenes, will not be bothered by these purposefully Christianized sections.
Overall, this is a good story with realistic characters and a message of survival, faith, loyalty, and optimism. Nan Johnson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
“Overstreet paints vividly imagined scenes and develops his characters and story with thought-provoking insights into human motivations.”
“[Overstreet weaves] a story filled with an intriguing plot; vivid characters; and, most importantly, imagination.”
“Overstreet writes gorgeous and gritty fantasy that leaves us wanting more.”
–Youth Worker Journal
the man with a planHighland, New YorkAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5February 18, 2010the man with a planHighland, New YorkAge: 45-54Gender: maleI liked the first one, but this one is more colorful. Jeffrey Overstreet is a very creative writer. He has inspired me to be colorful in my own writings. Get this book its good!
Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5October 15, 2009Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: femaleI'm torn over these books. They are wonderful stories, imaginative and beautifully written, but I can't read them fast. I'm a quick reader, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get though a Jeffrey Overstreet book in a day or two like I can most others. I felt the same way about Overstreet's first novel, <I>Auralia's Colors</I>. Around page one hundred, I could have walked away from the book easily, but when I reached page two hundred, I couldn't put it down. As a writer, I know that's a dangerous way to tell a story, but it seems to work for Overstreet.<br /><br />Cyndere's Midnight gripped me much earlier than Auralia's Colors did, but I was disappointed to meet a new host of characters from page one when I wanted to read about the characters at the end of <I>Auralia's Colors</I>. Some of those characters are in <I>Cyndere's Midnight</I>, but this is not their story. I am glad to discover that book three is called Cal-raven's Ladder, for Cal-raven is one of my favorite characters in the series. Him and the ale boy.<br /><br /><I>Cyndere's Midnight</I> is an inspiring story that goes much deeper than a parallel story to Beauty and the Beast. To me, the beastmen, who were once regular men, represent sin. They've indulged in the Essence to give them strength and must go back again and again to be revitalized. But the Essence is what has turned them into beastmen. Jordam has discovered another way to survive the craving: to wean himself off the Essence altogether. And Auralia's colors give him the strength to do that in the same way a relationship with Jesus gives us strength to overcome our own temptations. It is these deep parallels that keep me hooked into Overstreet's tales of The Expanse.
Fantasy lover4 Stars Out Of 5September 6, 2009Fantasy loverI just finished reading Cyndere's Midnight and, while it does have some slow parts, is almost as intriuging as the first book in the series.However, I do not reccomend that children read this book. This book does have some more mature content that i would reccomend only for older teens and adults. Why would Jeffrey Overstreet try to spoil a good story with stuff like that anyway. I REALLY hope he does the smart thing and leaves that kind of thing out of his next two books. A warning - most of that stuff is centered around Ryllion - so beware. The rest is maybe a bit darker than Auralia's Colors but just as complex. Overall, it isn't a bad read and I had no trouble finishing it. It's just a bit slow for the first few chapters. But Overstreet know just how to end his books so you ust HAVE to read his next book. I eagerly await the gold strand, Raven's Ladder, coming in February.
Lisa Early3 Stars Out Of 5June 24, 2009Lisa EarlyI absolutely LOVED the first book in this series and waited impatiently for the second book to be released. Maybe it isn't fair to even rate this book yet because I haven't had the fortitude to finish it yet, but it has so completely lost me that I haven't even been able to finish it. Disappointed.