Wednesday, July 13, 2011

THE ALE BOY'S FEAST by Jeffrey Overstreet

The Ale Boy's Feast is the fourth and final installment of Jeffrey Overstreet's fantasy series, The Auralia Thread. The first book in the set, Auralia's Colors, won a Christy Award and captured my attention when I read it. However, the rest of the series, although creative and a beautiful allegory, was at times difficult to follow and introduced so many characters that it became confusing.

Overstreet has a wonderful mastery of vocabulary. His writing is descriptive yet sometimes not concrete enough, making it difficult to imagine what was happening. It takes a lot of concentration to get into the rhythm of his writing. And as a father of three, I usually can't sit down and read longer than five minutes without being interrupted.

I appreciated that Overstreet included a guide at the end of his book to help keep track of the story's characters. Yet I still had trouble keeping them all straight, especially since Overstreet uses a hyphen and two names for each of his characters, and many of them looked the same to me. Other characters are mentioned in brief and then disappear all together.

I'm glad I read the series and did enjoy it. But at this stage in my life, simpler books are easier to read. Now that I know the plotline, twists, and turns, I may pick it up in the future and come to appreciate Overstreet's masterful plot and weaving.

If you're interested, (although it is book four), you can preview the first chapter.

3 out of 5

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.