AURALIA’S COLORS, which marks the beginning of The
Auralia Thread fantasy series, culture critic Jeffrey
Overstreet makes a compelling first foray into fiction.
Overstreet opens his story in the imaginative world of The Expanse.
A soon-absent and arrogant queen convinces the remnant of Abascar
to give up all its bright colors. Soon, wearing colors are only for
the privileged; others must turn in anything beautifully pigmented.
The former wealth of colors from days gone by are stored in the
vaults of the palace, presumably to be brought out when
“spring” arrives --- which it never seems to do. And
somewhere, “the Keeper” calls to those who listen. (If
you think there are Christian metaphors here, you’re on the
All of this is about to change. The rascally old Gatherer, Krawg,
and his comical sidekick Warney discover a baby girl in a
monster’s footprint alongside the River Throanscall. When the
common folks outside the palace walls take the mysterious Auralia
in to raise her, they quickly find out she’s different. She
grows up semi-wild, at home in the natural world. When she becomes
a teen, she has a chance to enter the House Abascar and to make her
pledge at the “Rites,” away from the perceived drab
colorlessness and drudgery of the Gatherers’ existence. But
Auralia doesn’t see the point.
Auralia questions the system and gently encourages subversion.
Defying the law, she pulls colors from nature and gifts the
Gatherers with her creations: slow-burning gold honeycomb candles,
stonecutters with scarlet sheaths, a pillow of white and yellow and
burgundy. But, as Auralia soon learns, House Abascar punishes
orphans who do not f