Jeffrey Overstreet’s Auralia’s Colors is a bright, colorful fantasy debut. Painting with a unique palette, Overstreet tells the story — both heartening and tragic — of a young girl with a special mission of change.
Auralia is an orphan found by a group of Gatherers, laborers who are indentured to the local Noble family, House Abascar. Living in this rough community she has a chance to grow up untainted by some of the attitudes prevalent in the Householder community that lives in direct contact with House Abascar.
House Abascar is in something of a tragic situation due to events that occurred before the novel begins. The previous Queen and her power-hungry nobles took the right to wear colored clothing away from the people, reserving that and most other luxuries solely for the royal family and a few select others. Overstreet skillfully uses imagery of color and luxury to demonstrate repression.
Overstreet has a strong vision of his world, and fills it with many interesting characters who serve well to lead the narrative along. I also appreciated his ability to bring this novel to a satisfactory close while giving the sense of a larger story that continues beyond the last page. Fairly gentle for a fantasy novel, Auralia’s Colors is replete with moral lessons but doesn’t allow them to become intrusive. Overall, this is a great read.