Three Years Ago Today, We Raised Our Glasses to the Ale Boy

The Auralia Thread on display at Barnes and Noble.

“This is my favorite fantasy series,” says the latest Amazon reviewer of The Ale Boy’s Feast, the fourth and final book in my series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread.  “I recommend it to everyone 13 through 120. Although the series is marketed toward adults, I am a teenager who really enjoyed them and will be rereading them over and over again.”

I hear this often — that the series I wrote for adults has been discovered and enjoyed by teenagers.

In fact, I’ve had letters from ten-year-olds as well. (Some of them, after reading the first book, Auralia’s Colors, had strong feelings about which characters they hoped would be married at some point in the series. Many of those wishes were never granted, I’m afraid.)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since The Ale Boy’s Feast arrived in stores.

The great Kristopher K. Orr provided the art for all four books in The Auralia Thread.

It’s hard to believe that, since then, I haven’t found the time, energy, or support necessary to deliver the first book in my new series. But I’m hoping to find a way to change that soon.

In 2012 and early 2013, I made significant progress on a new novel. That came to a halt in the spring, when some new stresses and challenges shifted the balance of my life, and I’ve been struggling to find a way to restore writing as a daily routine. But I will, someday, somehow… because I think the characters and ideas leading me into it are even stronger than those in The Auralia Thread.

Many thanks again to those who supported me with such encouragement and provision through that four-year span — 2007-2011 — when I wrote and published four books while working full-time. That was quite a rush, a season of many dreams come true. When I am able to shift the current balance in my life toward a healthier routine, I will start the engine again and share the stories that I cannot wait to tell you.

You’ll find more information on The Auralia Thread here.

And if you’re looking for an introduction to the series, I suggest “Here There Be Dragons,” an introduction by Robert Joustra in Comment magazine, where he writes:

This is prophetic fiction; stories within stories, which turn back upon the reader questions of enduring cultural weight. Abascar’s fall, the redemption of Cent Regus and the slow seductive ruin of Bel Amica are narratives that underpin our cultural moment. Like in the fantasy greats, there are truths to be encountered, never totally attained, on every page—truths which shift and stretch, impossible to empirically pin, but equally so to deny. And this, as Ursula Le Guin would say, is as it should be. Truth, after all, is a matter of imagination.

A viscorclaw — one of the creepiest critters you’ll encounter in The Ale Boy’s Feast. Illustration by animator Ken Priebe.

And now, if you’ll indulge me, since I’m feeling nostalgic about this anniversary, I’ll reflect for a moment on some of the great encouragement that readers and reviewers published about The Ale Boy’s Feast. It was a relief to see the books appreciated, considering all of the work that a whole community contributed to make them possible.

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 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.”
Lindsay Stallones, evangelicaloutpost.com

“…this story never failed to amaze me with its unpredictable course. It happens too frequently that in the final moments of a story, all the pieces are in place and it’s quite evident to the reader/viewer where they all fit. The Ale Boy’s Feast kept me guessing through its final sentences and even left with much to ponder after I closed and set down the book.” – Aaron White, Faith and Geekery

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Miranda Jones

    Dear Mr. Overstreet,

    The Auralia Thread series has impacted me deeply. As a young
    writer I am always looking for series that exemplify what story telling needs
    to be. Through your stories I met people, not merely characters but people,
    who I could sympathize with. The Ale Boy is my favorite character because his
    small size and low social status -which he and everyone around him see as a
    weakness- is the very thing that allows him to be in the right place at the
    time to make a significant difference in the story. I love how he and Auralia
    have a brother and sister bond, which inspires him to seek out the Keeper as
    she does. His humility and courage are virtues I want to imitate.

    For me as a writer this series set a high
    standard for vivid, high quality storytelling that I am working to reach. It
    inspired me to write things that are so beautiful that it will make my readers
    wonder where they came from. I love the poetry of your narration and the
    vibrant colors in your descriptions. The series is a masterpiece. I wish God
    would give me something as amazing as this to write. God bless you as you
    work on your new project, I am excited to read it.

    Sincerely,

    Miranda Jones


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