Grace's Reviews > The Ale Boy's Feast

The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet
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's review
Apr 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, for-review

I would have given this 3.5 stars, if Goodreads would have let me. It ranks higher than “liked”, but lower than “really liked” for me.

Story summary
The Ale Boy's Feast is the fourth book in a fantasy/fiction tetralogy. The world is in disarray, two main houses have fallen under the Seer's power and corruption. The king of one, House Abascar, is still alive and determined to lead the survivors to a new place where they can start over. His vision, which comes from a lady by the name of Auralia, is a place of colours, peace, and happiness.

While the world is being destroyed by the Seer's influences, the king and his people struggle to a place of hope. Their current world is full of strange, fantastical creatures and dangers, which sets up the book so that seemingly at every turn of the page, some new tribulation greets the survivors. While exciting, thought provoking, and very, very interesting, I felt that I would have been more attached if this wasn't the first book in the series I had read. As it was, this is still a decent stand alone, but if you read the other books first, you'll likely not be wondering what the author was talking about when referencing previous events or when descriptions of his strange, fantastical creatures are lacking.

The characters of the book are mainly Auralia, Jordam, King Cal-Raven, the ale boy/Rescue, Krawg, Warney, and a few others that I have forgotten in the few moments since I put the book down. In just this book they are not well described or thoroughly fleshed out, but I can see how the characters would have grown from the previous books to this one by the references to previous incidences contained therein.

Be warned to any that have difficulty with names. There are a lot of strange ones for the people that are hard to get your brain around, and seemingly interrupt the flow of the story because you slow down to try to pronounce them. There are also a lot of individuals with names that do not really mean anything to the story if this were a stand alone book. They appear once or twice, don't really have any major part, nor do they have any descriptions.

I personally think I might have bad a better connection to the characters if this wasn't the first book in the series I had read. Perhaps I shall seek these books out at the local library soon, and go backwards through the series.

When I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for review, I was not sure what book in the series this is. It is not written on the front, nor inside the front cover. This is very misleading, and it wasn't until I saw other reviews after I had started that this was the 4th in the series. Alas, I was not the only that was mislead. Despite of that, this was still a decent stand alone that is quite enjoyable, if not a little confusing from time to time.

There are a lot of strangely named critters in this book that are not described at all, or very little. So, names of critters can often be glossed over because they don't add any value to the story. Just use your imagination. For instance, they ride something the author calls vawns. I thought they were horses, then suddenly the word “scaled” was used as a descriptive word. That got me going to the Internet to get a better description, for which there isn't any. This happens quite often, and I can only hope that in the first book this is rectified so the readers aren't always confused.

The way Overstreet describes scenes are fairly surreal, sometimes very rich, and most of the time fantastical. The wording is often poetic, which creates a nice flow, but not a good picture in your mind. I would have found this style of writing more magical had I read the first books in the series and known what he was talking about throughout the book.

I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I am under no obligation to write a positive review, just an honest one.

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