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Raven's Ladder: A Novel (The Auralia…

Raven's Ladder: A Novel (The Auralia Thread)

by Jeffrey Overstreet

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707171,029 (3.75)6



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I received The Ale Boy's feast (4th in the series) in the Early Reviewers. Because it is the 4th in the series I decided I wanted to read the ones before it. So while I read all 4 books directly after each other I'm going to review all 4.

The first book is Auralia's Colors. I only sort of liked this first book. While a lot of the descriptions were quite lovely I found it a bit shallow. It was only meh.

The second book is Cyndere's midnight. As I read this one I realized how wrong I was about Auralia's colors. The author has in no way created a shallow world. The farther I got into the story the more impressed I was at how he dropped subtle tid-bits into the first book that were developed more in the second book. Here I began to truly develop an attachment to the characters and their stories and struggles.

The third book is Raven's Ladder... again, I was floored at how complex and compelling this story has become. The history and myth of everything evolves in such an organic way. The characters define themselves more and more as the story goes along. It's like I got to know them as one would in real life... not how many stories are where everything is laid out before you right away. I never would have believed as I was reading Auralia's colors that this story could become so rich and complex.

And finally is the ale boy's feast. The conclusion of the books... not necessarily the conclusion of the story. (Which I always love.) 80 pages from the end I had no idea how the author was going to give me the satisfying ending that I wanted. I had so many questions that needed to be answered, I was terrified I was going to be massively disappointed that he has created bit off more than he could chew and he had tangled this story so tightly that there was no way he could connect all the pieces back together in the end... well I should have known... it was perfect. Beautiful even.

I loved these books. It was a rich, compelling, suspenseful, beautiful, and enlightening world. I'm happy I was able to spend some time there.

I'm glad I know how Krawg's story ended. :) ( )
  kcpavlik | Jun 2, 2011 |
The best fiction transports the reader into the setting of the book. The adventure written becomes an adventure experienced. Characters aren't just described by the author, they are befriended by the reader. This is when reading becomes an engrossing, consuming experience, and books become a work of art rather than a mere production. Jeffrey Overstreet wields this kind of book magic in his "Auralia Thread" series.

Raven's Ladder (book #3) was my first encounter with the series, and as the story developed I felt like I had stepped into a well-developed, alternate world. The members of a fallen House are struggling to survive in a wilderness, and a mysterious danger lurks below ground. A young king believes in childish myths about The Keeper and risks everything to follow his mystical guides. A group of devious seer-types control an economic stronghold where the people worship moon spirits and follow their own pursuits and pleasures wholeheartedly. And a malady which turns men to beasts has destroyed another House and threatens all the land.

The tale is so different it takes a while to feel comfortable in the story. And when you begin to sense the grandeur of the tale, glimpses of connections to Christianity make the tale all the more alluring. Auralia's vivid colors mesmerize all who remember them, and visions of beauty stand out all the more starkly against a pervasive and widespread ugliness. Whispers of The Keeper and the mystery of a long forgotten past make figuring out this world much less easy than it seems.

As the tale progresses, high and low points ebb and flow. The conclusion will leave you begging for more, and wondering what is in store for young King Cal-raven and the other heroes of the book. And after finishing this book, you may feel the urge to read the first two books to enjoy the world Jeffrey Overstreet has created to its fullest extent.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by Waterbrook Multnomah for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

An expanded version of this review is available at CrossFocusedReviews.com, where you can find book excerpts, giveaways, promotional offers, audio reviews and more.
  bobhayton | Aug 16, 2010 |
Won this on first reads. I need to read the first 2 before I get this one!
  Aleeetcha | Mar 24, 2010 |
Publisher: Multnomah, 2009
Source: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
to learn more about this book or purchase it at RandomHouse.com click on the following link:

This was difficult for me to get my head around at first because this is the third book in the Aurelia books. I have ordered the first two and plan to read them this next week. However we know that after the fall of House Abascar, Cal-raven the king and his people are hiding out in a series of caves. He sets out to find them a new place to live. He has been pointed toward the north. While he is away it becomes too dangerous to stay in the caves and the people move to House Bel Amica where they are enticed by the luxuries and beauty there. They start to believe the twisted lies of the people of Bel Amica. Why not, the very people deceiving them are the ones who have deceived the queen for so long. They have discovered Aurelia’s colors and are using them to twist their lies into something the people of Abascar will fall for. Cyndere, the daughter of the queen and a young ale boy help the refugees when they feel they have been abandoned. All this time their king Cal-raven is doing his best to keep hold of his own faith as he encounters one problem after another. He too has felt abandoned. The message that permeates this story is one of holding tight to faith when things get difficult and we lose our way. I can’t wait to receive the other books so I can read all three starting with book one. I know that this third book will make more sense to me then. ( )
  skstiles612 | Mar 12, 2010 |
This one took me a little while to get into it. In the beginning of the story I was lost as to who the characters were and what exactly was going on. (Little did I know when I started this that it was the third in a series, I think I should have read the other two first.) There is a "glossary" of characters in the back, and through the first few chapters I referred to that quite a bit.

The story began to get pretty interesting around chapter 9. Before that there were a few good moments, but I think the meat of the story began around that chapter.

The writing was pretty good. The imagination of Overstreet is great. The descriptions of some of the creatures is good enough to give you a image of them even though they are imaginary.

The story deals greatly with faith, and a struggle between two different faiths. I think the subject of faith is difficult to write about as a story of mystical fiction, I've read a few books of the same type that were way off the mark, but Overstreet did a pretty good job with it.

I didn't love the book, but it was intriguing enough (after the first few chapters) to keep me reading. I would liked to have read the first two in the series before hand, maybe I wouldn't have been so lost in the beginning, but I think that even without the previous books there was still something to be gained from this one. ( )
  Justjenniferreading | Mar 12, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
In Raven’s Ladder, Overstreet continues building the world and characters he first debuted in 2007’s Auralia’s Colors and the following year’s fantastic Cyndere’s Midnight. While as indebted to Tolkien and the like as most fantasy authors are, Overstreet has been quietly working on something fresh and interesting with this series; it’s less a skillful forgery and more a breathtakingly original tapestry.
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