By Jeffrey Overstreet, WaterBrook Press, $13.99, 333 pages

10House Abascar is a land that lives in the colors of winter – brown, grey, and black. Due to a decree by the now absent queen, all colors are hidden away from sight – a proclamation that not only dulls their clothing but also their spirits. When it is discovered that Auralia, an orphan raised by the laborers of the land, can create colors from nature, she creates the stirrings of hope in the people and unfortunately attracts the attention of the king and his guards. With pressure mounting between the people and the king, the colors Auralia weaves create a chain of events that have the potential to change the entire world.

With Auralia’s Colors, Jeffrey Overstreet has created a wonderfully vivid world that is both lyrical and compelling. The characters are richly written and the heroine Auralia is a vibrant contrast to the grim and colorless world around her. The writing is beautiful and complex; it draws the reader in immediately, making this novel one that is hard to put down. Fans of fantasy will particularly enjoy this first novel of Auralia.

Reviewed by Barbara Cothern