Item description for Cyndere's Midnight: A Novel (The Auralia Thread) by Jeffrey Overstreet...
Overview Cyndere, heiress to one of the great houses, has always hoped to help the violent Cent Regus beastmen. To honor her late husband, who shared that hope, she risks her life and reputation to reach out to Jordam, who will either be overcome by the dark impulse of the "beastmen curse," or will stand against his brothers to defend House Abascar's survivors from a deadly assault.
Publishers Description When a bloodthirsty beastman discovers Auralia's colors, his conscience awakens. When the heiress of a powerful kingdom risks everything to help him, their lives--and the lives of a kingdom--hang in the balance. ""Cyndere walked down to the water to make her daily decision -- whether to turn and go back into House Bel Amica, or to climb old Stairway Rock and throw herself into the sea..." " In "Cyndere's Midnight, " the power of Auralia's colors brings together a bloodthirsty beastman and a grieving widow in a most unlikely relationship... one that not only will change their lives, but could also impact the four kingdoms of The Expanse forever. Jordam is one of four ferocious brothers from the clan of cursed beastmen. But he is unique: The glory of Auralia's colors has enchanted him, awakening a noble conscience that clashes with his vicious appetites. Cyndere, heiress to a great ruling house, and her husband Deuneroi share a dream of helping the beastmen. But when Deuneroi is killed by the very people he sought to help, Cyndere risks her life and reputation to reach out to Jordam. Beside a mysterious well-an apparent source of Auralia's colors-a beauty and a beast form a cautious bond. Will Jordam be overcome by the dark impulse of his curse, or stand against his brothers to defend House Abascar's survivors from a deadly assault? Critics hailed Jeffrey Overstreet's first fantasy novel, "Auralia's Colors, " as "exceptionally well crafted," "beautiful," and "masterfully told." Now he continues weaving this fantastic tapestry with an enchanting fairy tale for ambitious imaginations of all ages.
Citations And Professional Reviews Cyndere's Midnight: A Novel (The Auralia Thread) by Jeffrey Overstreet has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 10/01/2008 page 29
CBA Retailers - 07/01/2008 page 66
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Studio: WaterBrook Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.44" Width: 6.7" Height: 1.03" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Nov 10, 2008
Publisher WaterBrook Press
Series Auralia Thread
Series Number 2
ISBN 1400072530 ISBN13 9781400072538
Availability 0 units.
More About Jeffrey Overstreet
Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of three previous books in The Auralia Thread fantasy series. Publisher s Weekly called Auralia s Colors a story precise and beautiful masterfully told, and it was a dual finalist for a Christy Award. An award-winning film reviewer, he has written a moviegoer s memoir, Through a Screen Darkly, and contributes regularly to Image and other journals. He lives in Shoreline, Washington and works at Seattle Pacific University."
Reviews - What do customers think about Cyndere's Midnight: A Novel (The Auralia Thread)?
Even better than book one! Apr 30, 2010
This book is the second *strand* in The Auralia Thread series. At the end of the first book Auralia herself disappeared. Not in a way that smacked of foul play, just that her initial job was done. So while she doesn't really play an immediate role in this second novel, the mark she left on The Expanse is still growing and still affecting everyone she came in contact with.
About the only thing I didn't love about the first novel was Jeffrey Overstreet's use of omniscient point-of-view. I quickly got sucked into the novel anyway and found it didn't bother me once I was immersed. In Cyndere's Midnight I found that Overstreet used a limited third viewpoint and that it helped me to feel closer to the characters.
There are four major players in this novel, some of whom we knew well from the prequel: the ale boy, who still doesn't have a name; Cal-Raven, now king of the remnant of Abascar; and the beastman, Jordam, whom Auralia's colors had *tamed*. Cyndere is new--I don't remember if she was mentioned in the previous novel or not, but she definitely wasn't a player.
Cyndere and her husband had a dream to help the beastmen to throw off the curse that had brought down their house, but Cyndere's husband was killed by the beastmen while trying to make contact. Devastated, Cyndere swings between severe depression and hints of hope that the dream might yet become a reality. When she and Jordam meet at a mysterious well where Auralia's colors are prevalent, the world of The Expanse is set upon a new course.
A Tale of Nobility and Savagery Apr 27, 2010
A Tale of Nobility and Savagery
Cyndere's Midnight is a swirling tale of noble and base elements, of a kingdom trying to find something they lost, and another kingdom in danger of losing what they have, and individual choices to embrace light over darkness.
If you picked up Cyndere without reading Auralia, you would understand the plot for the most part. As with most sequels, it is a deeper experience if you read the whole series. Jeffrey planted seeds for Cyndere in the first one, so there are nice connections to be made.
Jeffrey mentioned in an interview that he is trying to write a beautiful story with language that will stand the test of time. I don't know if will rise to such a lofty standard, but it is not typical fantasy fare, or Christian fare for that matter. He takes great care in describing the details of the Expanse. His prose continues to be quite poetic, though I felt it wasn't quite as poetic as Auralia. The subject matter could definitely be part of that, as the character Auralia was the center of the poetry last time. He doesn't repeat words or phrases repetitively. It is apparent he is using language precisely.
The story is sweeping in its scope, and he keeps the suspense moving along. The confused beastman Jordam becomes the heart of the book as he struggles with the curse on his people. They are driven to drink a substance called Essence for their strength, but could it be corrupting them? Jordam sees hints of something greater in the colors Auralia has created, and a new nobility rises in him as he stumbles into Cyndere's path.
Other characters are carefully constructed and there are only a couple of very minor characters that seem like throw-away "placeholder" characters. The contrasts in character development is very intriguing.
I really enjoyed Cyndere's Midnight. In some ways I enjoyed it more than Auralia's Colors, but other ways I didn't. Both books are poetic, but I think the language in the first book was a little more lyrical. However, I connected more with Jordam than I did anyone in the first book.
Jeffrey's writing is dense, and it won't stand for a quick perusal of a page. You are forced to take it in and chew on it a little. This is mostly very good, but on occasion there are points where a reader can get confused. Also, there were many characters and sub-plots going on, so there were some times when I lost track of what was happening with them.
I mentioned with my review of Auralia's Colors that I believed it to be a very important book for Christian fiction. Cyndere's Midnight continues that legacy. I think he is taking a bold step, writing a different kind of book that can't be categorized within the bounds of CBA fiction. I applaud him for setting a lofty goal for himself in his own creativity. I don't think he fully realizes the potential, as I think the plot can be clarified a little more, but it is clearly an artistic work that is unique among other fantasy books.
Another Late Night Feb 28, 2010
This is the most fun I have had reading since I first read Tolkien as a young person. As an artist, I was thrilled to read about the power of beauty to transform lives. My youngest boys, 10 and 12, were drawn to the cover and snatched it away every time I set it down the day it arrived. Finally I locked myself in my room and finished the book at 1:38 a.m. The boys were waiting for me bright and early the next morning to start reading it for themselves. There were a few scuffles over who got it first but everybody lived to read another day. I had already received the second book and it also resulted very late night. Waiting for book three to come out in print was painful.
This is the first time my boys and I have read the same books at the same time and it has led to some marvelous conversations. I found out yesterday that Jeffery is a friend of a friend of mine and Lance assures me he is a great guy on top of a great writer. I was thinking that the 10 year old might be enjoying the story on a different level than I was and while that might be true, he was grasping some very complicated ideas.
I highly recommend this series to anyone and any family, but be prepared for some late reading nights.
Cyndere's Midnight Nov 26, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. Jeffrey Overstreet has created a wonderful fantasy world that I am looking forward to returning to in his next book, or "thread" in this case. This book was the blue thread following the red thread of Auralia's Colors. Next is the Gold thread. Can't wait!!
Much deeper than a parallel story to Beauty and the Beast Oct 15, 2009
I'm torn over these books. They are wonderful stories, imaginative and beautifully written, but I can't read them fast. I'm a quick reader, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get though a Jeffrey Overstreet book in a day or two like I can most others. I felt the same way about Overstreet's first novel, Auralia's Colors. Around page one hundred, I could have walked away from the book easily, but when I reached page two hundred, I couldn't put it down. As a writer, I know that's a dangerous way to tell a story, but it seems to work for Overstreet.
Cyndere's Midnight gripped me much earlier than Auralia's Colors did, but I was disappointed to meet a new host of characters from page one when I wanted to read about the characters at the end of Auralia's Colors. Some of those characters are in Cyndere's Midnight, but this is not their story. I am glad to discover that book three is called Cal-raven's Ladder, for Cal-raven is one of my favorite characters in the series. Him and the ale boy.
Cyndere's Midnight is an inspiring story that goes much deeper than a parallel story to Beauty and the Beast. To me, the beastmen, who were once regular men, represent sin. They've indulged in the Essence to give them strength and must go back again and again to be revitalized. But the Essence is what has turned them into beastmen. Jordam has discovered another way to survive the craving: to wean himself of the Essence altogether. And Auralia's colors give him the strength to do that in the same way a relationship with Jesus gives us strength to overcome our own temptations. It is these deep parallels that keep me hooked into Overstreet's tales of The Expanse.