I feel a little unready for this. Part of the reason was because I thought I was going to get a review copy of this month's book, namely The Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet. So I kept waiting for it and waiting for it until I realized, about a week ago, that said review copy wasn't coming. So I put in a reserve at a nearby Barnes and Noble and ran to go get it. I am not complaining about the lack of review copy. I'm just saying I didn't get my hands on this book until recently. As of right now, I'm only about 2/3s of the way through the book and I'm not sure when I'll get it finished. My family and I are in the middle of a home improvement marathon (the actual work, not the TV show), so it might not be until Tuesday or even Wednesday.
So I figured what I'd do is talk about my raw impressions of the book. I have no idea how the many plot threads will finally tie together. I don't even know that they will.
My initial thought is that I should have started preparing for this final book in the Auralia's thread series a lot earlier than I did. I'm not talking about getting the book earlier. I mean I should have read the previous three. I only read Raven's Ladder a year ago, but apparently that was too long to trust my memory. I remember King Cal-Raven. I remember Scharr Ben Fray. I remember Krawg and Warney and Jordam and Cyndere. And I remember the titular ale boy. But all of the minor characters? Yeah, I don't remember most of them. Worse, I don't remember how most of those main characters were left at the end of the last book. The first third of this book left me completely lost and, I'll be honest, a little disgruntled. It's one thing to dump a reader mid-series into a plot with a few characters. It's entirely another when your cast numbers in the hundreds. Even now, I'm still not sure I know who everyone is, and that's problematic for me and, I would think, problematic from a craft stand-point. This means that absolutely no one can board the story late. Someone picking up this book would have absolutely no idea what is going on and, I think, would stop reading midway through.
That aside, I am liking what's happening. The stakes are high for the myriad characters and Overstreet's prose is excellent, as always. I just wish I wasn't so lost.
Well, come back tomorrow and see if I have any more thoughts rattling around in my brain. Maybe I'll be done by then, maybe I won't. We'll just have to see.
Go and check out what the other tourists have to say. Hopefully they all finished the book (unlike me):
Morgan L. Busse
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Rachel Starr Thomson