I'm about fifty pages into Auralia's Colors and I must admit that I'm having a tough time. After a very strong opening where two thieves found a small baby girl inside a monster footprint, the opening chapters lose a lot of steam. The point of view is omnipresent, and at an extreme distance. We watch Auralia grow into a child over the course of about eight to ten very engaging pages. During this period, Auralia names herself in such a way that you believe that it is her given name. Since she was discovered as a baby, how could she know her given name? It's a mystery, and I like mysteries.
However, we then switch to the point-of-view of Captain Ark-robin, who has a fascinating encounter with Auralia out in the forest. This only whets our appetite to get behind Auralia's eyeballs, but instead, we are plunged back in time many years, to where Queen Jaralaine put her plan into action make the kingdom the most envied kingdom of all. Part of this plan requires everyone outside the palace walls to dress only in drab blacks, greys and browns, and for the palace to stand out in stunning, colorful contrast. It almost sounds like a fairy tale and I like novels that have this sort of magic.
I do wish so much time had not been devoted right away to Queen Jaralaine. I think we needed some more time with the title character in order to develop a deeper attachment to the story. Queen Jaralaine comes off as completely insane. She is motivated purely by a selfish desire for more and better things, and she will rob a kingdom of its beauty to get it. Her husband the king is completely ruled by her. It was very difficult to get through this chapter.