Welcome to the December 15th review stop on the blog tour for All the World’s Colors by James W. George, organized by Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, audio excerpts, other reviews, author interviews and top-10 lists.
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About the Book
All the World’s Colors
The Queen of the Blue Book One
by James W. George
Kindle Print/eBook editions
Published 12 May 2020
Page Count: 160
Published 13 November 2020
Length: 6 hrs 34 min
Narrators: Angus Freathy, Mindy Escobar-Leanse
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Book one of a brand-new, epic fantasy series by master historical story-teller, James W. George.
Something inconceivable has happened, and all the world’s colors are about to bleed…
Kellia. Kellia the Red. Pagan, seafaring warriors of ancient renown. They have sailed west, ever west, and have discovered an awe-inspiring, unknown land. Is it their salvation, or the seed of their destruction?
Merova and the Throne of Blue. Wealthy, cultured, and the ultimate matriarchy. Kellia’s ancient nemesis, and a realm of secrets, intrigue, and treachery.
The Holy Domain of Sanctia. Piety, sacrifice, and faith. They have a spiritual duty to spread the truth across the seas, and they will sail under the sacred banner of green.
The Confederation of Orange. Cynical, profiteering financiers and lovers of pleasure. If there is a new discovery in this world, they will be poised to exploit it.
Fans of historical fiction and fantasy will delight in this epic saga of empire, conflict, and power.
Interviewer: Hello to all! I’m very fortunate to have with me in the studio tonight, a highly influential figure in The Known World: Aniliese Vallotten SDR from Merova. This is really exciting stuff, folks.
Well, let’s get right to it. Aniliese, you are looking absolutely stunning tonight in that radiant blue gown. It really accentuates your athletic figure. Can you tell the viewers at home what you’ve been up to?
Aniliese SDR: First and foremost, your casual mannerisms smack of insubordination and blasphemy. Since you are a foreigner to Merova, I will refrain from bloodying your irritating, obnoxious face, although I would be well within my rights.I am Aniliese SDR, first in line to the Throne of Blue. And I must say…
Interviewer: SDR? What is that, an abbreviation for something? Sexy, Delicious, and Ready?
SMACK! (Aniliese’s palm across interviewer’s face)
Interviewer: Oww! What the hell?
Aniliese: You don’t seem to understand, you simpleton. First and foremost, the Sacred Mother has blessed me with my femaleness. You, as a lowly man, are created to work and serve. Secondly, as I was saying before your blasphemous interruption, I am Aniliese SDR. S-D-R! The first in line to the Throne of Blue is the Sacred Daughter of the Realm! My grandmother is Queen Makenna. She is the Queen of the Blue and the Sacred Mother’s emissary on this world. You shall address me as, Your Sacredness or Your Highness. Am I clear?
Interviewer (rubbing cheek): OK, OK! Wow. OK. So, umm…what’s the deal with the blue? Do you ever wear anything else?
SMACK! (Aniliese’s palm across interviewer’s face, again)
Interviewer: Your Sacredness! Sorry! Do you ever wear anything else, your Sacredness?
Aniliese: Blue represents all that is holy and pure, you lowly little foreigner. Blue is the color of Merova and the Sacred Mother. The Throne of Blue is a sacred dynasty of noble queens, unbroken for centuries.
Interviewer: Well, you certainly are stunning, your… your Sacredness. So, I um… what’s the deal with this other place? Kellia? What’s that all about?
Aniliese: You must truly be an ignorant, simple-minded foreigner to ask such questions. Kellia is the ancient nemesis of Merova. Kellia is land of superstitious, wretched barbarians, cursed to live on their desolate windswept islands while worshipping their imaginary pantheon of ridiculous gods.
They are without culture. They are without literature, music, or architecture. It is our destiny to one day vanquish Kellia in the name of the Sacred Mother. Sadly, they are quite formidable warriors, especially at sea. But, Merova will prevail. In the name of the Sacred Mother, we shall prevail.
Interviewer: I see. So, that whole “vanquish the barbarians” thing must keep you pretty busy. Any kids, your Sacredness?
Aniliese: The Sacred Mother has blessed Prince Borrik and me with two children. Princess Averrie is eleven years old and second in line to the Throne of Blue. She is loved and adored throughout the realm. Her younger brother, Prince Marcel, is ten years old. He is a mere boy, but he is quite clever.
Interviewer: A mere boy, you say? Well that’s fascinating. Well, our time is almost up. Any closing words for the viewers at home, your Sacredness?
Aniliese: The Sacred Mother grants us life. Behold! She has bestowed beauty and wisdom upon us. Blessings for the realm! All hail Queen Makenna!
Interviewer: Wonderful. Wonderful stuff. OK, I’m going to bounce it back to the desk for sports and weather. Thanks again for your time, your Sacredness.
My Rating: 4 Stars
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I was granted complimentary access to the audiobook edition of All the World’s Colors by James W. George through Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in the blog tour for this title. Thank you to both James W. George and Audiobookworm Promotions for this opportunity. This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Overall: 4 Stars
Story (Book): 3.5 Stars
Narrative Performance: 5 Stars
All the World’s Colors is the story of four vastly different cultures vaguely similar to European historical peoples, and as the title implies, each culture is associated with a colour. Kellia the Red, Merova and the Throne of Blue, The Holy Domain of Sanctia (Green), and The Confederation of Orange. Merova is a typical European-inspired fantasy kingdom, but with a matriarchal structure. Kellia is reminiscent of the Vikings. The Confederation of Orange remind me of the Ferengi but with honour. The Holy Domain of Sanctia are, surprise surprise, a society of enthusiastic evangelists.
I enjoyed the portions of this story that were about Merova and young Prince Marcel, stuck with what would normally be the fate of a princess in a patriarchal monarchy, facing a future of being strategically married off to some other kingdom.
The other main story the book keeps coming back to is that of Jarrow, sailing off on tasks of war and land acquisition and trying to keep his nephew from embarrassing him (and himself.) It gets particularly interesting when his bumbling nephew gets high on some strange purple smoking leaves and appears to have acquired the power and knowledge of a god.
In between these stories, however, are other shorter stories from different points of view that add little to the main story arcs other than adding to the lore of the world. They’re clearly meant to be part of one or the other main arc, but they don’t quite fit. Between those and the choices made on were to split off and jump between main stories made it difficult keep track of what was going on. In the audiobook version the two arcs are narrated by different actors with very different voices (male and female) yet this was not enough to make me realized we had jumped storylines half the time. My brain just accepted that some characters were one voice and some were the other, but didn’t associate the two voices with the different storylines. Again, I think this is because of how and where the stories switched.
Narrators Angus Freathy and Mindy Escobar-Leanse are immensely talented voice actors who I would love to listen to again. Mindy is particularly good with accents and making sure each distinct character sounds different in some way. Angus has a knack for adding just the right amount of sound effects that I really enjoyed.
About the Author
James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.
He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom, in January 2017. The novel, set in 1671 New England, depicted the prelude to King Philip’s War. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”
My Father’s Kingdom” is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017. “Expertly written and instantly engaging from the first few pages…I was captivated…one of the more intellectual of reads.”
About the Narrators
Angus Freathy was born and educated in London – that’s the one in England, for you Ohio folks!
After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he went to Switzerland to join Nestlé for a 2-year wandering assignment, which lasted 37 years and involved travel and work on every continent (except the cold ones at the top and bottom).
Periods of residence in the U.S., Hong Kong and Switzerland have resulted in a network of friends and acquaintances with an amazing range of world insight and a wide repertoire of mostly excellent jokes.
Since retirement, Angus and his (still working) wife, Debra have lived in Oregon, Maryland and are now in Dublin, Ohio, ‘the only place we have actually chosen to live since we have been married!’.
Following a crushing rejection by the BBC at the age of 19, Angus is re-activating a long-held ambition and launching a new career in voice-over, with the sole intention of having some fun and being in touch with some very talented people. | Website
Mindy Escobar-Leanse is an actor, puppeteer and voice actor. Some puppetry credits include: Dinosaur Train Live! Buddy’s Big Adventure by Henson Studios/PBS, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show off-Broadway, in the UK & Japan tour, Puppet Romeo & Juliet and Puppet Titus Andronicus. Additionally, she’s been collaborating on a play called The Last Rat of Theresienstadt which won awards in Poland, traveled to Bulgaria, Israel and will now be performed in El Paso, TX. Escobar-Leanse began her voice over journey at the end 2019 and is loving every moment! She has done six audiobooks, including a children’s sci-fi book called That Thing in the Sky. Recently, she can be heard as the Bond girl voice in Voodoo Ranger’s IPA campaign and multiple voices in the soon to be released children’s podcast called Cobbler’s Gulch. For Videos and photos of all of Mindy’s work, visit her website: mindyleanse.com.
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