The Ale Boy's feast is the fourth book in the "Aurelia's Colors" series, a fact which I wish I had known before trying to stumble and flounder through this novel. What would probably have been an intriguing, well-written fantasy novel ended being a flop for me personally because try as I might, I could not keep the characters. creatures, places, or story lines straight. From what I gleaned from the novel, the good people of the kingdom have lost a war and their king is assumed dead; together they brave the perils of the world around them in order to find a place where they will be safe. The ale boy in the title, Rescue, uncovers a path and attempts to lead the refugees to safety. Meanwhile, there are also at least four other story lines revolving around other characters. While each of these story lines was interesting and intriguing, going from one to another without the background of how they tie together made it feel more like reading four or five separate novels.The author's prose is beautiful, however, and I purposely stopped halfway through this book, hoping to someday come back to the first books of the series and read through all of them without spoiling the ending for myself.