Color-Based Societies – Literally

by on April 28th, 2015

What if Colors were nouns instead of adjectives?  These three trilogies explore the wondrous possibilities.  In the first two listed below, colors are used as rankings in a social hierarchy.  The last one has colors manifest as weather events affecting moods.

 

In 2009, Jasper Fforde stepped away from his Thursday Next series to write Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron.  Eddie Russet is a lowly Red who can only see color in that spectrum, reminiscent of the Kim Anderson photographs so popular a while back.  On the other end of the spectrum are the Purples, a royal color that surely means they are “destined to lead”.

 

I thought this book was outstanding as it was the first one I’d read to treat the rainbow in such a fashion.  Every year I’ve anxiously awaited a sequel and, according to Goodreads, the next book in the Shades of Grey trilogy [AKA the Chromatacia novels] will be published next year.

  1. Shades of Grey (2009)
  2. Painting by Numbers (expected publication 2016)
  3. Gordini Protocols (2017)

 

The Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown also uses colors to define a person’s place in the universe, primarily through occupations.  It follows Darrow, a Red miner on Mars, who discovers that he and others are being suppressed.  Upon his “transmutation” into Gold, he realizes it is even more brutal at the top.

  1. Red Rising (2014)
  2. Golden Son (2015)
  3. Morning Star (05 January 2016)

 

A Corner of White.phpThe Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty treats colors a little differently.  In these refreshing books, colors are whimsical but still have a material effect.  The plot bounces back and forth between two separate realities:  Elliott Baranski in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello and Madeleine Tully in Cambridge, England, the World.

  1. A Corner of White (2013)
  2. The Cracks in the Kingdom (2014)
  3. Unknown as not yet listed on either Goodreads or her website

 

I invite you to enter these fantastic worlds where color means much more than just what shirt you wear.  In them, you can imagine what color you’d like to be and discover which one you really are.

 

 

 

One Response to “Color-Based Societies – Literally”

  1. Burlene Blankenship says:

    Enjoyed reading about Color-Based Societies. I had never thought of life in the realms of color. Enjoyed the comparisons with similar books I hadn’t considered reading before…but believe I will seek them out now. Food for thought.

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