Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book #69

Academ's Fury, by Jim Butcher. Unabridged audio.

I started reading Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series because it contained fewer books than his more famous Dresden Files series. My thinking was that it would be easier to get into a shorter series.

The part of the equation that I forgot to consider was the length of the novels themselves. The six epic fantasy tales of the Codex Alera come close to accounting for as many pages as the dozen Dresden novels.

Not that I am complaining – epic tales often need epic lengths to be told properly.

Gaius Sextus, the First Lord of Alera is gravely ill, news that would invite invasion if it were made known. Spies are all over the palace, and the land, seeking news of the First Lord’s condition. Tavi, who became a ward of the First Lord after the events of the prior novel, must use all his wits to keep his master.

Unfortunately, he is the only adult in Alera without any fury-crafting powers. Other than him, every Aleran has some ability to manipulate water, air, earth, fire, wood, or metal. With the help of his aunt Isana, who is no fan of the First Lord, and the mysterious young woman Kitai, Tavi strives to protect the First Lord, and thus the Realm.

I enjoy the magic system in these novels, and the character development among all the leads is quite strong. I also like fantasy world’s that are in some ways analogous to our own world, and in this case, Alera is structured very similar to ancient Rome. I look forward to future novels exploring the nature of the bond between Tavi and Kitai, as well as the ramifications of a major revelation that happened in this novel’s epilogue.

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