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Codex Alera: Jim Butcher - Ed's journal
Codex Alera: Jim Butcher
First off, I'll start off with a whinge about ebooks, and how the last book in this set is only available in the US, and not in the UK.
This problem I managed to deal with - and not by pirating - but it was annoying.

Anyway, Codex Alera is a set of 6 books, that follow the life of Tavi - a farmboy. It's set in a world where 'most' people have furies, in some degree, which is a sort of a cross between a pet elemental, and magic.
Tavi doesn't.

Aside from the magic system, which I've only seen vaguely similar in Dark Materials, there's a lot of cliches in there. I mean, boy that grows up on a farm becoming the hero? Well, yeah. But I'm not going to hate on a book just for that - I mean, I expect the good guy to win in most films I see, but what's important is how you get there, and how characters are developed in the interim.

Jim Butcher manages it quite nicely - there's a real depth to Tavi - he's likable, and plausibly smart despite striving to get along in a world where he's effectively handicapped. The supporting cast of key characters are similarly quite full and well rounded - there's treachery about, but it's well pulled off - much like George R.R. Martin, when someone's being evil, it's rarely 'just cuz', and there's usually more to it.

It's also quite a well written and paced narrative, and it does draw you along - a real 'burning the midnight oil' book, which is a bit of a hazard when it's 6 books long.

I'd strongly recommend it - if the synopsis looks good to you, it's probably a book that you'd enjoy.

Furies of Calderon - first book in the series


3 comments or Leave a comment
portilis From: portilis Date: March 26th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yep, started reading these approximately when the first book came out, and very much enjoy.

It's worth noting regarding your ebook grumbles - the latest book isn't available in the UK in hardcopy yet, so I'm not surprised they won't sell it as an ebook. I've got it on pre-order from Amazon, which estimates the 11th May.
crashbarrier From: crashbarrier Date: March 26th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love alera..especially that fact that I missed a major plot point because I pronounced a name wrong ... :D
From: andalumeni Date: March 26th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
One of the odd things with this series, is the pacing - if you don't count the prologue and epilogue chapters of each book which tend to cover large chunks of time in the big picture, they almost all occur over the space of a couple days. The interweaving of various characters and plot threads fills it with detail, but the series is basically six snapshots of life over the years, major turning points in the developing action. All the 'and we carried on like this for the next year' happens between books.
3 comments or Leave a comment