Furies of Calderon, by Jim Butcher

I admit I'm a little behind the times when it comes to Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, seeing as, uh, the final book was released in 2009. But you know what that means? No waiting, not even for public library editions! And if you want to buy your own copies, everything's in paperback now! You can probably even find used versions. Why, it's almost like I put off reading these stories for almost a decade... for you.

The first book in the series, 2004's Furies of Calderon, pulls out all the high-fantasy stops: there's a kingdom at risk from both internal enemies and external threats, more sword and sorcery action than you can shake a stick at, and a powerless orphan boy named Tavi. Tavi seems to be the only fifteen-year-old on the planet who isn't able to summon one of the elemental spirits known as “furies”, so he's learned to rely on his wits. But when he saves the life of an injured spy, he gets dragged into a brewing conflict that is rapidly escalating into full-blown war, and his quick mind will not be enough to keep him out of danger.

If you've read Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain or David Eddings's The Belgariad, the twists and turns of Furies of Calderon are not going to come as a surprise. Alexander's series is aimed at younger readers, and the Belgariad books are funnier, but all three feature offer utterly straightforward interpretations of high fantasy tropes. But let's face it: half of the pleasure of reading genre fiction comes from its familiarity, which is why Butcher's solidly entertaining and richly detailed story feels comforting, rather than derivative. Fantasy lovers are going to eat the Codex Alera books up with a spoon, and just because they'll be able to predict every plot twist fifty pages in advance doesn't mean they won't enjoy the ride.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.