Tag Archives: Bernhard and Amara

Butcher, Jim: First Lord’s Fury (The Codex Alera VI) (2009)

Map by Priscilla Spencer

The last book of The Codex Alera is another brick. First Lord’s Fury is almost 700 pages long.

I think the reason I like Tavi’s character is because he is a bit crazy. Just crazy enough to see possibilities where the rest of us aren’t able to. Me, I lack that piece of genius that I sometimes meet in other people. Not often, but enough times to know how precious that ability is.

Tavi sees allies in traditional enemies, possibilities in impossibilities and hope where the rest of us give up. (Yes, I do realize he is a fictional character!) Sometimes people like this can be terribly annoying because giving up can be soooo tempting. He does annoy his friends at times. But this trait is also what has brought enemies to help and now another enemy needs to be brought into the battle against the Vord.

In Princep’s Fury Tavi discovered once and for all that the Vord were impossible to talk with/to. Their only aim in life is to convert Alera into Vord (land and creatures). However, the first Vord queen is a bit off for a Vord. She has limited the number of queens and made them sterile to boot. This gives Tavi some hope that Alera might prevail against them in the end.

Invidia Aquitaine is still fighting on the Vord queen’s side while her husband is the leader of the people left behind in Alera. The First Lord is dead and Tavi needs to hurry back to resolve the succession question at the same time as he utilizes any and all means to prevent the further spread of the Vord. But to do that he needs to take down the queen and that is quite a task. Thankfully, his old allies and family are still alive and fighting for the survival of Alera.


My reviews of books 1 (Furies of Calderoon), 2 (Academ’s Fury), 3 (Cursor’s Fury), 4 (Captain’s Fury), and 5 (Princep’s Fury)

Butcher, Jim: Princep’s Fury (The Codex Alera V) (2008)

Cover artist Steve Stone

Princep’s Fury is the fifth and penultimate book in The Codex Alera series. What can I say about this series now that it is almost over? One thing that is obvious is that Jim Butcher‘s writing is getting better and better. Hard work does pay. I’m hopeful that Jim benefits from this. As a reader, I certainly do. Having read books of all kinds for around 40 years, I have certainly learned to spot and appreciate which authors are serious about their craft.

Tavi has set off with his regiment to assist the Canim with the Vord in their homeland. With his usual tolerance of the Ocean, Tavi vomits his way quite a ways accross the Ocean. Thankfully he has good helpers who assist him whether he wants them to or not. Once they get to the land of the Canim, both Varg and Tavi discover that the situation is a bit more dire than Varg had thought and hoped.

Back in Alera the Alerans are finally realizing that the Vord are real and they are coming to get them. Unfortunately, that usually means that the Vord are about to take over your whole country and population. As we might have guessed by the previous books, the Vord Queen that started the ball rolling this time around is not quite as Vordish as she should have been. This might just be the factor that ends up being a saving factor for the Alerans, Malat and Canim.

Not all Alerans are able to help the First Lord as they are fighting for their lives to save their own people. Which is why Isana is sent north by the First Lord in an attempt to make historic peace between Alerans and Ice-men. Her work might very well be the feather that will tip the scales in the Aleran’s favor.

There is as much action in no. 5 as there has been in the previous four books. Political in-fighting is not quite as extreme as necessity  binds people together to an extent.


My reviews of books  1 (Furies of Calderoon), 2 (Academ’s Fury), 3 (Cursor’s Fury), 4 (Captain’s Fury), and 6 (First Lord’s Fury)

Butcher, Jim: Captain’s Fury (The Codex Alera IV) (2007)

Jim Butcher‘s series, The Codex Alera, is well worth a read. Captain’s Fury is book number four in the series. In it we meet a Tavi two years older from who he was in Cursor’s Fury.

The hard work that Butcher puts into his books shows. He himself says that being and author is about work, work, work and not giving up even if you are rejected.  I guess I must have been wrong about the Muses just dropping into people’s heads and taking over their hands.

I love it when I can tell that an author has worked for my pleasure. How selfish is that? However selfish, it is true. There is just something incredibly wonderful about an author that takes hold of me and brings me into their text.

That is the kind of author Jim Butcher has become.

Tavi is yet a couple of years older. As a character, Tavi is a warm-hearted person. Somehow he feels that friendship is possible with everyone and works toward that end. Unfortunately, not everybody agrees With that point of view. Senator Arnos is one such person. His goal in life is to destroy Tavy but also to destroy the Canim with what he considers Aleran superiority. Boy is he in for a surprise.

Sadly, Tavi will be impacted (in the shape of Captain Rufus Scipio) by Arnos’ scheming and Tavi’s captaincy hangs in a thread. When Tavi discovers who he really is, his life is not made any simpler.

The First Lord is quite a schemer himself. He knows that he is more or less alone in his battles and seeks a quick resolution to the problem of Kalare. That means that Gaius will have to og undercover and absent himself from the political infighting in Alera. To assist him in his quest, the First Lord brings along his faithful Amara and her Bernard.

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My reviews of books  1 (Furies of Calderoon), 2 (Academ’s Fury), 3 (Cursor’s Fury), 5 (Princep’s Fury) and 6 (First Lord’s Fury)

Butcher, Jim: Cursor’s Fury (The Codex Alera III) (2007)

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Great cover-art, huh. The artist is Steve Stone.

I Guess it is about time that you saw who on Earth writes this Codex Alera series. Jim Butcher is obviously showing his more serious side in this photograph of he and his dog.

I’ll admit that this is not a recent Picture, but it is a fun one.

So, Codex Alera and Cursor’s Fury.

Tavi is getting older, and hopefully wiser in his understanding of his abilities. In The Furies of Calderon we got to know the 15-year old boy whose greatest wish was to study at the Academy in the city of Alera. Through his deeds he reaped the reward of just that. A couple of years later, we meet Tavi again. This time he is a student at the Academy and wondering if perhaps he should have wished for something else. But his presence proves vital in securing the safety of the First Lord – as it should when Tavi is the main character of the series. Academ’s Fury shows us a boy who has grown in maturity and understanding of his abilities.

In Cursor’s Fury Tavi has aged once again. His and Kitai’s relationship has deepened and both are committed to each other. Not everyone is pleased with the relationship between human and Marat. Another relationship that not all who know Tavi are pleased with, is his relationship with the Canim leader Varg. But Tavi’s thought is that friendship is a whole lot better than the shedding of blood.

The First Lord sends Tavi off to learn from one of the Academy’s more controversial teachers. The ways of the old Romans need to be explored (yes, indeed, the old Romans). Somehow it seems they managed without using Furies and it seems the First Lord deems it necessary to discover how they got by. Tavi doesn’t want to leave Kitai and his friends, but as a Cursor and subject of the First Lord he does not really want to say no either.

So, off he goes. And somehow – read and find out – he ends up being an under-cover legionare in the First Lord’s army fighting for his life and the safety of Alera.

There is plenty of action. Plenty of it, interspersed with humour and romance and intrigue. Spies and deception are part of the story and one of the greater deceptions will affect Amara and Bernhard as they tottle off to save hostages from Lord Kalare. I guess tottling might not be the appropriate term here – read and discover why.

Another brick of a book – 614 pgs brick – but a fun brick. If you are into action, this is the book to read.

Butcher, Jim: Academ’s Fury (The Codex Alera II) (2006)

Academ's Fury 1

Academ’s Fury follows Calderon’s Fury as book number two in the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher. You know the saying, “you should be careful what you wish for”. Well, Tavi has gotten his wish, and it is proving a bit more of a handful than he would have liked. For one thing, going to an Academy where he is the only one without a fury among obnoxious kids is less than fun. But the upside is that Tavi does meet kids his own age that he likes and he also learns quite a bit.

In addition to his studies, Tavi is also the First Lord’s page and is studying to be a cursor spy. Both are taxing his strength but he is growing in knowledge and hopefully wisdom.

Kitai and her father discover the disappearance of the Vord from the Wax Forest. Dorago looks for the long-time enemies of the Marat and he is worried what their disappearance means. While he is looking he sends Kitai to “watch” (all is revealed in the book). The Vord will include Bernhard, Amare and Isana in our tale.

And then we have the Canim. There is an ambassadorial retinue living at the First Lord’s palace. The ambassador’s name is Varg. Jim likes to make the story lines of the Codex Alera pretty complex. Part of that is probably to keep the reader on their toes, but it is difficult to tell his story without bringing in the various people involved. So too, the Canim.

The ambassador seeks the First Lord’s help, but due to circumstances around the First Lord that is going to prove extremely difficult. In fact, getting help from the First Lord for anyone at all is going to be a challenge in Academ’s Fury. But fear not, Tavi is here. OK! It might not be quite that simple, but Tavi is, after all, the hero of this series and that means that he has to do impossibly heroic deeds.

The problem with so much art on the net is that it is difficult finding just who to credit with it. If you press on the picture above it will take you to one site, and I hope that is the correct one. If not, someone will have to tell me.

While reading these books, I have been trying to place their age group. Sex wise they are pretty safe. I would probably give the books a PG rating for that (only because of how strict the US public is). When it comes to violence I’m having a bit more trouble. How graphic is graphic and where do I draw the line? Well, I don’t really know. There is violence and it is descriptive, but it isn’t what carries the story (at least not in Academ’s Fury). I guess I would say that the reader should not be too young, but it is OK for a teen-ager. But I am ancient, so what do I know?

Anyways, after that struggle, I want to say that Academ’s Fury is fun and fast to read (for a given definition of fast). The book is around 600 pages long and you don’t read that in one go. Butcher’s language flows along its river of words without drowning me in anything unwanted.


My reviews of books  1 (Furies of Calderoon), 3 (Cursor’s Fury), 4 (Captain’s Fury), 5 (Princep’s Fury) and 6 (First Lord’s Fury)