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Princeps' Fury
Jim Butcher
Read by Kate Reading
Penguin Audio, 18 Hours

Princeps' Fury
Jim Butcher
A martial arts enthusiast whose resume includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives with his wife, his son and a ferocious guard dog.

The Jim Butcher Fan Attic
ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Cursor's Fury
SF Site Review: Academ's Fury
SF Site Review: Furies of Calderon
SF Site Review: Small Favor
SF Site Review: Captain's Fury
SF Site Review: White Night
SF Site Review: Proven Guilty
SF Site Review: Dead Beat
SF Site Review: Blood Rites
SF Site Interview: Jim Butcher
SF Site Review: Death Masks
SF Site Review: Grave Peril
SF Site Review: Fool Moon
SF Site Review: Storm Front

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Gil T. Wilson

Jim Butcher creates an epic tale of magick, swords and mythical beasts in the Codex Alera series. According to Butcher's website, he's fast approaching the finale as book six, entitled First Lord's Fury, will end the series. Knowing this, and having heard the previous four installments, I listened as slowly as possible because I didn't want the relationship I've developed with the land of Alera to end. Butcher's imagination builds a world that I had hoped would go on forever (or at least a very long time).

Once again Kate Reading provides a great auditory escape into Jim Butcher's world of Codex Alera. She uses simple techniques to differentiate characters, insuring that individuals are distinct and easily identified. She's also a master at interpreting raw emotion, which is a definite requirement for this story.

The Alerans use a special magic/sorcery called fury crafting to call upon the furies of the elements to perform a wide variety of functions, These range from the simplest tasks, such as lighting lamps or pumping water, to more complex uses which include increasing strength, flying, or healing. Everyone in Alera can perform fury crafting to some degree, the most powerful of whom are leaders of the separate states in the land. Needless to say, the First Lord is the most powerful of all.

The beginning of this series introduces us to Tavi, who has a secret that is slowly revealed through subsequent volumes. Tavi is the grandson of the First Lord of Alera and heir to that same title. In order to protect him, Tavi's mother hides Tavi's fury crafting abilities so that he will be safe from those that would assassinate him. As a result, Tavi grows up without the ability to fury craft, making him a freak among the Alerans.

In Princeps' Fury, Tavi has been accepted as the Princep (heir to the crown of First Lord). However, a recent civil war in Alera has left many citizens disgruntled and wanting something more than what the First Lord seems able to offer. Alera has many enemies surrounding them, including the Marat to the south, the Ice Men to the north and, across the sea to the west, the Canim. Fortunately, diplomacy and kindness have created an ally with the Marat, and the Canim have agreed to cease hostilities when Tavi and his legion assist them in building ships so they may return to their homeland.

One other enemy that has come to Alera from unknown origins is the Vord. The first book in the series describes Tavi awakening a Vord Queen while proving himself to the Marat leaders. The Vord is an extremely powerful insect-like species. They can take over a body (animal or human) through a small "taker" that eats its way to the brain of the host and then controls their host's every move. Also, the Vord Queen can read minds, thus making her a formidable enemy. Many people in Alera do not believe the Vord to be real, but soon enough they will believe!

When the Vord attack Alera they begin using fury crafting, which only Alerans have been able to do before now. This makes the Vord even more dangerous. The First Lord, has plans to save Alera and one of the main components is to lure the Vord to the Aleran capital, where he can fight the Vord Queen. Killing the queen is the only way to stop the Vord.

While the possible destruction of Alera seems imminent, Tavi arrives with the Canim back to their homeland, only to discover that the Vord have destroyed all the people and lands save for one small faction. Tavi must then fight the Vord side by side with the Canim to escape back to Alera.

Once again, Jim Butcher has created a masterpiece of high fantasy. The many battlefronts create an atmosphere of adventure that will sweep you up in the excitement that is Codex Alera.

Copyright © 2009 Gil T. Wilson

Gil T. has spent a quarter of a century working in radio and has lots of spare time on his hands and reading or listening to books takes up all that time. Check out his blog to find out what he's up to at any given moment.

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