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Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

Furies of Calderon (edition 2004)

by Jim Butcher

Series: Codex Alera (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6231371,818 (3.98)221
In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies--elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal--15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. As his homeland erupts in chaos--when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies--Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.… (more)
Title:Furies of Calderon
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:New York : Ace Books, 2004.
Collections:Your library

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Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

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» See also 221 mentions

English (134)  German (2)  French (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
Apparently I last read Furies of Calderon before I started writing reviews. That was actually the second time I read it--the first time I didn't even finish the book, putting it down. It's something of a slow book and a bit strange. But the second time and especially once I got into the sequels, I loved it, it's among my favorite series. This time around, I listened to it and it's even better as an audiobook (since it just keeps right on going through the boring parts).

If you haven't heard, the story is that Codex Alera arose out of a bar bet. Take some random topic and write a story about it. In this case, the Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon. Sounds crazy, but it kind of works. From the Roman half, you end up with essentially a Roman empire with holds and legions that have fought to tear out a land for themselves from a variety of enemies all around. From the Pokemon, you have Furies, elemental spirits of the land, sea, and air which all of the Alerans[^Tavi] have some ability to control for various tasks: the strength of an earth fury, healing with water furies, flying with air. Pretty cool.

Like I mentioned, it takes a bit to get going, especially since the main character (farm boy / 'chosen one' Tavi) is the one person in the entire empire without the magical powers everyone else has. He has to depend on his wits, which isn't all that unusual in high fantasy, but it's rare to see it done to quite such an extreme.

Other than that, the other characters are all interesting and unique. Isana loves her family to a fault and totally has some secrets going on[^reread]. Bernard is good people™ and tough enough to go head to head with the more 'sophisticated' city folk that don't believe he can do what he says he can do. Amara is a young woman who's basically a flying secret agent, betrayed by her mentor in the very first chapter.

The world building is fascinating and despite edging towards kitchen sink status, surprisingly works. It's fascinating how real and everyday the furies are made to feel, despite being so fantastic. Conversely, the 'alien' bits to the world are what really makes things interesting. You have the 'barbarian' Marat who seem to bond with animals rather than furies and the cultural clash you'll get there and the wax forest. It's just so very weird compared to everything else in the world... and there's a reason for that. I'll just leave that at that[^reread].

Overall, it's probably the weakest of the series in my opinion (although it's been long enough I don't quite remember what falls in which of the sequels), but still a quite wonderful book. And it's a fully completely and refreshingly different feeling fantasy series, which is always nice to see. Worth the read...

Caveat: This is definitely an adult book. There are some rather graphic descriptions of violence, frank comments about ritual cannibalism, and long sections of the book dealing with slavery and rape. It's certainly not a book for younger readers and if anything in the above isn't your cup of tea, to each there own--but this is probably not the series for you.

[^reread]: Which I guess is even more obvious on a re-read, but you have to see that even the first time around. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
The characters aren't amazing, but I did end up caring about them and what happened and there was quite a bit of tension going on. The last half was much more exciting than the first half. I liked the high-magic aspect of the furies, it made the action scenes much more interesting, reminded me of [book:Mistborn: The Final Empire|68428]. I wasn't completely happy with the final "resolution" of the story, but it did wrap up satisfactorily as opposed to leaving you hanging. Narration was great.

Not sure if I'll get back to this series or not. Looks like there are 6 of them, so many books, so little time... ( )
  ragwaine | May 21, 2021 |

I really tried with this book.

I’m a big Harry Dresden fan and I’ve been eyeing other Jim Butcher books for a while now.

Tbh I wasn’t very interested in the blurb, but I thought, it’s by Jim Butcher and so many people rave about this book, I’ve got to give it a try.

Unfortunately the characters in this book bored me. From the blurb I mistakenly thought most of the action would revolve around Tavi. Instead the book meanders through a menagerie of characters, none which stands out and I wonder when the story would actually start. When we finally meet Tavi, his problems seems so paltry compared to everything else that is supposedly going on that I wonder why he is the main hero at all.

It takes the book a little over a quarter of the way through to get to the point described in two paragraphs by the blurb (Tavi finally meets and save the slave girl). It has taken me three months to get to this point.
Nothing interesting has happened so far and I’m just not engaged enough with the characters or the events to waste any more time on it.

I’m sorry Jim, this is a no go for me. I think I’ll just stick to your Harry Dresden series (tbh this series makes me very leary of trying your Cinder Spires series as well). ( )
  vishae | Apr 29, 2021 |
I'm enjoying this story. Characters are afraid when it's appropriate instead of being ridiculously courageous. It's fluff and that's what I wanted. ( )
  KittyCunningham | Apr 26, 2021 |
The villains are caricatures. It features "savages" that "eat human" flesh. The furies are cool. Ultimately, entertaining. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 134 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frangie, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reading, KateNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my son, hero in training.
And in memory of my father, a hero in truth.
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The course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpations, but by the actions of the individual.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies--elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal--15-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. As his homeland erupts in chaos--when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies--Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.

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