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Furies of Calderon

Just a few comments about Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) which is the first novel of his Codex Alera series.

In the paper version of the book (I actually listened to the audio version from audible.com), I was disappointed that there was neither a map of the world, nor an appendix describing key terms. I really feel that a small map would have helped to orient the reader

The largest mystery are the furies. Butcher gives only a partial discussion of what they are. Little to no time is spent describing how they are captured by (?) / bonded to (?) the human population. We know that these elemental spirits are obtained in one’s youth (Tavi’s lack is very clearly unusual). We are shown how the various furies are used (wind, water, fire, earth, wood, metal), but minimally about the relationship between Aleran and fury.

Another interesting facet of the novel is its setting in an Ancient Rome analogue. The names (Gaius Sextus, Fidelias, Aquitainus) and terms (legionares, academ, patriserus, Knights Aeris) all have a Latin sound to them. The special rights granted to those called “Citizen” are also reminiscent of Rome as is the barbarian horde attacking the land’s frontiers. I’ll be interested to see how far the similarities go when Tavi goes to the capital city to be educated at the Academy — the City of Rome (likely under another name), perhaps?

The book is very dense with a good deal of character development. The villains for the most part aren’t “mwuah-ha-haaa” evil, which is refreshing. Instead, they are merely greedy, ambitious, self-involved, traitorous, or believe they are more right than the current ruling class.

This book is followed by:
Academ’s Fury (Codex Alera, Book 2)
Cursor’s Fury (Codex Alera, Book 3)
Captain’s Fury (Codex Alera, Book 4)
Princeps’ Fury (Codex Alera, Book 5)
First Lord’s Fury (Codex Alera) — not yet released

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