Hope you’ve been keeping up with books 1 (reread this one before starting this little blog thingy), 2, and 3 in Codex Alera, ’cause we’re trucking right along to No. 4: Captain’s Fury. Yep, Tavi’s a Captain. At this point, I can’t really discuss the series without spoilers, so you’ve been warned.
For those of you who haven’t been taking good notes: Codex Alera exists in a world where a lost Roman legion appears in a strange land, and after more than a thousand years has a civilization where the people control furies (like elemental Pokemon) that make them more powerful. The series has (mostly) followed Tavi’s family, though we get side adventures with a couple of spies, as they come to grips with their changing situations.
Side note, all the books in the series reflect Tavi’s station (don’t look at the titles if you don’t want to know where he’s heading), except the first. It’s called Furies of Calderon, though I supposed Orphan’s Fury doesn’t have the same ring to it.
I don’t know which book I consider my favorite (possibly Cursor’s Fury or Furies of Calderon), but this one has my favorite fight scene. Tavi gets matched against a psychotic swordswoman who would dearly wants to eviscerate our hero (side note, my computer recognizes swordsman but not swordswoman; that’s sexist, yo). It’s not a terribly long fight scene, but it stuck with me for some reason. A couple of years after I first read the books (2010ish) I actually went back and read this scene at one point just to go over it again. I’m not Jim Butcher’s biggest fan, but he writes good fight scenes (I believe he might actually be a LARPer). He’s fantastic about working the mechanical details of a fight into the story.
We follow an A plot (with two perspectives), plus two B plots. The A plot follows Tavi as he finally learns his true parentage, gets arrested for treason, and breaks out a political prisoner. Actually not that exciting when you consider his past adventures. Mostly this comes from Tavi’s point of view, but when Isana (the woman raised him as his aunt but turned out to be his mother) joins after the treason arrest, we get to follow her perspective too. It’s interesting to see the same plot from two POVs. Usually, you follow Isana as a B plot, so this was a nice change of pace.
The B plots follow two spies. B-1 follows cursor (i.e., Aleran spy) Amara who guides us through her quest with her secret husband Bernard (the man who raised Tavi as his uncle but turned out to be just his uncle) and the first lord (the man who knew nothing of Tavi and then essentially abducted him after book 1 upon realizing Tavi was his grandchild). They’re going behind enemy lines to pick a fight. B-2 follows Captain Tavi’s first spear Marcus (something like a master or first sergeant) who’s really Fidelias the ex-cursor who I believe has tried to kill every single member of Tavi’s family in the books so far, except now he’s trying to save Tavi because he learned he was a good heir to throne.
Lots of traveling. Lots of violence. And liberal use of the word crows, which is curse word (and used often enough in the books that might nonstop reading of this series has led me to start mentally using crows as a cuss word).
It’s high fantasy fare that’s not what could be called excellent or paradigm-changing, but it is still a good series. You get magic, strategy, strange beasts, and in one of the last two books, we finally get to meet the ice men of the north. A good time for all, indeed.