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Ymmv: Codex Alera
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Surprisingly enough, Ehren. Lord Aquitaine opines he's a master manipulator and assassin. Amara suggests that Ehren is a loyal servant of the Realm. Aquitaine notes that the two options are not mutually exclusive.
  • Cliché Storm: Deconstructed and defied.
  • Complete Monster: The author has his own page.
  • Crazy Awesome: Tavi. I mean, good lord. He stops in the middle of a battle to sit in front of the gates and play chess with the enemy commander.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Many over the course of the series.
    • Any and all of Tavi's tactics as captain in the third book, take your pick from filling the city with sawdust and then setting it on fire when the invading army took it, dumping blood from the slaughterhouses into the river to attract sharks and the like from the sea, or having his Knights Aeris fly up and focus the air itself into a giant magnifying glass and proceeding to roast the enemies like ants.
      • Most of Tavi's actions in books three and four count, actually. Particularly when he finally declares himself in front of his friends and enemies and challenges Arnos (and by extension Navaris) to a duel.
      • When he declared his true name, the earth shook and the sky turned red. The reader knows that's because a powerful furycrafter hundreds of miles away just made a volcano erupt, but as far as the characters know it's because he's just that awesome.
      • He thinks something like, "I have no idea what that is, but there's no point letting it go to waste, is there?"
      • It did add something to the delivery, after all.
    • Amara outmaneuvering and then leaving the scheming noblewoman Invidia and her retainers stranded, in the middle of the wilderness... sans clothing.
      • Bernard shooting down High Lord Kalarus from atop a moving air coach. Kalarus then proceeded to fall into the forest below at a speed probably upwards of 100 miles an hour. No wonder he doesn't show up in person after that.
    • Book 6: Lots of them: Starting with when Tavi successfully has several of the Vord Queen's prisoners rescued from right under her nose, and progressing to Tavi tearing down the walls of Riva, Amara killing Invidia, and the final battle with the Vord Queen.
    • A mortally wounded Attis Aquitaine serving Invidia her divorce papers in the middle of an intense duel.
    • Or how about this scene in the climax of book five. Tavi needs boats. He doesn't have any boats. So instead, he carves entire glaciers into boats, and sails them into the Shuaran harbor.
    • Isana is not exactly a fighter. Which makes her slaughtering 6 vord warriors at once when cornered in the sixth book that much more awesome.
    • Bernard taking down a vordbulk that had been shrugging off the concerted efforts of the entire Herdbane Clan with one (slightly modified) arrow.
      Bernard: "Anyone could have done it."
      • And then High Lord Cereus tops Bernard by doing the same thing. Except instead of using an arrow, he uses himself - literally hurling himself down the maw of the vordbulk and triggering a furycrafting that destroyed its entire head, taking himself along with it, to protect his daughter and grandchildren. Manly Tears.
    • One word: Catapults.
    • On a Meta level, Jim Butcher for writing a series based on the concept of Pokémon and making it awesome. (And on a bet no less.)
  • Crowning Moment of Funny - Has its own page.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming - Has its own page.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Brencis. When the person who you've kidnapped and are about to rape notices how handsome you are, I believe you fufill this trope (though the mind control collar helped).
    • The Vord Queen, considering she looks like a green Kitai.
  • Fan Nickname: The Vord Queen is HIB— short for 'Her Imperial Bugginess'. Lady Aquitaine is TEBI— short for 'That Evil Bitch Invidia.' Ehren is often referred to as "the crowbegotten Batman."
  • Magnificent Bastard: Gaius (who's basically Dumbledore without the facade of eccentric senility) and Lord Aquitaine are both solid examples.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Brencis, son of High Lord Kalarus crosses this when it turns out he's using his father's brainwashing technique (already Nightmare Fuel) to turn humans into slaves for the Vord.
    • Kalarus pole-vaults over it and keeps running. No second crossing.
    • Senator Arnos crosses the line from "overly ambitious Smug Snake who is The Neidermeyer to his men" to "borderline Complete Monster" when he sends his troops to massacre innocent Steadholts full of civilians of both genders and their children for the sole purpose of provoking the slave rebellion into open war, all so that he can claim credit for crushing them and bolster his career. This act enrages the Canim (a ruthlessly predatory race of Blood Knights,) so much that they would prefer to reject an offered ceasefire than let him go unpunished.
  • Nausea Fuel: Plenty of the effects of Canim ritual sorcery. Of particular note is the fate that befalls a ritualist who tries to challenge Marok, a ritualist of the less treacherous old guard: a couple of droplets of blood and a gesture cause the offending canim to vomit up his entire digestive tract.
  • Never Live It Down: Kitai has no intention of letting Tavi forget that he woke the Vord.
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • The Vord, especially in the second book, before we know much about them. Also the discipline collars and Lord Kalarus's Immortals.
    • The Canim are pretty creepy when they're introduced in Academ's Fury, though they become significantly less so as Tavi (and by extension the reader) becomes more familiar with them. The Ritualists are still fairly disturbing, though, even the decent ones- Blood Magic and all.
    • In First Lord's Fury, Amara serves us up this gem, noting that she seems to be in shock:
      "I saw an earth fury that looked like a gargant bull knock down a building being used to shelter orphaned children. I saw a pregnant woman burned to black bones by a fire fury. I saw an old woman dragged down into a well by a water fury, her husband holding her wrists the whole way. He went with her." She paused, musing over the placid, inflectionless calm of her own voice, and added, "The second minute was worse."
  • HSQ: Trends steadily upward over the course of the series, until it takes up the majority of the entire final book.
  • Nightmare Retardant - Intentional. At the end of First Lord's Fury, Ehren reads Tavi a series of reports saying that unrest has arisen between steadholders who surrendered to the Vord and the army. The farmers keep complaining that the soldiers are killing "their" Vord— spiders and other creatures that they are using to tend their crops and livestock. Painted in different colors so that no one confuses whose is whose.
  • Stoic Woobie: Araris seems to get injured a lot, and that's not even counting his motivations behind his alternate, Obfuscating Stupidity persona. But he really doesn't show his emotions to anyone but Isana, and that's after some serious empathic prodding.
    • Even as Fade, he can't catch a break; he tends to get picked on a lot, despite the fact that he seems to be pretty helpful around the house. Even Bernard is pretty curt with him.
  • Tear Jerker: "I know how a Vord Queen dies. I am ready." Damn you, Jim Butcher, for making us go all sniffly over the omnicidal leader of a Horde of Alien Locusts.
  • Too Cool to Live: Pirellus of the Black Blade in book 1, and Gaius Sextus himself in book 5.
  • Uncanny Valley: Most of the Vord Queen's attempts at acting human in the final book fall squarely into this, particularly her little "dinner parties" with Invidia.
  • The Woobie: Rook gains a lot of sympathy points once we find out her motivation and past.

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