Reviews: Codex Alera

Furies of Calderon

I am apparently the odd guy out in this case. Almost everyone I know says, when recommending the series, "Just get past the first one, and then it gets good." When I hear that, I honestly have to wonder what they've been smoking. I L-O-V-E Furies of Calderon. Yes, it is the weakest book is the series, but that's like saying Fool Moon is the weakest Dresden Files book, or that Return of the Jedi is the weakest Original Trilogy Star Wars film. It's true, but that's just in comparison to the other works in the series.

For me, Furies of Calderon hooked me in immediately. It had hilarious dialogue, likable characters, and one of the most interesting universes I've ever seen. I think maybe some people were confused by the fact that there is little to no explaining of how the universe works. I really don't mind that, and in fact find learning by example better than an info-dump. I will say that there is too much action in this book for me, but I've never been a huge fan of reading action anyway. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to everyone who enjoys interesting fantasy.

If you can read the first one, it's totally worth it.

Butcher really excels when he gets going in a series, but the first book of this and the Dresden Files were only readable because; I was on a plane with Dresden for a long time, and read through the first three books, and the Codex Alera because I read it when I was newer to the genre. Nevertheless, if you read the first book to get a good impression of his writing you will be disappointed, but if you slog through them, you'll get a rewarding read. It's like a baby that grows to maturity in a few hours.