Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher

Following Gaius Sextus' death and the destruction of the capital of Alera the remaining legions of Alera attempt to regroup as the hordes of the Vord continue to advance. With no other option they decide to retreat to the Calderon valley, where count Bernard and his wife Amara have been preparing for the invasion for years. Meanwhile Gauis Octavian, aka Tavi, as arrives back in Alera with his makeshift forces of Aleran's and Canim and enacts a desperate plan to arrive to the battlefield in time to make a difference.

I can't help but thinking that Butcher wrote himself into a bit of corner in this final volume. It is without a doubt an action packed novel which relentless pace never lets up. However that is not necessarily a good thing and the character development, especially for the main cast, suffers as a result.

There are however two support characters where Butcher does succeed. There was a very well worked juxtaposition between Fidelias (alias Valiar Marcus) and Lady Aquitaine who have been antagonists at various parts in the series. Both have an opportunity for redemption and their stories work out very differently.

One constant throughout the series is that Tavi has always tried to come to an understanding with the enemies of Alera. With the Vord queen showing signs of very real intelligence and a yearning to understand some aspects of the Alerans for Tavi not to make an attempt to reason with her seems grossly out of character. 

Overall the final volume of the Codex Alera series is a bit of a mixed bag. There is non-stop action but the good character growth in a couple of support characters is not echoed in the main cast. 7/10.

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