Well, this series is kind of getting to that point where I don’t even know what to say because I’m enjoying it SO MUCH but it is ridiculously involved.
One thing that I really like is the way that the books are spaced – about two years between each one, which means that our main character, Tavi, has a chance to grow and develop even when we aren’t around. It makes the events far more believable, because by Cursor’s Fury, even though Tavi is still young, he isn’t a kid any more, and he’s had several years of education and training.
Butcher has created a really intricate but understandable world. There are layers of culture, but nothing disproportionate or jarring. Tavi is intelligent, industrious, loyal, and kind, but he isn’t perfect. I really, really like how there are different types of creatures in this world besides humans, and how Butcher uses the inherent prejudices the humans have against these other creatures to build his story, especially as Tavi is one of the few who are willing to meet and understand them on their own terms.
In this book, the main enemy are the Canim, a sort of wolf-human creature. They come from another continent and have raided Alera off and on through the years, but this time they have come as an invading force, and they couldn’t have chosen a better time (from their perspective) to strike, as one of the High Lords has incited a rebellion against the First Lord. Resources and military units are stretched thin, and tension is high. Butcher does a really excellent job of giving us a few chapters with one character, and then a few chapters with another. While Tavi is the main focus, many of the secondary characters are well developed, especially Tavi’s family and Amara, the Cursor we met in the first book.
We also get the official reveal of who Tavi really is, something I guessed basically in the first half of the first book, but it was nice to have it officially confirmed and to get all the details of the story. It also gave a lot more insight into the minds and motives of some of the other characters.
All in all, this has been a solid series. I just started book four today, and am excited (and a bit terrified) to see the action continue!
#7 for 20 Books of Summer!!!