Captain’s Fury // by Jim Butcher


//published 2007//

Okay, first off, you know all those old sayings about not being proud and all that?  Well, after patting myself on the back in my July Rearview because I have read 19/20 of my books for 20 Books of Summer, I find that I have really stalled.  My final book is Princep’s Fury, the next book in the Codex Alera series, and I just haven’t picked it up!  While I am absolutely loving these books, it always takes a few chapters to really get into the groove, and then when I do – all I want to do is read more!!!  And I find myself putting off that initial start because I don’t have time to do nothing but read right now!  So in the meantime, I’ve found myself revisiting my non-fiction assignments method, where I give myself a certain number of chapters to read each day, and can’t read anything “fun” (or play mindless games on  my phone!) until they are checked off the list.  However, my non-fiction reads right now are really good, including as they do John Cleese’s autobiography and a collection of Wodehouse letters, plus A.W. Tozer on the book of 1 Peter, and the classic The New Way Things Work.  

Anyway.  All that to say that I still think I will read my official Book #20 before time runs out, but for now I’m finding myself in a bit of a reading drought, possibly because summer is almost over and I still have SO MANY PROJECTS around the house that I want to accomplish!

So!  Captain’s Fury!  In this installment, set two years after Cursor’s FuryTavi is still leading his bit of the army.  They’ve been working to hold off the Canim invasion with the assistance of a newly-created Marat cavalry division, but now a new man has been put in charge of the military.  He doesn’t like the “barbarian” Marat, he doesn’t think that anything can be gained by attempting to negotiate with the Canim, and he doesn’t really like this upstart kid who is leading the First Alera Legion.

Tavi was initially sent to the First Alera under an assumed name in the last book.  His rise to captaincy there was not part of the plan, and it has forced him to continue his fake identity.  He’s not the only one operating under disguise, though, and the book is full of twists and turns as the true names of various characters are revealed.

Meantime, there are always plenty of other things going on.  Tavi’s uncle, Bernard, is helping his wife, the Cursor Armana, and the First Lord as the First Lord sets off on a secret mission to quell the rebellion of one of the other high lords.  Tavi’s aunt Isana is making a journey of her own – to Tavi, to confess a huge secret that she has withheld from him his whole life.  Tavi is desperately trying to protect Alera from the Canim, but believe that the best way to accomplish that may actually be to work with them instead of against them.  Butcher manages to keep the separate stories going at a good pace, and always brings things together in the end.  There is still an over-arching theme throughout the series, but each book concludes its own particular intensity, while managing to set things up for the next round.

One thing I don’t think I’ve particularly mentioned is how Butcher uses our culture from ancient Rome as a basis for the Aleran culture.  Many of the terms and concepts are Roman, and it’s rather intriguing, seeing as how there really aren’t a lot of other ways in which this world looks like ours.

All in all, Captain’s Fury is a solid installment to the series.  And despite my procrastination, I’m actually genuinely excited to delve into Princep’s Fury and see what happens next!

Book #14!!