First Lord’s Fury // by Jim Butcher


//published 2009//

I’m sorry to say it, but I have to say it – this book gave me so many FEELS!

I started the Codex Alera back in June, and was immediately enamored with Furies of Calderon.  I loved the hero, Tavi, but I also loved all of the side characters.  The plotting was great, the world-building fantastic, and there was just so much to really enjoy about the setting and story.  And it just hasn’t stopped – I’ve loved every book of this series.  The pacing has been perfect, and the connections and build between the books really well done.  It feels like one big story, yet each book reads as itself very well.

Throughout this series, the core group of characters have had to, individually, make critical decisions.  I love the way that Butcher has written books where those decisions – the ones that seemed large and the ones that seemed small – all have an impact on Alera’s future.

Butcher also does an absolutely amazing job writing a story where the reader sees how every coin has two sides – and yet he does it without coming across as wishy-washy, or as though he is making excuses – it’s more of a reminder that everyone has their own perspective that leads them to make the choices that they make.

In a way, that’s what this whole series is about: choices.  Virtually every decision that we make every day impacts the way that our character is growing and changing.  And while one small bad/selfish decision may not immediately turn us into bad/selfish people, the accumulation of many of those small decisions is what shapes us.  The justifications that we use for the selfish decisions that we make also say a lot about us.

All in all, I highly recommend this series.  It was completely engrossing and very well written.  The only reason it has taken me so long to finish is that I was reluctant to start the last book (I finished book #5 back in August!) … because that meant that the series was going to be over!  Plus, I’m always scared to read the final book when I have loved the series – what if everything falls apart in the end??  But this series concluded perfectly, and I closed the book with a deep sigh of genuine contentment.

Full of action, intrigue, and well-drawn characters, the Codex Alera has been a fantastic series to read, and is one that I am sure I will visit again.  5/5 for this book, and for the series on the whole.