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Furies of Calderon is your typical fantasy epic Swords, sorcery, world turning upheaval, the blackest of evil and noblest of good Only, the true hero of the story is not only powerless Because that s been done before No, the true hero is now only powerless, he s the ONLY powerless character Even the other lowly farm hands can command boulders to simply pull themselves out of crop fields.The savage Marat barbarians all have years of fighting experience from birth and great mighty beasts who kill with and for them The Alerans all have access to their furies that control metal, earth, fire, air, water and plants making them powerful in a very many interesting ways that you wouldn t immediately think of as the traditional domains powers.But Tavi is just a smart young lad who really knows how to run Making him the hero is brilliant, but better yet is not making him do things so unbelievable as to nullify the fact that he s powerless compared to everyone around him How many times does somebody have to save his ass I can t even remember, but it was refreshing.Jim Butcher takes his incredible story telling to a fully other dimension The Dresden Files first person narative is the only way those stories could work as amazingly as they do, but the multiple view points in The Furies of Calderon turn it into a vast reaching epic, every bit as expansive as Dresden is intimate. I probably made a huge mistake by reading this novel before any of The Dresden Files At the time I was shuffling through my Kindle library and I had just finished one or two urban fantasy novels I was not in the mood for another one, so I thought, Hey How about The Furies of Calderon Oh poor, unwitting me You had such good intentions.My first problem with this book is where the premise came from Although I could not find any definite evidence, the rumor is that Butcher was bet he couldn t make a good story out of a bad idea In this case, the lost Roman 9th legion, and Pok mon Now, I personally think that sounds pretty awesome, but I m a nerd I also think that Jim Butcher taking it and running with it is a testimony to his balls of steel and his writing capability Not just anyone could make that shitty bet into a six book series Unfortunately for us, the bet should have been take a bad premise but make good characters Good characters, in my opinion, do not always need a good story, nor do they need ridiculous situations to prove themselves the better human The bad guys do not need to be evil for the sake of evil with some general douchery thrown in Nor do all of the good characters need to be noble and upstanding.The elemental powers drew strong parallels to Avatar The Last Airbender for me One of my favorite cartoons Who knows where the cartoon writers got their inspiration, but Avatar was released in 2005, while this novel was published in 2004, so no worries there Of course, the target audience for Avatar The Last Airbender is 6 11 year olds, so I m a wee bit outside the demographic there Furies of Calderon, on the other hand, is advertised as a high fantasy novel which means that sex, blood, and general world ending antics are fine Yet in this novel those all felt distinctly out of place, like it was supposed to be written as a young adult novel but a rape scene accidentally got thrown in.Yeah, you heard me Furies is like The Last Airbender but withrape.When I started writing this review I told my boyfriend that I was reviewing Furies of Calderon, but he gave me a blank look As soon as I said, You know, Avatar The Last Rape Bender He walked away groaning I started referring to Furies as that when the stupidly one dimensional and overly antagonistic local muscle revealed their propensity for said torture and rape It was so ridiculous and purposefully overdramatic for the sake of drama that I threw the book down and had to walk away for a few days At least the major antagonists have some semblance of a plan going for them, but the betrayer was revealed way too early in the story to make that very dramatic As in the first chapter Butcher, I feel, really missed out on some potential character development there with Amara So here I am as the reader, disgusted when local farmers rape slaves for drama, and then confused as to why a perfectly good opportunity for drama and character development was dropped by the wayside.Whether it was an excess of drama or a lack thereof, a lot of the book was telling and not showing The one sentence I wrote down after finishing it to remind myself of things I should say in a review was 500 pages of characters talking about how scared they are I was badgered, harassed, and goaded into unspeakable acts of eye rolling as characters fleshed out how incredibly frightened they were, over and over again It s not character development, it s 500 pages of characters worried about what is going to happen Of course, it s those one dimensional good characters I mentioned earlier, noble and upstanding, who don t have any other traits to talk about besides either being right, or scared If that is all your characters are capable of, something needs to be reevaluated here.It is a trope in urban fantasy that the main character starts out already very powerful, pain resistant, tough, and disillusioned In Furies of Calderon, however, it is the exact opposite Not only is the main character weak, he is the only weak character, every single other person having their own elemental already, while he has none While reading this book I kept thinking, NOW would be a good time for his powers to suddenly come into affect.ok how about NOW This is the one positive thing about this novel, and at least it is a valid drama point As much as I would like to know whether he ever does get his powers, I was definitely not planning on finishing the series However, I will be begrudgingly reading , but only because the internet informs me that it gets better.Two years laterI did it I finally finished Here is the star break down for the series for me Furies of Calderon 2Academ s Fury 2Cursor s Fury 1Captain s Fury 2Princeps Fury 1First Lord s Fury 2Needless to say, I do not recommend this series It does not get better. I don t really read a lot of high fantasy In fact, I m not even sure what makes something high fantasy I have my ideas, thoughI ve been reading Butcher s urban fantasy series, Dresden Files for a long time now, but I ve avoided reading his Codex Alera stuff because it sounded too weird for me Even the name Codex Alera is just Ehhhhh Seemed like there would be too much funky Lord of the Rings y world building for a fantasy lite reader like myself Some of us don t do well with that sort of thing, you know Plus, this book has a lot of mixed reviews among my friends There s not really an overwhelming Yes This Read this vibe happening, so I never felt any pressure to pick it up.But I was always kinda curiousOk You know what After all that worrying, it turns out that I liked it I liked it a lot I mean, sure there were a whole bunch of things about the world itself that I could have usedexplanation on Especially those elemental thingies that almost everyone seemed to have Like, sometime around puberty most of the people get a connection to an element earth, water, fire, air but they vary in their powers Kinda like Avatar if the elements were sorta like pets Ish.I m not explaining it well sighAnyway I could have used a bithelp when it came to understanding what they were and how they came to beobviously.But other than not quite being able to pin down how the world worked which was my original concern, in case you missed it , I didn t have any problems staying engaged in the plot The storyline was interesting and well written, and the characters felt two dimensional and very real Basically, this kid screws up and loses his and his uncle s sheep because he s busy getting some flowers for a snotty, ungrateful unsurprisingly ho ish girl Cuz he s hoping to see her big boobies.And trying to find those damn sheep is going to land him and his family in the middle of a conspiracy to not only overthrow the current king but potentially get his friends and neighbors eaten by a group of savages across the border.Good stuff I ve already grabbed the next book in the series, and I can t wait to see what happen. Most of the people know the background of this series For the rest of you I will tell it again Jim Butcher made a bet he could write a fantasy book s based on Roman legions and Pokemon.This is the result You have a society somewhat resembling that of Ancient Rome with its military being almost exact copy of Roman legions Magic also exists and comes in the form of Furies glorified Pokemon Some of them are related to wind, some to wood, some to fire, etc This is not Harry Dresden series A young boy Tavi who also happened to be practically the only one without any magic whatsoever did not take care of his herd on time because a girl asked him to get some special flowers Finally trying to get the herd back he sees something he is not supposed to see and as the result got mixed up in Big Politics We all know the life expectancy of little people who happened to be in the way of ambitious politicians Fear not, this is a fantasy world so unlike in real life Tavi has a slim chance of survival At the same time a graduate of local Academy called Amara has to infiltrate an enemy camp and do some reconnaissance as a graduation exam boy, these guys are serious about testing their pupils She also sees something she is not supposed to see resulting in the same situation as the poor guy I mentioned above This is not Harry Dresden series I cannot stress it enough If you need another Dresden fix before the next book of this better known series is published look elsewhere The signature humor of the famous Chicago wizard is not present at all The only similar themes I found were fast paced plot and last moment escapes This book reminded me of a summer blockbuster I already mentioned non stop action at times I felt I did not have a moment to catch my breath On the other hand this book has a lot of fantasy cliches I would say the majority of them were present here So if you look at exciting but mindless fantasy read this book is for you Just remember that this is not Harry Dresden series If you want a book which would make you think about the meaning of life this is exactly the wrong one.In the conclusion I need to explain why I kept saying that this is not Harry Dresden series I saw people gave this one a low rating for the only reason that they expected something similar to that series this on is not, so if you start reading this one keep it in mind. 0.99 on , go grab your copyhttps www. Furies CalderoI became a fan of Jim Butcher after reading book 3 in The Dresden Files series, it was a superb book Codex Alera is totally different than the Dresden series, and Furies of Calderon proved for once and for all that the author is muchimportant than THE great idea if you don t know what I m talking about this book was conceived as a result of a bet While Butcher was trying to prove his point that the author has a greater role in writing a good book than the importance of THE GREAT IDEA He was challenged to write a story inspired by two clich s, the first Pokemon, and the second the last roman legion Needless to mention that no one thought that the outcome will ever get published.The outcome of that bet is really really great Butcher wrote a fantastic fantasy book, definitely a classic fantasy done superbly right Excellent writing, amazing plot, tons of action, great pacing, very good characterization and breathtaking battle scenes the last battle reminded me David Gemmell s talent in creating very real and believable battle scenes is what makes the book so awesome The world building is interesting and I m looking forward to exploreof it Plus, the magic system is great, I like Butcher s take on elemental based magic The book has a satisfying ending, so it can be read as a standalone.The book is extremely fun to read, and it s highly recommended to all fantasy enthusiasts.Definitely 5 5. Edit The original review discussed Codex Alera s rather entertaining origin story, which involved a flamewar, a bet, Pokemon, and the Roman legions Because this is author behavior that is not discussed in the book, it may not be in line with the impressively subjective new policies of GR.I don t want to break these shiny new rules, so I am deleting most of the fun parts of this review.My original review is posted over at booklikes you can take a look at it there, if you want Sorry about the added trouble Here is a highly expurgated version which does not mention the author, as I do so hate breaking rules The story takes place in the Calderon Valley of the Kingdom of Alera, where the descendents of the lost Roman legions apparently settled thousands of years ago Alera is a savage, hierarchical land, with a failing high king who is the last of his line, a set of scheming lords anxious to relieve him of the burden of office, an economy built upon slavery, and a tendency try to massacre the members of the neighboring lands Not that its neighbors aren t doing their fair share Alera, the only human civilization, is surrounded by the savage icemen, the barbaric Marat, and the warg like Canim Alerans themselves are superhuman they are all gifted with and dependent on their Furies elemental magic that can be embodied in beings of wind, fire, and stone All Alerans have furycrafting skills and use them for everything from mundane household tasks to healing, flying, and superhuman epic battlemagic.Only Tavi, a shepherd boy in the Calderon Valley, is furyless Lucky Tavi is treated like a retarded child he not only looks like a young 12 year old, but at fifteen years, his lack of furies appears permanent and means he is essentially useless and helpless In a world dependent on the furies, he cannot turn on or off lights, help with the farming, or even travel fast on the roads which are specially designed for fast travel via earthcrafting The story and the series starts with a seemingly mundane incident Tavi wants to bring flowers to the girl he is sweet on, and is therefore so late bringing in the sheep that they wander away and are lost In retrieving them, he stumbles upon proof of a traitorous scheme that will endanger the entire Calderon Valley Aided by his watercrafting aunt Isana, his stolid stonecrafting uncle Bernard, and the mysterious windcrafting servant of the high lord, Amara, Tavi must bring news and preferably proof to the garrison to alert the legions yes, Roman legions to the danger Along the way, he and his allies must evade and outwit scheming mercenaries, vicious slavers, and bloodthirsty barbarians 4.5 stars Read from December 26, 2015 to January 03, 2016This review is for the whole series spoiler free First of all, I would like to say that reading some other reviews, you will get the impression that the story has Pokemons, or at least something similar That s kinda bullshit It has nothing to do with either them, or anything resembling them.Codex Alera is a nice fantasy story, taking place in Alera, a realm strongly resembling the Roman Empire The magic system is the best i have encounter, save perhaps the one of the Night Angel The characters are well built as well I got really close to them,and completely understood their emotions and decisions Unfortunately, that s where the good attributes stop Living was a dangerous past time, and often quite painful but there was also such joy in living, such beauty, things that one would otherwise never see, never experience, never know The risk of pain and loss was a part of living To begin with, the story is too Goddamn long All of the story arcs, and i do mean all of them, are far stretched I really got tired after the 3rd book Thing is, far stretched arcs weren t enough for Jim Butcher He had to keep repeating the same topics I swear to God, i got sick reading about a female character who loves a male character, but can t be with him because she can t bare him a child Thoughts discussions about it lastedthan 200 pages in the whole series Another really big problem i encountered is that there were a lot of cliches, and no surprises Everything was predictable In a trilogy this is not a big deal, but in 6 books It s really frustrating.All in all, Codex Alera is a nice fantasy series, but it doesn t belong in the top of your TBR list Leave it for some other time You can findof my reviews over at Actual rating 4 StarsBack in the late 90s, maybe early 2000s don t feel like looking the exact date up , Jim Butcher made a bet with some stranger on an online forum that he could make any 2 ideas into a good book That man chose the Lost Roman Legion and Pok mon This is the result of that bet Now that we have a bit of the backstory on why it was created, let s talk about the result The story follows 4 POVs Tavi, Fidelias, Amara, and Isana Furycrafting is basically the name of the magic system Furycrafters can control the elementals of earth, air, fire, wood, water, and metal Tavi is pretty much what this story revolves around And sadly, he has been having trouble coming into his own with furies In a world where furycrafting can literally mean life and death, and pretty much everyone can do it, this is no bueno Isana is an immensely powerful watercrafter, and Tavi s aunt Fidelias and Amara are what is known as Cursors I m not even sure what to exactly classify them as So I ll go with mailmen, spies and secret agents While the plot isn t anything special, Butcher does a really good job of making the execution pretty entertaining to read Since I mainly read for entertainment, this was sufficient enough to keep me hooked If you re looking for something that ll blow your mind, I m afraid this first book won t do it If he follows suit with his Dresden Files series, then I m not too worried that series started off kind of blah and ended up being so amazing as the books progressed So I have quite a bit of faith in him The characters were written rather well Unlike Dresden Files, which is told from a single POV, he switched it up and gave us 4 great POVs Well, honestly I thought 1 of them were rather boring, but that was due to personal taste I won t mention which one, as I don t want to possibly cloud anyone s judgement who has yet to read it I m not even sure why this person bored me, so I think it was just a personal taste thing While I really enjoyed most of our main characters, I fell in love with so many of the side characters This is pretty much how I fell about just about any book I read haha So suffice it to say that we get great characters all around There wasn t too much development with the characters, but Tavi probably gets the most development One thing I loved was that Tavi was such a underpowered character He has to rely on his whitthan anything else The prose reminded me quite a bit of his other series, Dresden Files It was different enough to feel fresh and new, while still having that Butcher charm to it I did feel like there was a bit of fluff in there, which was one of the bigger problems I had with the book Near the end it felt like he hung on to a certain eventthan he should have and I ended up getting a tad bored But, that s once again just a personal preference Other than that, we had some really great pacing It was actually full of action pretty much from the beginning and almost never lets up Which I liked but due to the length of the novel, I felt pretty exhausted by the end.The only real problem I had with the book I had already mentioned above I think the thing I loved most was how he was able to pull this book together I only played the first gen Pok mon games Red Version and Yellow Version but I loved how he was able to incorporate something like Pok mon into a Fantasy book He was able to make a certain scene feel exactly like a battle from the games, but it wasn t something that you would need any kind of experience with the game franchise to get enjoyment from He was able to keep his magic system, the furies, feeling fresh and original and not like a blatant rip off of the games He had some great rules for the magic system and stuck to them The magic did feel a bit too powerful at times, but he also had put restrictions on it so that they couldn t sling it all day long without any kind of repercussions I was really scared to pick this book up because of how much I love Dresden Files and I wasn t sure if he would be able to pull something else off unrelated to that series While this is no masterpiece, this is a solidly entertaining installment into the Fantasy genre. 2.5 5 StarsFuries of Calderon is a good beginning to a series but honestly, I m quite disappointed with it.I ve heard a lot of great things about Butcher s books, and although he s most famous for his Dresden Files series, all the things I heard about that series didn t spark my interest in it However, Codex Alera is a different matter the combination of two totally different concepts that I loved Roman and Pokemon In a high fantasy book Now THAT is something that sparked my interest I ve had this book on my TBR shelf for a year already, and now that I finally got around to it, I m sad that the first book didn t really meet my expectationThe course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpation, but by the individualsTo sum up my review in the simplest way possible this is truly an okay book I mean it, the book isn t bad, it s decent enough but there s also nothing special about it The plot is good enough when it features Tavi as the POV, the rest of the characters are mostly okay, the world building is good enough, the prose is vivid and the action scenes are well written However, almost all of them get bogged down by something that I didn t enjoy.Picture Bernard and his Earth Fury, Brutus Fanart by sandara on deviantartFor the first book of any fantasy series, I prefer the book I read to focuson the characterizations first rather than the actions Don t get me wrong, I seriously love action scenes in the book I read, but for me, the characterizations areimportant, especially for a huge six book series like this it is pivotal for me to be able to care about the characters first I seriously think this is the most action packed first book to a high fantasy series I ve ever read out of 600 pages, I m pretty sure that almost half of them are action scenes The thing is, well written action scenes are pointless to me if I can t bring myself to care about the characters fate, and that s exactly what I felt about this book The other problems I had, other than the book being very formulaic and predictable, Butcher over explained everything too many times and yet, he didn t elaborate on the Furies magic system and limitation I m sure it will be explained in the future installments but for now, seems like everyone just conjured this Furycrafting without any problem This is not a bad thing, just not my preferencesNo enterprise of greatness begins with treachery, with lying to the people who trust and love youAlthough my review sounded really negative, I still think of Furies of Calderon as a good start to a series but for now, I don t know if I ll continue the series until the end or not I heard from trusted friends and reviewers that the series only gets so much better as it goes, which brought me to the decision to see how the second book goes first before dropping the series entirely, so I will still continue for now, but not immediately like I planned I will recommend this to anybody new to adult fantasy but for a veteran of the genre, I must say that the start of the series disappointed me and I can t wholeheartedly recommend this to you You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic High Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest ^Free Book ⇶ Furies of Calderon ↹ For A Thousand Years, The People Of Alera Have United Against The Aggressive And Threatening Races That Inhabit The World, Using Their Unique Bond With The Furies Elementals Of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, And Metal But Now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord Of Alera, Grows Old And Lacks An Heir Ambitious High Lords Plot And Maneuver To Place Their Houses In Positions Of Power, And A War Of Succession Looms On The Horizon Far From City Politics In The Calderon Valley, The Boy Tavi Struggles With His Lack Of Furycrafting At Fifteen, He Has No Wind Fury To Help Him Fly, No Fire Fury To Light His Lamps Yet As The Alerans Most Savage Enemy The Marat Return To The Valley, He Will Discover That His Destiny Is Much Greater Than He Could Ever Imagine Caught In A Storm Of Deadly Wind Furies, Tavi Saves The Life Of A Runaway Slave Named Amara But She Is Actually A Spy For Gaius Sextus, Sent To The Valley To Gather Intelligence On Traitors To The Crown, Who May Be In League With The Barbaric Marat Horde And When The Valley Erupts In Chaos When Rebels War With Loyalists And Furies Clash With Furies Amara Will Find Tavi S Courage And Resourcefulness To Be A Power Greater Than Any Fury One That Could Turn The Tides Of War