Furies Of Calderon by Jim Butcher (The Codex Alera: Book 1)

7/10 A good book, fast paced, something new in a traditional field. A good start to an interesting series

Jim Butcher has been a big name in the urban fantasy genre for some time. His Dresden Files are, in my opinion, deserving off all the praise they get. I own, up to this date, his whole Dresden series. The last four I've even bought hardcover because I couldn’t wait for the paperback edition... Willingly spending easily twice the cash is something I extremely rarely do, so yes, I am a huge fan of the Dresden Files. So, yes I am a fan of Butcher, but I will try to review this story as objective as possible.

‘Furies of Calderon’ is Butcher’s deviation from his carved out path into the epic fantasy genre. In my opinion this is a hard field of fantasy to break through. There are a big number of people who have written in this particular field of the genre. To name a few of my favourites; J.R.R. Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Robert R. Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Raymond E. Feist, Tad Williams and so on.

Furies of Calderon is packed with action and the pace in which pages disappear is quite pleasing. However, the style is rather naïve. The world feels small. Sometimes the pace feels rushed and because of that a lot gets unexplained. After reading the book I am still a bit puzzled about the source of the ‘magic’ system, but strangely enough it doesn't seem that complicated. The Marat, the invading barbaric tribe play a constant sword of Damocles in this story but their culture is not described as well as it should. I believe that in this particular field of fantasy you need to explain some stuff to the reader, the whole world is unknown and new. Too much information makes a book boring, but too little makes it hard to understand, which has a negative effect on the credibility of the world.

Next to that; characters were all right. A lot of effort went into the characters thinking process and their motives. Even the ‘bad’ side of the story gets a realistic streak due to having their motives explained. This adds to the credibility of the characters.

Another good thing about this book is that Butcher found a strange but satisfying balance changing between the characters. Sometimes this breaks the pace a bit but it does give a relaxed feel to it because you stick longer with one person instead of changing every chapter between them.

Plot, well. I liked the plot. It is epic fantasy all right, you’ll not be surprised much but I found it pleasing. There is even the shepherd teenage boy who's starring as a main character and has to fight by means of mind instead of strength or magic.

So in all, not a bad book. For the experienced reader there will not be a lot of surprise in the plot or characters. But this book was entertaining and fast. Personally I disliked the limited information. However, I will certainly try the next on in the series in the hope my questions will be answered.

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Jim Butcher's The Codex Alera series

Furies Of Calderon

The Codex Alera: Book 1

Academ’s Fury

The Codex Alera: Book 2

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