Since the Second Battle of Calderon, only the courage, determination and sacrifice of loyal subjects of the realm of Alera have prevented the unthinkable—a civil war that could leave Alera in ruins, devestated and vulernable to its enemies. Loyal Alerans have given their blood and lives to preserve the realm.
It was not enough. Though the insurrection of the High Lords against the First Lord, Gaius Sextus, has been delayed for several years, it has only been the calm before the storm.
Civil war shatters the realm.
Now, the power-hungry High Lord of Kalare has launched a merciless, devastating rebellion against Gaius. Caught off guard by the sheer power of Kalare’s attack, Gaius Primus and the loyal forces of Alera must fight for the survival of the realm, beside the most dangerous of allies—the equally rebellious and power-hungry High Lord and Lady of Aquitaine.
Trapped in the besieged city of Ceres, Isana of Calderon survives the attack of Kalare’s assassins, and must fight to save the life of the wounded slave, Fade, poisoned while defending Isana from her attackers. The secrets of her past loom large in deed and memory, as she at last confronts the dark truths of her own past.
Countess Amara, Cursor to the First Lord, must carry out a desperate rescue operation, freeing hostages taken by Kalare and held against the military neutrality of loyal High Lords. The survival of the realm could hinge on the success of her mission: but is her ally, Lady Aquitaine, sincere in her efforts to assist—or will she betray the young Cursor and the First Lord she serves?
Sent away from the theater of the civil war by a protective First Lord, young Tavi of Calderon joins the newly formed First Aleran Legion as its juniormost officer under an assumed name as a spy for the First Lord—but when civil war erupts, Tavi’s captain learns that Kalare has done the unthinkable; allied himself to the Canim, a merciless, terrifying enemy of the realm, who have arrived in numbers more vast than any in history. When treachery from within its ranks destroys the command structure of the First Aleran, the young Cursor finds himself in command. The First Aleran is friable, undertrained, poorly equipped; and it is the only force standing between the Canim horde and the heart of war-torn Alera.
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.
Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.
This series just keeps getting better and better. THAT TWIST! I never saw that spoilery thing coming, and I'm betting neither did most of you. But kudos if you did...
Ok, it starts out with the stars turning red and something scary getting loose in the clouds...
All the characters we love are back, along with all the ones we love to hate. *rubs hands together with glee* The story switches mostly between these main groups of characters: Tavi (and his friends) on a spoilery mission from Gaius as Legionaries, which turns into SO much more. <--FANTASTIC STUFF! Then, Bernard and Amara (and their enemies!) on a spoilery mission from Gaius to rescue political prisoners. <--DRAMA & INFIGHTING, BABY! Also, Isana and Fade, who because of spoilery stuff that happens, show the reader both of their origin stories. <--FINALLY! And even though we don't get to see things from her POV, Katai is always on her own personal spoilery mission to save her favorite Aleran from his Aleran stupidity. She's such an unrepentant badass! <--LOVE HER!
Anyway, book three really came together into something truly delightful for me. This series? It's made of ink and awesomeness! These are the perfect kinds of Fantasy novels for me. I know that not everyone will agree with me (and that's fine!), but I really prefer less gory stuff and more adventure-y stuff in my books. Which makes Jim Butcher's Codex Alera seem kind of tailor-made for me. Highly recommended!
2022 The Audiobook version read by Kate Reading is excellent. Her voice is great and really adds an extra layer of emotions to everything.
There seems to be no universal acclaim to the greatness of this series as it´s with behemoths like Sanderson, Rothfuß, Brett, Simmons, Williams,… and I guess one of the reasons for this is that there is nothing really new in this one while people got used to reading one genre revolution after the other.
So we have: The hive mind organism evil enemy, check. A frenemy whose culture is used to describe different societal systems, showing a kind of alternative higher future evolution of pack animals, check. The fighting system, a mixture of oldfashioned military discipline with elemental powers.
But I would say that this unique mixture of known ideas is something new too, with its complexity, interwoven plot lines, accessibility for readers of any age and simply Butchers´ amazing writing style, he didn´t study creative writing for nothing.
For the ones who are searching the next big new thing in fantasy, for one similar to the mentioned authors who break conventions and form subgenres, it might be just an average fantasy series. But for me, it was perfect and if one doesn´t want the next genre revolution, that is very probably dark and gritty, but an entertaining and oldfashioned piece of fast fantasy telling, it´s the pick of choice.
[4.5 stars] The Codex Alera is shaping up to becoming one of my favorite fantasy series. It’s already responsible for one of my favorite books I’ve ever read (Academ’s Fury) and I’d be hard-pressed to tell you why Cursor’s Fury doesn’t deserve a spot of honor right next to it. It focused more on the legionary aspect of the story, which brought along with it an excellent mix of battle scenes, intrigue, and character development. I loved absolutely everything about it. I’ve been stingy with solid 5-star ratings lately because I want them to signify an outstanding book and really mean something when I assign them. Cursor’s Fury deserved a 5-star imo, but I kept it at 4.5 because it wasn't my favorite of the series. Good stuff.
Overall, I’m thrilled with this series and can’t wait to continue on. The first book, Furies of Calderon, was so average I almost didn’t keep reading. I am oh, so glad I did!
Executive Summary: To me this is where the series really starts to shine. Mr. Butcher established the world and the key players in the last 2 books, and now he gets down the business of telling the story.
Audio book: I didn't like Ms. Reading too much at the start. Her male voices bothered me. By this book however, I couldn't imagine anyone else reading this. There is a scene where random legionaries are calling out and Ms. Reading does different voices for all of them.
I think she's also flushed out the voices she uses for all the main and secondary characters to really add that extra something that not all audio books readers seem to manage.
Full Review I was both a bit eager and nervous for this re-read. This is only of only a handful of books that I've given 5 stars to and on my favorites shelf. My memory of it seems to have held up pretty well however.
This book seems feels far less trope heavy to me as the last two. You still have your chosen one story, but I was just so wrapped up in the awesomeness of it all that I just didn't spend any thinking about it.
The first half of this book is good, but the second half is even better. Unlike the last book where I somewhat dreaded any chapter that took us away from the main story, the secondary stories in this book are much more interesting. Adding a lot of depth to the politics of the world and many of the secondary characters.
For a book that focuses mostly on a newly formed legion, there seems to actually be less time spent on battles, which may be a plus or minus for you depending on how much you enjoy reading them. Personally I think he strikes the balance just right and Tavi really shines in this book as a result.
No one is going to accuse this of being some deep, complex series full of numerous unexpected twists and turns. However while some of it is pretty predictable, I think Mr. Butcher does manage a few surprises amid the more expected plot developments. But honestly, who cares? I was having far too much fun listening this book to spend much of the review getting into that.
Part adventure, part political thriller, part war novel with a decent amount of romance thrown in, there is a likely something for everyone here. I for one had trouble stopping for the day by the end and had to jump right into the next book.
By far the best of the first three books in the series. I think the biggest change was Tavi stopped whining and in the first two novels the author kept insisting Tavi was smart but his clueless actions said otherwise. The action was also much faster. All of the other characters have been interesting and compelling all along and continue to be so. It's just hard when the focal character isn't.
Ok, so, I loved this book so much! This was my favorite installment, I loved everything about it: Tavi, the Canim, Tavi, the military setting, Tavi, the new characters, TAVI and basically everything else. I enjoyed all the flashbacks, I think they are very well done and also necessary to the story. Araris is now a much more relatable character and I got to know Septimus, my new obsession.
But let's talk about the very best: Tavi. Oh God I love you. At the beginning of FoC I liked you and I thought you were great and fun to read about, but now, NOW I can't even find the right words to express my love. Tavi is easily one of my fav characters of 2016, second only to Kip Guile (Sevro au Barca and Dalinar Kholin don't make the list 'cause I've officially met them in 2015...). I love the fact that he's furyless but he doesn't act as a human case and he's not looked down upon because of it: he's very resorceful, loyal, clever, brave, he's the perfect commander and the perfect friend, I just can't wait to see how he will act in the next book, it's going to be epic!
Fantasy books heavy on politics and military strategy are easily my favorite, so it doesn't come as a surprise that I gave Cursor's Fury 5 stars. The only thing I didn't find as entertaining as the rest of the book was Amara's plotline: I didn't really care for her and Bernard and Rook, even though I know their story was as important as the others.
Anyway, fantastic series! Need to have the next book in my hands ASAP.
Tavi continues on with his roll of invincibility in this third book of the Codex Alera series. He seems to come up with a working plan for every occasion and they always more or less work out. People die, but never one of those that we've come to know. Amara and Bernard are cut from the same cloth. The one dose of reality is Isana's situation, manipulated by aristocrats and then struggling to save a life despite being warned that it would be suicidal.
Tavi's farm boy background comes in handy in this installment. He has learned things that the average soldier hasn't had the opportunity to experience, like the flammability of sawdust and the use of blood to attract sharks. There is a big reveal of his parentage, something we have been anticipating since the first volume if we've been paying attention. The orphan boy with talent always has extraordinary heritage.
The rebellion is at the very least deferred, possibly halted, but there are thousands of the Canim still at large in Aleran territory, so there are plenty of problems to fill the next volume. Now we wait for Tavi's grandfather to acknowledge him. As one of his minions says, Tavi has stopped the Canim invasion, made peace with the Marat, and prevented his grandfather's assassination, all without knowing who his father is. Apparently he is just a chip off the old block, although up to this point, without those helpful fury powers. Butcher hints at the end that the fury problem may be solved, another reason to read on.
Book number 477 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project
I have yet to actually like any of the books in the Codex Alera. Why do I keep reading them, you ask? Good question. I guess at some point I couldn't tear my eyes away from the train wreck and I love a good groan as well as the next bloke. At this point I'm in gaped mouthed awe at how angry these books make me, and I just have to know if they continue to be so bad. Prepare for maximum bitchiness.
Divertido, enormemente divertido de leer. En realidad al ser una tercera parte no hay nada demasiado novedoso (algunos giros argumentales sí, lógicamente) ni en las relaciones entre casas ni en el sistema de magia. Pero avanza la formación del protagonista, Tavi, y al mismo tiempo nos cuentan cosas del pasado de otros personajes que no nos habían desvelado.
Los Canim toman protagonismo y los personajes con casi los mismos que en la segunda entrega.
Como solemos decir, libro palomitero para dejarse llevar sin pensar mucho, no sea que nos agotemos. Me encantan estos libros.
Another 5 for sure on this book in the series! I’m not sure whether I liked it as much as the second book but I do know that I loved it.
I loved that this book takes place years after the last book and that gives the characters to grow up a bit. As in the other books in the series, there are constant twists and turns. The characters are so real and the villians again show to be in a very grey zone. I love how Gaius is supposed to be the “good” guy but the story is always bringing up evidence that he could easily be portrayed as the villain, especially when it comes to Isana and Amara, and now Tavi and Isana. There are some pretty big revelations that really push the series forward.
If you like fantasy and don’t need sex in the story, get into this series!! It is so good! What I like most about the series so far is that they are standalone books that build on the previous one. Instead of a cliffhanger that makes you have to read the next one right away to finish the story it dangles a carrot of info that makes you want to get back to it.
Wonderful. Best so far. Good integration of magic, strategy, and Roman engineering. Tavi's character takes shape and some new relationships develop, along with the old favorites (Max, Kitai, Ehren, Amara, Bernard, etc.). We learn about Fade's role in his birth, and see more of the wolf-like Canum warriors and ritualist sorcerers.
But Butcher goes overboard with "wolfish grins" and inserts a bit too much on the sexy Amara-Bernard ship.
I don't buy into the reformed character. Redemption isn't so cheap.
Cursor’s Fury is the third book in the six-book Codex Alera series. I thought this book was nearly as good as the previous one. The enemy wasn’t as exciting to me, but the characters and the story and all the action still held my interest well.
I really don’t have much to say that I haven’t said already about the previous books, but I do have one other comment that belongs behind spoiler tags:
This is the third book in the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. This is fantasy in the way that only Jim Butcher can do. This book was a solid 4 stars for me. The ending was 5 stars. I loved the ending.
I like the characters. They are endearing. Even the token romance between Tavi and Katai is kind of sweet, but in a good way. I like that they are still their own character without the constant mooning over each other and plus, she was funny. There was actually way more to this story than romance. There were even a few other romances happening as well, but it was by no means over done. I loved how all the subplots were mingled together.
The action is well written in the battle scenes. There was great movement and detail in this. This turned out to be such a page turner. I didn't want to put it down. So on to book #4.
Mir hatte dieser Teil einfach zu viele Längen, die Wendungen waren dafür wirklich großartig, auch wenn ich vieles (aber nicht alles) geahnt habe. Insgesamt ist die Welt toll ausgearbeitet und ich bin so gespannt, wohin diese Reise noch führt und wie es sich am Ende auflöst!
This book is my least favorite in the "Codex Alera" series so far and, to be fair, it´s probably mostly my own fault. First of all, it´s been a while since I´ve read the second book in the series and due two the huge amount of characters and place names, which many adult fantasy books feature, I already forgot quite a few and it took me a while to dive into this world again. Furthermore I was a bit disappointed that all the Marat, except for Kitai, were not really present in this book because their culture was probably my favorite aspect of the previous two books. I also had some minor problems with the pacing and the way how the chapters were divided up. I would have to switch a bit more between the POV characters instead reading some any successive chapters by the same narrator. Although I like Tavi as a character I found his story line in this book a bit exhausting after a while and sometimes I wished to read a bit more about Bernard and Amara. A very interesting addition to their part of the story to me was Gaelle aka Rook. I´m all in for morally grey characters and their redemption arcs so I had a lot of fun reading about her. Although I already said that I wasn´t blown away by Tavi´s plot line in this book, that doesn´t mean that I like him less as a character. I still think that he is a very believable protagonist and I´m also all in for characters of physical weakness who are able become strong in their own way, so I like the fact that he falls into this category. The chapters about Isana and Fade were also interesting at times and I liked that we got to know more of their backstory. Overall, it was enjoyable read and, as I said, the reasons why I didn´t enjoy this book as much as its predecessors are mainly personal. I hope to read the next book in the series as soon as possible to make it easier for myself to dive into the world of Alera again. 3.5 of 5 stars.
4.5 stars. Another outstanding installment of this high quality epic fantasy series. Of Butcher's two series, I think I like this series more (even though the Dresden books are a ton of fun). The quality of the writing continues to improve, the scope of the story continues to expand and the world-building is absolutely superb. So far, each successive installment has been better than the previous one and I hope the trend continues. Highly Recommended!!
This series gets better with each book. Cursor's Fury is still solidly in the military fantasy camp. I always like good military fantasy book. The battles are well-written, and we can see Tavi grow as character. Also, There are twists and revelations at parts of book that take it beyond pure military fantasy, and some great developments to looking a foreword to reading next book ASAP.
Another epic and adventurous page-turner in this amazing series! I'm totally looking forward to see Tavi's growth and development, and his embrace of the destiny that lies ahead of him. I have fallen totally in love with this series.
4.5 Stars for Narration by Kate Reading 4.5 Stars for Progression & Characters
The series is not about sunshine & roses but I'm a fan of how love for family, friends & lovers are a central part of the story line. I've enjoyed each book in Codex Alera. Cursor's Fury had the best mix of relevant story parts, character & story progression, tension filled action sequences and little moments of connection.
It is a little cheesy? A little predictable? Sure.
It's not about a story having been done before or making a story a shocking surprise. A great story will sweep you up into the world and characters. Whether you know what is going to happen or not, you will be more invested in seeing it unfold than letting your brain smash up the plot. It's that wild ride where you willingly go with the flow and enjoy the journey from start to finish. I'm really happy to have had that kind of reading adventure with this novel. =)
Me ha gustado bastante más que la segunda parte pero sin llegar al nivel de la primera. Siguen las mismas tramas, con Tavi creciendo como protagonista, algún giro que se veía venir y mucha acción (quizás demasiada). Butcher demuestra que sabe escribir fantasía palomitera, pero me sigo quedando con su saga de Dresden. Mucho más compleja y divertida.
Good, good, good book. Tavi is growing up, and his mysterious past, and why he has no furies is finally revealed.
Things that are really good: 1. Maximus 2. Maximus 3. Grown-up Ehren 4. Kitai 5. Tavi as a legionnaire captain
oh wait, .5. The Freaking Canim.
Finally Tavi's got some worthy adversaries and while treachery is always afoot in the Kingdom of Alera, this time, there's far more open conflict. Butcher continues to write really well and put his characters through legitimately believable emotional turmoil and growth in a completely fantastic setting filled with awesome imagery and novel twists on epic action.
There's nothing not to like about this book, and the way Butcher puts it together makes you feel rewarded for sticking with the series. Questions about key characters' dubious past lives are revealed and the political intrigue gets far thicker and stickier. A perfect example of how one can write really awesome adventure fiction and still be incredibly intelligent. I can't help but compare this series to the Ender series. And every time I do, I think, Butcher wins. This is what Ender should have been after the first book. Card's geopolitical fantasies are an unrealistic shadow compared to the world of Alera. On to the next one.
Me falta mas pinceladas sobre sus personalidades que los hagan aun mas epicos pero no dejan de ser bien construidos en su evolucion y sus tramas.
Lo mejor del libro son las escenas de accion, cuando desaparecen pasado un tiempo se puede erosionar el interes en lo que sucede, se empieza a sentir alargado por momentos y en instantes infimos por ahora llega a cansar.
No veo una profundidad en el tema del libro, en una reflexion sobre lo que pasa, solo historia, pero eso no significa que baje la calidad, es como ver una pelicula que sabes que te va a entretener pero no deja nada mas.
Reaching at the end of the first half, having earned after two successful books a big recognition both through his writing capabilities and the love of readers who pushed his career even further, Jim Butcher comes to Cursor’s Fury, the third installment of the Codex Alera series, with a greater will and imagination, taking us into a civil war, into a story of Legionaries and Cursors, of political rivals, spies and bestial ritualists, and into an adventure of subjugation and domination, of loyalty and duty, and of respect and honor, which will divide the realm and its people as never before.
Almost three years have passed since the invasion at the heart of the Realm, and the pandemonium that it brought along; a bloody battle that endangered their very existence, leaving behind nothing but souls full of suffering and pain, but now, with the events having become just bad memories, the life for the people of Alera has returned once more back to its normal rhythms- and for Tavi, having completed his training term at the Academy, eager to take on his first mission as an agent of the Crown, these years have given him more free time than he’d had ever wished. Sent in Amaranth Vale, at the ruins of Appia, to fill his time, Tavi has spent the better part of the last six months in Maestro Magnus’s company, assisting him in his discoveries at solving the mysteries of the puzzling technologies of their forefathers. However, with the political climate becoming hotter and hotter lately, as he, Max, and Maestro Magnus will be ordered to join the newly formed First Aleran Legion - having only a little time to adapt to the military life of the legenionares - when an unexplained event decimates their commanding leadership at the worst possible moment, and an old rival emerges from his best friend’s past with the only desire to put him out of the way once and for all, Tavi along with his young, inexperienced and ill-equipped comrades will find themselves against their greatest challenge, face-to-face with a bestial horde and the Realm’s certain doom.
At the other end of the Realm, at the fortress of Garrison, Amara, having now accepted the feelings of her heart, has been trying to share them with Bernard even though their obligations seem only to keep growing, desiring nothing more than to start their own little family. But, as they’ll arrive in the city of Ceres - one of the greatest cities in the Realm, hosting from high nobles to esteemed politicians - for Bernard’s family reunion, and to bring to light the true events of the past years before them, when a group of seemingly mad slaves cause chaos, killing the guests one by one, they will soon be faced with their very survival; an adventure that, when Lord Kalarus reveals his intentions for power, she and Bernard will have to undertake a high-risk mission that could very easily destroy everything they have built so far. At the same time, Isana, lost in the memories of her past and the secrets she kept buried deep inside her heart for twenty years, where no one would be able to find them and exploit them, when Fade - her loyal slave and protector - gets mortally wounded beyond any healing, she’ll have to dig up something she had sacrificed long ago in order to save him; meanwhile, Ehren, taking up his first undercover mission in the Sunset Isles, working as a scribe for a fencer, when he falls onto a pirate and his mercenary crew he’ll discover something so indescribable that could judge the fate of all of them.
Yet, with the political climate reaching its peak, when the power-hungry Lord Kalarus sends his mercenary forces that he’d gathered over the years at the gates of the city of Ceres, bringing a rebellion against the Crown and the First Lord’s government, and the merciless Canim leader and his ritualists set at the same time their own plans for their dominance, Tavi and the legionnaires of the First Aleran, Amara and Bernard, and Isana and Ehren, will have to take on their missions amidst these difficult time with courage, because if they fail to keep their morale high, it may well bring to the end the dreams of the families and the lives as they’d imagined them.
With the second book of the series, Academ’s Fury, to have played an important role in deepening the world-building and the characters, setting the base of the political system, and of the alliances and the rivalries of the High Lords, Jim Butcher comes in Cursor’s Fury with an even greater scope in his imagination, traveling us far away to the western cities of the Realm, which, governed under their lords’ desires and whims, reveal how different they can be to one another through the rules that their people endure, but also at the impact it has on their families, their homes and the control of their living conditions; as well as to the borders between Alera and the land of the Canim, immersing us a little deeper in the ways of their bestial race, and their castes - divided in its warriors, its raiders and its ritualists - that shows their diversity among their ambitious leaders and their acolytes, and their regular warriors and their kin.
And, with each book managing to bring an even stronger handling in the development of the plot and of the characters, proving again the extent of his writing capabilities, as well as his desire from the beginning for something more epic, Butcher brings us deep into a great civil war, dividing the Realm between the power-hungry High Lords and the simple people, taking us into a military story of Legionares, Cursors, spies, and politicians, and into an adventure of loyalty, honor, and absolute subjugation, full of battles of suspense and thrill, creating the most entertaining novel in the series yet, but also leaving at the end and many threads open to await eagerly for the sequel and the answers it holds.
All in all, Cursor’s Fury is a strong book, with Jim Butcher - coming with a greater will - to takes us, through a civil war, into a military story of Legionares and Cursors, creating a thrilling and moving adventure of honor and loyalty, and of duty and respect that brings the series to a higher level than before, but also leaving us hanging in suspense for the sequel and the next adventures of our favorite characters.
I know I've said it a lot of times before but I'll say it again: Tavi is just so damn good and I loved him so much! He proved his skills, cleverness, resourcefulness and courage once more in this book. I can no longer picture the small teenage Tavi herding sheeps and gargants in his steadholt many years ago. All I can see is a young man, who managed to catch up with his delayed growth spurt, able to lead and commandeer an entire legion to manipulate and outwit their enemies. Though being furycrafted is obviously a serious matter for him and for everyone, it honestly didn't bother me anymore if he's furyless. I mean, furyless or not, his brain is his best asset and he's clearly more capable than anyone around him. I'll give anything just to see his trademark wide grin whenever a slyly clever idea comes to his mind. I can't trade a smart main character for anything else!
I've always wanted a very intense battle and I was able to achieved it once more! There were different battles to fight in this book and even as intense as the others but Tavi's battle was my favorite. Always. It always kept me on the edge of my seat! No. The whole book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole freaking time!
I think this series already proved its remarkable quality. The content, both plot and character building, continued its consistency to offer an intense build-up to the story. The ending and that spoiler-y twist?? OH! MY! GOD! It didn't cross my mind, even for just a second! And that epilogue part opened a lot of possible events to happen in the future! I'm already itching to read the next book!
Solid five starts. An excellent book that expands the universe and makes you keep reading. I love the characters. Butcher is really good at making them interesting and I end up caring about all of them, even the bad ones. Fidelias is one of my favourite and I really enjoy the fact that he is not wholly good or bad but has his own moral compass. The ending of the book was totally awesome and it made me start reading the fourth book immediately. A highly recommended series. Butcher shows once again what an excellent writer he is.
The reread continue's. This is my favorite book in the series, I have very few negative things to say about it.
It kicks off with what is probably my favorite 4 word quote in all of fiction
Men plan. Fate laughs
This book once again has a 2 year break in between the end of Academs Fury and the beginning of this, and what can I say very few people handle time gaps between their books as well as Jim does. That's probably why he has a successful 16 book long series with around a year between each book. There is the clear feeling of the passage of time, it allows for more character development, but we also don't feel like me missed a more interesting story then what we got.
This book starts off great, seeing the prologues and epilogues in these books make me want Jim to write a Wheel of Time style series with a billion different point of views. He is so good at having events around the world feel connected, but also not at all like plot conveniences.
In this book we have 3 main PoV characters, all 3 of their plots are somewhat connected, but also have their own build up, conflicts, and climaxes. Tavi's plot in this book is probably one of my top 10 favorite 1 book arcs in all of fiction. We see him enter the setting of a newly formed legion, and the evolution he goes through is amazing. I know some people read this and call Tavi a Gary Stu, and ya I get how people think that, and I can see why it would bother people. However it does not bother me, because for me everything feels earned. Tavi is probably the most compelling genius character I have ever read, the reason is that I don't say he is a genius because we are told he is, the solutions he comes up with are actually just brilliant. There are so many solutions that I have the information to come up, but never could. So it doesn't ever feel like a deus ex machina, or Jim just telling us that Tavi got out of it because he is really smart. The other 2 are still both great, and Isana and 1 other side character has some great development.
"Wars and plans can't coexist, sir. One of them kills the other."
Like the book before it I think the biggest strength in Jim's writing his that all the side characters who don't get point of views feel like unique people, who have personality. The list of fantastic supporting characters is quite frankly, stunning. It is actually hard for me to pick stand out examples, because there are too many stand out examples.
This book also has a reveal that is actually a reveal, when most people say they saw the reveal coming they usually mean the thing that Jim intended you to figure out, but this one has a damm fine reveal. It also comes in 1 of the best epilogues I have read. For those of you who have read it, I am mostly talking about the That being said that isn't the only great part of the end of the book.
In terms of worldbuilding we really start to see the importance of culture in this world. The two cultures that get expanded on the most are the Canim, and the culture of being in the roman legion. Both of those add a lot to the world, and Jim does a very good job of understanding how the different cultures will make people act.
Of the first 3 this book also probably has the best pacing, there really isn't a dull stretch in here, and really everything just feels like the right length. Basically the thing holding this back from being even higher is that it didn't make me cry, but it got pretty much every other emotion out of me.
I give the absolutely masterful third book in Codex Alera a 9.3/10
This is book number 3 in the Codex Alera series and I have really enjoyed the previous two so I was hoping to really love this one too and it did not disappoint!
The storyline of this book is focussed mostly on Tavi once again as the main character, but it does still include chapter snippets into the lives of the other major players. Whilst the first book was mostly a set up book and the second was mostly based in Politics, this one was based mostly around warfare and battles.
In this storyline we get to meet the Canim and find out a lot more about their culture than we previously could guess. The Canim are the arch enemies of Alera and they have been warring with one another for years on and off but over time the battles have changed and seemingly have been leading up to something bigger than Alera has ever seen before. Tavi is enlisted to help out with the battle and become a part of a Legion, and of course he uses his resourcefulness and intelligence to do his best to ensure a victory.
I did miss the Marat a lot from this book as they were not really present within it, but I am certain that they will come back into it in the next three (that's the main reason why this is 4*s and not 5*s) as they are just so entertaining and enjoyable, but in stark contrast to the ways and traditions of the Marat I did actually enjoy the way that we learned about another race (the Canim) and the traditions and values that they have. I certainly love the manipulative nature that they have and the way that they almost seem to be one step ahead all the time.
Amara and Bernard and Isana also feature in this book and they are all fulfilling lesser, but just as critical, roles around the Aleran land. They each have to show not only their devotion to one another and their willingness to fight to the end for one another, but also the sincere care that they have for their land is clear to see whilst they fight for what they believe is right.
We get to know Kalere a lot more in this story when he makes a big move against the crown and causes some very devastating things to happen across the land, and we also encounter Fade and learn a lot more about his back story and how it is linked with Isana's, which was one aspect I really enjoyed learning about too as it has been hinted at in the previous two but never truly explained.
I am certain that book 4 is going to be a very interesting read, I hope that it's not just another huge battle as that was the one area I didn't like quite so much as the previous books, I preferred the political webs over the strategies for war, but that's just my personal preference and it was still done well either way.
On the whole if you have enjoyed the previous books in this series I have no doubt that you will like this one too, it's just as exciting (although maybe a little slower in pacing) and so I will certainly be picking up the next one soon, especially after the epilogue has such a funny and mystifying ending!