Yes, I actually finished my book today – and not only that, I’m blogging about it. Who. Would. Have. Thought.
Ok, on to the book…
I’ve just finished Volume 3 of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.
I’d read all the Dresden Files over a couple of years, and read the latest one (#14 Cold Games) not long after it came out in 2012. I really like Jim Butcher’s writing style – his goodies aren’t 100% good and the baddies aren’t all bad, and sometimes the goodies are bad and the baddies are good. Complicated, yes. Fun to read, also yes. Reanimated dinosaurs anyone (can’t remember which book that was in, so not really spoilers). Anyway, the Dresden Files are urban fantasy, and centre around Chicago’s only practicing wizard detective (he’s listed in the phone book under “W”), loads of wizards and vampires and ghosties and ghoulies and the like doing all manner of unspeakable things (and a talking skull called Bob) and all in a modern urban setting – it’s like it could be happening down that alley or in the next street over – yeah, urban fantasy
So, with that in mind (that I liked the writing style), I picked the first book in the Codex Alera (Furies of Calderon) for my holiday reading list when we went away last year, and enjoyed it so much I read the second one as well. The Codex Alera is more your traditional fantasy series, in that it’s set in a Far Off Land, and involves a lot of sword fighting and magic. The magic in this series comes from “fury crafting” where all the inhabitants of Alera have special skills relating to water, wind, earth, metal, fire and wood) in that they can call upon their furies and harness their strengths to manipulate the particular element. The series is written from the perspective of a few different people – but the good thing is nobody dies. Well, actually plenty of people die, just not the main characters. Which is quite a relief, really, having read all of the available volumes of Game of Thrones where EVERYONE dies (no spoilers there. They all die. The end.)
It centres around Tavi (who has no furies and is sort of considered ‘disabled’ in that he can’t do anything basic for himself – like create a light) who is a Cursor (sort of spy type thing – not like James Bond spying, more like undercover secret squirrel business); Amara, who is also a Cursor – but she has plenty furies and regularly kicks arse (another thing I like about Mr Butcher’s work is how the female characters are more than capable of looking after themselves) and she’s married to Tavi’s uncle. Tavi’s aunt is the other major character thread – Isana, and she’s a healer (watercrafter). They all get themselves into all manner of precarious situations and meet together every now and then.
Now that I’ve totally turned everyone off by my seriously dodge description of the series… I’ve just finished the third one in the series, and yep. Cracker. Loads of living by wits, fair degree of biffo, bit of pashing… (too much for the kiddiwinks, but not endless pages of rumpy pumpy – also unlike GoT). I’m not sure why I left it a year between drinks so to speak. In fact, instead of downloading new books, I’m going to read #4 (Captain’s Fury) instead because I really want to know what happens next.
(So yeah, pretty good then.)