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In Furies of Calderon, bestselling author Jim Butcher introduced readers to a world where the forces of nature take physical form. But it is human nature that threatens to throw the realm into chaos-
For centuries, the people of Alera have harnessed the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal-to protect their land from aggressors. But no fury can save them from the dangers they face within-
In Alera Imperia, the capital of the realm, the young man Tavi secretly trains to become one of the First Lord-s spies while also suffering through rigorous academic studies and fulfilling his duties as a page. But his heaviest burden is his inability to control the furies, which makes Tavi especially vulnerable at the worst possible moment-
A mysterious attack from across the sea weakens the First Lord. Should he fall, a bloody civil war is inevitable. Tavi must fend off assassination attempts and treachery within the First Lord-s circle of spies, while somehow maintaining the illusion that all is well.
And in the Calderon Valley, an ancient menace has risen from a long slumber and is heading straight for the heart of Alera and the one who awakened it: Tavi. Amid the advance of bloodthirsty creatures, warring factions, and swirling furies, Tav and his friends face the greatest threats Alera has ever known-
- Academ's Fury
This is part of a well written series. The characters are interesting and the pace is adequate. I like the fact that the characters are drawn into temporary alliances that are based on the common good but are self serving in the long run. Even the villains are an interesting mix of bad or good or are they.. Only problem was I had pretty well figured out why certain interests and conflicts had or were occurring and as I read further into the series I am finding most of my earlier suppositions were correct. I am awaiting the fourth book with interest to see if I had really got it all. I guess what it boils down to is thatfor me the author has strung out a story line far too long over too many books. ...more info
- Can't Wait For The Next Book
This was just as good as volume one. I am really looking forward to the next in the series. I love that the action is non stop and Tavi is such a likeable character. I'm guessing that Tavi gets his fury in the next book which should really be interesting....more info
- Great Book
I really liked this book. I was already a fan of the Harry books .... I am starting to really enjoy Tavi's series. I would recomend you start with the first one (Furies of Calderon)to get the history. It's ok to start with this one, but you will enjoy it much more if you read them in order....more info
- Excellent !!
- Butcher starts to reveal the depth of his characters and it creates an excellent tension for readers so we can really develop a love affair with the heroes and villains (which definitely arent cut and dry) of Alera. While traditional fantasy novels might usually dabble in political intrigue, the Codex Alera puts it at the forefront. Being able to reflect on all four books, each tends to be a coming of age novel, as there are basically two years between each novel and we get to see Tavi engage in quite incredible situations.
- Academ's reveals the Vord, which is a very sci-fi departure from the first novel, which is, character-wise, rather traditional in its introductory tone. They are a mythical enemy to the Alerans' enemy, the Marat. But, aside from battling a legendary foe, Academ's focuses on political situations and displays its characters to have multiple dimensions. We saw a little bit of that in Fidelias in Furies of Calderon, but it doesn't start to show until this novel and further increases greatly in Cursor's and Captain's Fury - making these books unbelievably addictive. Go get them now!...more info
- I didn't want to like it
I love Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. I wouldn't touch his Codex Alera series, but found myself facing a long bedrest time. So I ordered all that he had written in the new series. Now I'm in love with both his series...Codex Alera is rich in characters, storyline and fast packed action. This series has been added to my list of unforgetable great entertaining books....more info
- A Hero Grows
In this second book of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, the reader can enjoy lots of well blocked out battles of various kinds and be swept up in the action of Jim Butcher's well-contrived fantasy world, inhabited by a diversity of magical creatures and people.
Jim Butcher is a fine fantasy writer who does a lot of things right with this series. He has an unusual fantasy world modeled not on Europe in the Middle Ages but on Imperial Rome, where powerful magicians control elemental spirits of water, air, wood, fire and earth. Not Tavi--our engaging young hero who lights the page whenever he's there. Tavi, so far unable to control a fury, must make do with his wits and courage--and thereby hangs the fascination of the tale.
Butcher gives us a solidly interwoven story in this delightful book, following Tavi in the Capital, struggling to keep up with his studies even as he runs errands, hunts for a thief and deflects plots against his patron, while his uncle faces an invasion of unearthly beings out in the countryside. In the meantime, Tavi's aunt makes a choice that will have consequences for the future.
The one thing that doesn't quite hang together for me is the status of women in this fantasy world. Butcher gives us such strong female characters and then states that there are laws that give women unequal status--this doesn't jive in a world where a woman could wield magic that is as powerful as a man's. And we know that that is possible because of the marvelous scene where Lady Aquitaine strolls into the palace and takes command of the Imperial Guard. I'm thinking that a law that mandated such a woman into having children would somehow fail to be enforced. However, I don't entirely mind the feeling that as a reader, Butcher is simply my guide in a world he is discovering as we go along. It's a fun journey and so far Butcher has kept the torch burning....more info
- Final exams can be terminal...
Overall: I rate this 4.5 stars. It is a very good continuation of the Codex Alera series of books by Jim Butcher. Tavi's life at the Academy shows an interesting view into the political intrigue of the "civilized" Alerians. He is forced to hone and refine his mental skills in order to pass his classes and become a Cursor. The other students in the Academy will no doubt play interesting and fun roles in the upcoming books. Tavi's relationship with Kitai becomes clear to him after he understands the bond she has formed to him.
Characters -- the characters are developed a bit further than in the first book. Tavi is clearly a "special" person besides the fact he has been effectively handicapped by a lack of Furies. Tavi, Kitai and Gaius get the most character development. Bernard and Amara work out their situation which was nicely handled.
The character development is intermixed with the typical Butcher level of action / excitement.
Action -- The bulk of the action is in dealing with the Vord (think Aliens meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The Vord are very smart, deadly and effective. The tension produced by the combats is very well done as the Vord are a clear and present danger to all life in Alera. The action sequences are well written and snappy. You can be sure the Vord will be back in a later book.
Writing -- Typical Jim Butcher --> clear to the point but leaves enough the imagination to heighten your reading pleasure.
Plot -- The plot is pretty simple -- Destroy the Vord before they destroy you (but do it without exposing the weakness of Giaus to avoid a war of succession / civil war). The relationship with Kitai gets a nice little twist at the end of the book.
The political intrigue of the rest of the key players in the world are developed in preparation for the next three books. The Canines will be a very interesting group to deal with in the next book.
Characters: 4 stars
Action: 5 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Plot: 3 stars...more info
- Great Series! Can't wait for the next one...
This is a great series! I highly recommend it, along with Butcher's "The Dresden Files"!...more info
- words of fury [no spoilers]
"The Codex Alera" continues two years later with "Academ's Fury" as Tavi studies at the Academy while covertly training to become a Cursor. A veritable plethora of characters focusing at Alera Imperia litter the story nearly engulf the original cast. Even so, the author effectively manages the swelling political intrigue during a critical crisis and concludes with an awesome battle finale.
Earlier consequences have awakened a new enemy (comparable to the "Alien" theme), smoothly connecting it with the previous novel. Struggling between his academics and a secret life, Tavi attempts to thwart numerous foes both personally and for the First Lord. Of the three other Cursor students he trains alongside, Max appears to have greatest character potential. Kitai proves how clever anybody can be without a fury and First Lord Gaius exhibits great cunning as a true leader should.
Recalling the interpersonal relations between the different lords is considerable, yet not as bad as the more politically oriented series. My major issue though has to do with Tavi becoming the last line of defense, consistently outlasting furymasters or other with superior speed and strength. Granted he is sharp and swift but unless Tavi has an unacknowledged talent his survival has been too idealistic. There are startling revelations regarding Tavi and the author superbly creates other riddles with the lingering teasers for future resolution.
A detailed map of the significant terrains and comprehensive appendix would have been useful.
I recommend this series to any fan of the fantasy genre.
Thank you....more info
- More of the same
Similar to various parallel plots in FURIES OF CALDERON, we find three concurrent plots in ACADEM'S FURY: Amara & Bernard's struggle against a virulent "vord" queen out in the country and their serialized romantic plight (this time, surrounding marriage and children), Isana's journey to Alera's "capital" Alera Imperia to meet with the First Lord and ask for his aid on her brother's Count Bernard's behalf, and finally, seventeen year-old Tavi's continuing maturation as page to First Lord Gaius and his evolution as an Academ studying at the Citadel in Alera Imperia. Of these three disparate and disjoint plots, I found Isana's the most engaging (again) as enemies from the past realign their alliances for political gain. I found Amara's storyline the most taxing to read. Like tall, dark and handsome rogues in historical romance, Bernard and Tavi's friend Max symbolizes sexual eye candy for the female readership, and Amara renews her ardor for Bernard's strong physique. Like an exasperating serial, Amara at first confronts Isana regarding Isana's resentment towards Amara, then grapples with her inability to give Bernard children, struggling to part with Bernard when the Cursor Serai comments that Amara must inevitably leave Bernard. From a pure entertainment standpoint, I most enjoyed Tavi's capture of the mysterious thief "Black Cat" and their subsequent breach of the impregnable Grey Tower to liberate his friend Max. Also like FURIES OF CALDERON, the ending here in ACADEM'S FURY exaggerates the theatrics from different perspectives and two locales like a soap opera (Amara's perspective out near Aricholt in the country and Tavi's perspective in Alera Imperia). Like the previous installment, the seemingly innocuous Fade showcases his mastery with the sword at the end, this time against 9-foot tall Canim creatures (we learn more about Fade's history also). The book crosses its t's and dots its i's in order to accommodate a role for every character from Tavi's small friend Ehren to Captain Miles. ACADEM'S FURY throws 17 year-old Tavi a bone in the finale when he must battle an injured Canim all by himself while a bruised and battle-weary Amara dispenses of a vord queen by herself. Despite threats to Tavi, Amara and Bernard, I never once felt like they were actually going to die. I thought Lady Aquitaine's impressive exhibition of power at the very end overshadowed everything else.
One of the big reasons to read SFF and historical fiction - world building and prose - disappointed in ACADEM'S FURY. Although the prose and world building in FURIES OF CALDERON wasn't great, it deteriorates tremendously here in ACADEM'S FURY. The people, creatures, world, society and magic of Alera never felt real. A good SFF book portrays its fictional magic, world and people so it feels and seems real. ACADEM'S FURY failed in this respect. Maybe it was just me, but reading Tavi's story, I felt like I was back in high school fighting a bully or back in college cramming for final exams. Reading Amara's storyline, I felt like I was was reading a potboiler romance. Random and seemingly arbitrary rules for the vord creatures exacerbates the reading experience. For example, each vord queen multiplies exactly three times (something simply known from Marat folklore), and there exists a hierarchy of vord from the queen to Keepers, to Takers, to Warriors. The Marat barbarian Doroga relays most of the vorg mythology via conversation. I thought ACADEM'S FURY consistently violated the cardinal sin in storytelling by telling us instead of showing us. Fancy names and titles like Maestro didn't change my feeling that all of this is just too fake. Amara even uses the phrase, "We will agree to disagree..." in a conversation with Isana once. In various conversations, the book further explains how country furies are more powerful than city furies (the rural vs. urban aspect). We as readers know the SFF story isn't real, but the base quality of the world building and conversationalist prose in ACADEM'S FURY mar the entire reading experience....more info
We started out as fans of Jim's other series: The Dresden Files. Since we'd run out of those books, we thought we'd give the Codex Alera a try. We're now hooked on this series as well. All of Jim's work is a joy to read, full of plot twists, and always some humor, even in the middle of the worst battles. As long as Jim keeps writing them, we'll read!!!...more info
- Wishing it was longer
The only problem I had with this book was that, sadly, there was a point when I only had a few more pages to read. I love this fantasy world and I'm invested in the characters. I'm glad to see that Butcher is able to transition to a very different series -- I almost forgot I was reading the 'Dresden' guy's books! The style and tone are almost worlds apart. In any event, a great book to curl up by the fireplace with on a nice long rainy weekend....more info
- Difficult To Finish
After enjoying Butcher's fantastic first volume in this series, Furies of Calderon, I found Academ;s Fury to be somewhat disappointing. So much of this book just drags on with endless conversations that seem to go nowhere. I certainly don't require a story to be action from the first page to the last, bur nor do I like a novel to go on and on endlessly with no real development. Moreover, there wasn't as much character development this time around. Granted, that may be a product of the fact this is the second book in a series, but characters I really enjoyed in the first novel -- Tavi, Isana, Doroga, Kitai -- were either ill-used in this novel and reduced to boring plot lines that dragged on forever. Moreover, interesting characters were introduced to only be quickly killed or little used.
This is not to say that the book was all bad. I'm a huge Jim Butcher fan. I like his writing style and he's very good at creating interesting worlds for his characters to inhabit. While it's true Alera is nothing more than a fictional representation of Ancient Rome, it's what Butcher has done with his version of Rome that makes it so interesting. It's because of this interesting world and the potential I see in the series that I can give it three stars and move on to the next novel. If there's one thing Jim Butcher does it's entertain. It may have been in short supply with Academ's Fury, but I feel certain Butcher won't disappoint with future novels in this series....more info
- From farm to City
Tavi's time at the city shoed that his principles were not going to change because of it. He just got stronger and made friends with the people who would change his life as he would change theirs.
Very well written and I couldn't leave the book till the end. Almost 24 hours. Very good indeed!!...more info
Great book by Jim Butcher. I'm not sure what others mean when they say this book it lacking in plot, but they are very wrong. I recommend this, along with all the other books in the series to anyone who likes a good fantasy book. Pick it up. Buy it. Read it. Enjoy it....more info
- Reader's Fury: Fun, derivative, still worth reading
I have to say I'm enjoying the Fury series so far, but it took me until halfway through the second book to figure out exactly why I liked it so much.
It's because I've read it all before.
If you've done any reading in classic fantasy, it won't take you long to come to the somewhat eerie conlclusion that you and Jim Butcher have been reading the same titles since about 1983.
Talentless country bumpkin turns into epoch-saving hero? Raymond Feist. Boarding-school bullies and sorcerous exam drama in a fantasy setting? Well, before Rowlings, try Anne McCafferey and the Harper Hall series. Male bildungsroman barely squeaking by suffocating family chaperones in order to save the universe? David Eddings. High Imperial culture, complete with Latinate monikers? Katherine Kurtz. To say the Furies series is derivative is...well, you get my point.
For all that, Butcher does a great job bringing it all together. So, maybe he does borrow shamelessly from a baker's dozen of the best (or best loved) series in fantasy...so what? We gobble these books up as fast as we can buy them precisely BECAUSE we know what's happening or going to happen. The reward isn't so much in the substance of the tale as in the telling of it, and for that Butcher gets a gold star.
If I have any real gripe, it would be with the production of the book itself. The editing is incredibly sloppy, from the odd misspelling to gross plot failures. "...he looked at her wine-dark ups..." Ups? You mean lips?
As an example of story no-no's [SPOILER]: near the end of the tale, in a dramatic moment, Tavi leaves Sir Miles wounded on the steps. The old guard hands Tavi his sword to do battle against the "taken" Canim at the bottom of the stairs. Tavi, it is specifically noted, takes care with the sword in his sprint down the steps. Next chapter, Tavi leaps into the room--swordless--and grabs Gaius's weapon from the side of his fallen friend, Max. Which is it? This is the kind of plot faux pas that shouldn't have survived Butcher's own draft editing, let alone the publisher's editorial efforts. (Oh, and Jim? Please try to keep the use of "raconteur" to once per book.)
The slipshod production continues even to the physical aspect of the book: about twenty pages of my paperback copy weren't cut properly and were folded over and shoved back into the pages. So I now have twenty unasked for one-page bookmarks in my edition.
Despite my complaints, I'm still happy with the book and JB's talented swipe at a tried and true fantasy niche. These are the kinds of books I grew up on and what made me fall in love with the genre in the first place. If I sound disparaging, it's because I'll defend my memories of other beloved series tooth and nail, and any book that wants a place beside those others better earn it. JB's Fury series is knocking on the door; it just remains to be seen if I should let it in. ...more info
- Great Series
I've found Butcher's series to be a fantastic series which rivals that of Fiest, Jordan, Martin, and Goodkind. Unlike the previous authors Butcher's story is much more involved with character development, he's more restrained with random plot threads, and each novel gives some sense of cloture. Whereas at times with Jordan and Martin you can get drowned in the subplots, Butcher's subplots enhance our understanding of the characters seem to have definitive path, albeit with a few twists, and are all together interesting. Finally, the series seems to be on shcedule of 1 book a year. If you love Martin, Jordan, Fiest, and Goodkind (and especially if you get frustrated with them) you'll love the Codex of Alera....more info
- Hooked on the series
The first book was good (I even paid full price for it), so I bought the second (another full price). The second was even better than the first. The characters are familiar now and the story becoming more interesting.
My only complaint would be for such a young man, Tavi always has the right answer to complex situations. This is fantasy, however. It looks like I will be buying book three now.
It is good to find a new series. I just hope it does not drag on forever, like some that become popular. There should be a stopping point....more info
- Squandered premise
This book is nothing to be proud of; it takes a fantastic premise and structure, then meanders through a bunch of sub-plots which feature supposedly very clever protagonists getting dumfounded by foolish evil "gambits".
Much of the novel (as with the first) is spent building up PC "straw men" stereotypes to hate - garnished by a grand villain stolen from the Halo X-Box game.
Perhaps the only novel I have ever ripped up and thrown out, both because of its glacial pacing and a vast number over-engineered plot twists which involve characters getting blind sided inways which imply they've gone brain-dead first.
Cursors have to be the most INEFFECTUAL super-spy confidential agents I've ever read about. I'm sure that wasn't an intended effect - and that lack of intention troubles me.
Butcher can do better - and rather than being a fencing/ martial arts afficionado, he just might be better off learning bit more about those subjects.
What a sad waste of a potentially great plot and set of characters.
- A Bit Better than the 1st Book in the Series
"Academ's Fury" is the second in Butcher's "Codex Alera" series (Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1), Academ's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 2), Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 3), Captain's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 4), and Princeps' Fury (Codex Alera, Book 5)). It picks up about two years after the first book. If you liked the first book, you'll almost certainly like this one: an interesting world, good writing, and, for the most part, fairly well done characters. I also felt that the pacing was a bit better in this one. Plus, Butcher added a bit (just a bit) more information into the furies, themselves. I only had three significant disagreements with the book:
- First, there doesn't seem to be any adult supervision at the Academy. A good chunk of the plot revolves around things happening that just shouldn't be able to at the premier learning institution in the world. I mean, nobody in their right mind would leave a group of (essentially) magic-wielding teenagers alone to practice their group-dynamics on each other like this.
- Second, as in the first book, the low-life human antagonists (not the elite ones) are just over done: they stick to their unpleasant behavior far past the point where it would make any sense. After a while, I'd just throw up my hands, roll my eyes and say "not again."
- And, third, it takes an awful lot of pounding to do any damage to anyone.
This is a fantasy book, though. Not high literature. So, I'm not putting too much emphasis on those things. Like the first book, this one is captivating and well worth the read. I rate it at a Very Good 4 stars out of 5....more info
- A Thief in the Night
Academ's Fury (2005) is the second fantasy novel in the Codex Alera series, following Furies of Calderon. In the previous volume, Doroga -- head of the Gargant Horde -- led his and other Marat hordes against Atsurak's warriors and broke the siege of the Calderon Garrison. Fidelias forced the evidence of the betrayal from Tavi and returned it to Lady Acquitaine.
Countess Amara sent her report of the incident to the First Lord. Gaius Sextus came to Bernardholt and gave rewards to the survivors. Tavi's reward was to gain Gaius's patronage in the Academy.
In this novel, Kitai discovers that the Wax Forest has been abandoned. She shows the frozen and rotten valley to her father Doroga and tells him that tracks led out of the valley to the west. She wants to warn the Alerans, but Doroga refuses to let her go. Instead, he will carry a warning to the Garrison.
Tavi is a student in the Academy and also being trained as a Cursor. He becomes friends with Ehren and Antillar Maximus. Despite his lack of fury talent, Tavi manages to save Ehren and himself from the efforts of Kalarus Brencis Minoris and his minions. Naturally, he has more than a little help from Max.
Sir Miles tries to get Gaius Sextus to rest, but Gaius shows him why he has been so exhausted. A series of powerful storms have been breaking on the Aleran coast. Gaius believes the storms are being sent by the Canims. In any case, Gaius has been trying to reduce the effects of these storm and thus has lost much sleep.
In this story, Tavi, Max, Ehren and Gaelle undergo weapons testing by their Cursor Maestro. Tavi is tested first in each skill and shows a different flaw in each test. Yet his mates perform in an exemplary fashion. After the others are dismissed, Tavi stays behind to discuss his deficiencies with the Maestro.
The Maestro compliments Tavi for reminding his mates of their weak points and gives him another assignment. The city has been inflicted with a burglar who commits his crimes without the aid of a fury. The civic legion has not been able to apprehend the thief, so the Maestro gives Tavi until Wintersend to catch him.
Doroga and two thousand of his warriors follow the trail and attack the vord. He takes the two hundred survivors to the Calderon Garrison for treatment. But one of the creatures has escaped and is headed toward the capital.
This story interweaves the stories of the Alerans, the Marat, and the Canim. Tavi somewhat knows how to deal with the Marat and learns even more from Kitai. So now he finds out how to interact with the Canim.
This tale keeps expanding, but also explores previous threads that were left unexplained. We learn more about Tavi's father and mother and more about Alera itself. The next volume will explain even more and further broaden the action. Enjoy!
Highly recommended for Butcher fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of covert operations, crime investigation, and a bit of romance.
-Arthur W. Jordin...more info
- No Sequel Slump...Excellent Follow-Up
This sequel takes place two years after the ending of the first book, and it doesn't take Butcher long to catch us up on the activities of them all. Tavi is our main character though, and this book is largely his tale. There are surprises in store, with both new characters and creatures being introduced into the book's world. The action and magic are portrayed well, and the dialogue and mysteries continue to hold my attention.
My one minor quibble is that Butcher is borrowing one of Robert Jordan's least-likeable traits; dragging out secrets from one book to the next when it's not neccessary since the rest of the story is so good....more info