Customer Reviews for

Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Docked for Sexual Content

What if everyone in your world had magical abilities except you? In Alera, where even lighting a lamp requires magic, Tavi is in just such a situation. When the realm falls under attack he has only his mind to help save himself, his family, and the whole of Alera.

F...
What if everyone in your world had magical abilities except you? In Alera, where even lighting a lamp requires magic, Tavi is in just such a situation. When the realm falls under attack he has only his mind to help save himself, his family, and the whole of Alera.

Furies of Calderon follows several characters through the web of conflict that threatens their lives. Overall the story is engaging and enjoyable, but can seem slow and overwhelming at the beginning due to the complexity of the world and situations you are thrown into. There are graphic violence scenes as well as some sexual content. While the sexual scenes are few and not significant to the story, they tend to focus on the characters feelings of "hot need."

As far as a romping good tale goes, I would highly recommend this book, if you can get through the overwhelming nature of the first quarter. However, I have to dock it for sexual content that I do not feel adds positively to the characters, romance, or plot. It is entirely possible to do good clean romance without going beyond something I would feel comfortable with my son reading. I believe it would be possible to black out the sexual content of this book without marring the story.

posted by ssbookreviews on August 31, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Witless

In the past 25+ years of buying and reading all sorts of genre, I have only left two books unfinished: this was the second. I made it to page 296 before putting it down in dusgust. The storyline is disorganized, the characters are either cliche or witless, and the plo...
In the past 25+ years of buying and reading all sorts of genre, I have only left two books unfinished: this was the second. I made it to page 296 before putting it down in dusgust. The storyline is disorganized, the characters are either cliche or witless, and the plot-movers are ill-disguised with little reason for their happenstance. The storyline has a boy with an unknown mysterious past, a wannabe spy who's supposed to have incredible talent but makes mistake after common-sense mistake, a spymaster who has switched sides in an upcoming rebellion, and a patina of Roman Empire with all the purported backstabbing that entity had. The characters are pitiful. On the 'bad' guys, you have the following: The expert and cynical spymaster who thinks the change of rebellion cannot be stopped so he switches sides (a character development that would have been better played out over half the book, rather than in just the first chapter). The unbeatable swordsman, who has little passion except for his kinky affair with a 'witch', but kills because he's so good at it. The 'High Lord' leading the rebellion, who has lots of power but wants to be 'First Lord' just because he wants more power. On the 'good' side, you have the following: the boy with no parents who has a mysterious past, can't think much beyond the moment, and is just starting to turn his mind to mush over girls. The godfather figure of his uncle, who is supposed to be experienced, learned, and somewhat wise but who makes mistake after mistake and acts indecisively. The 'loyal' spy who's supposed to be a hot-shot rookie with loads of talent, but who can't take a step without being two steps behind the 'bad' guys. The only way the plot moves is through improbable results of stupid actions. Too many occur in the first 296 pages alone to list. Let's just say that too frequently does 'fate' step in to keep the characters alive after stupidity struck, and too frequently 'fate' conveniently (blatantly) steps in to make a situation even more stupidly convoluted just so that same 'fate' can later untangle it all. In other words, it's not the action or reasoning of the characters that cause things to happen (or not to happen), it pretty much happens just to be happening. I like Butcher's Dresden series, they're not great but they're okay - readable and enjoyable. I thought this would be written well enough to invest in....it's not. Don't waste the money on it if you have any wish for a read better than that intended for young teenagers.

posted by Anonymous on June 7, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Ok

    This was the first Jim Butcher book that I have read.

    Though the premise of the story arc was good, the story moved way too slow. The charaters were likable but pretty predictable. I felt like it read more like a YA novel.

    Overall, not a bad book, but not going to rush out and grab the next one, maybe down the road will give the second book in the series a read.

    H.M. Franklin

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Good but...

    I loved this book,except for the "almost" sex. These were thrown in too frequently and disrupted the flow of the story. These scenes told of hot need, passionate kissing, and some lead ins to sex, although they never actually inluded the act. I would buy the 2nd book, but am just not curious enuf about what happens to endure the writing again. I will say, the 2nd half was much better then the first.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    The story is great and the characters are likeable. Not digging

    The story is great and the characters are likeable. Not digging the writer's style, though, but the story's strong enough for me to overlook the questionable writing and finish the series.

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  • Posted August 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Epic Fantasy? Alternate History? Either way, too much YA

    The first half and the end (last chapter or two) reminded me strongly of young adult fantasy fiction. Only the core of the book dealt with mature adult choices and consequences. World building sacrificed to action for the most part. No one character grabbed me. Of the cast, Tavi and Isana rose to the top.

    I also became annoyed by video game-like healing and non-death. Basically, if you didn't lose your head (think Highlander), you could survive even the most fatal of wounds, thanks to the water fury crafters. Without a real death threat for any of the main characters, I quickly became jaundiced to their fates.

    I may read the next volume, or not, depending on if it falls into my hands easily enough (like, say, through a swap or a mooch). I'm not compelled to follow Tavi through school at the Academy (yet another YA aspect I'm not fond of). The fate of another empire hinging on the seemingly untalented (magically speaking) young 'chosen one' lost it's shine a couple of decades ago with Eddings' Garion.

    For the rest of my review, please visit GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/110707367

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Something about Butcher's writing style here just turns me off...

    I picked up this book with good recommendations from others. I had not read any other Butcher story, so I didn't go in the same mindset I see others going into this book with: "This isn't like the Dresden Files! I hate it!" No, actually, I could actually review the book rather than comparing.<BR/><BR/>It started off great. Two characters are introduced; two people from the King's request to loot a refuge camp to undercover secrets of a rebellion. The story then turns into an array of action and you think to yourself, "Wow, this is good, what is everyone talking about?" And then suddenly, I was hit with a different story with new characters. Now, the pace seemed slow and I was sideswiped with confusion. I mean, it started off good, not amazing, but good and now I have to cope with a slow pace for who knows how long. It lasted well over fifty pages. Perhaps, that's what turned me off. I don't know.<BR/><BR/>We soon learn, the steadholt named aptly Bernardholt encompasses our boy hero Tavi, his uncle and aunt and the rest of the people residing within the comfort zone of the steadholt. We discover a Marat scout within the distance of the steadholt and realize that the Marat are soon planning an invasion of the Calderon Valley, which hasn't happened in over sixteen years. <BR/><BR/>The main premise of the book for magic is "furies". Elemental spirits applied to everyone. The person calls their name for the fury and the fury acts upon their wish. They can be used for good and/or evil. Unfortunately, our main character Tavi has no furies and he is sixteen. This is a rarity and he if often considered a freak within the steadholt and outside the steadholt.<BR/><BR/>I got to page 300-something and I stopped. I was on and off with this book. My opinions fluttered like butterflies and switched sporadically. Sometimes I would close the book and say to myself, "That was a good chapter." Then the next day I'd be reading and I would look around the room at the smallest details, completely detached from the world and the situation at hand. That is not good.<BR/><BR/>Perhaps it's Butcher's style that puts me off. It's somewhat childish (or is that the premise of the book?), quirky, and repetitive. One analogy I picked up that he utilizes frequently is: "He picked her up as if she weighed no more than a child." Versions of this were seen throughout just the first 300 pages, lord knows how many more they were used. Granted, it really is a small criticism, but I'm a picky reader like that. That stuff makes me nod my head disdainfully.<BR/><BR/>In all, this debut for this series was not what I was expecting. I felt that the story was cliche (yes, I know it was a bet of sorts that sprung on this novel in the first place), the characters I could care less about (if one died, I would shrug and wouldn't give it a second thought), and that the pace was unorganized. It would go fast, than slow, go slow, slow, slow, fast, slow, fast, fast, slow. You get the point. I really get the feeling Mr. Butcher wrote on the go on this one.<BR/><BR/>This might not be the series for me, in fact, it isn't. Butcher does show some potential, but it just may be that this just isn't his genre to let his forte shine. I've got the first Dresden book "Storm Front" on hand right now and hopefully, I can get a sense of what the rave for Mr. Butcher is all about.

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  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Escapist fun, but no surprises here

    I was turned onto the Codex Alera by a huge fan of a series--a fan that is relatively new to the fantasy genre. I think that his effusive praise of this series stems from that newness--because there is very little in this series that feels original at all. Longtime fans of fantasy (like myself) will certainly find a lot to like here--lots of battle sequences, danger, an interesting spin on magic, witty dialogue, and a cast of really likeable characters. But where this series falls short is in its repeated use of tired fantasy cliche. The awkward kid who is obviously more than what he seems? Check. The excruciatingly loyal retainer to the king? Check. Etc, etc. This is not at all to say that I haven't enjoyed this series--I plan to buy the next one (book 5) on release day--but this isn't breaking any ground. Read it if you're looking for an easy to read, high on battles, escapist fantasy; skip it if you're looking for something completely fresh.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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