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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Jim Butcher may be best known for his Dresden Files (Proven Guilty, Dead Beat, et al.) -- a series that blends dark fantasy with hard-boiled crime fiction and features a Chicago-based wizard/paranormal investigator with a distinctively sardonic view of the world -- but his epic fantasy saga the Codex Alera is quickly gaining him an entire new audience among fans of authors like David Eddings, Raymond E. Feist, and Robert Jordan.
In Cursor's Fury, the third book in the series thus far (after Furies of Calderon and Academ's Fury), civil war rocks the realm of Alera. As the ruthless High Lord of Kalare launches a brutal assault against Gaius Sextus (Alera's aging ruler), the saga's heroic main character, Tavi -- working as an undercover spy in the newly formed Aleran Legion -- witnesses the brutality of war firsthand and finds himself in command of an untrained group of misfits, the only force standing between a horde of nightmarish Canim warriors and the gates of war-torn Alera…
Fans of shelf-bending, multilayered fantasy sagas like the aforementioned Jordan's Wheel of Time and Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth sequences should definitely check out Butcher's Codex Alera, which is reminiscent in many ways of Terry Brooks's original Shannara trilogy (The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara, and The Wishsong of Shannara) first released in the late 1970s and early '80s -- an intricately detailed, thematically complex fantasy filled with nonstop action and adventure, powerful characterization, and some of the coolest world building to be seen in a long, long time. Paul Goat Allen