Sharp tactical plotting, hazardous cross-country travel and a dash of sardonic humor mark Butcher's fourth Codex Alera novel (after 2006's Cursor's Fury). Two years into a difficult campaign against the wolflike Canim invaders, Calderon legion captain Tavi is saddled with an unqualified but politically powerful superior whose plans threaten disaster and force Tavi into potential treason. Meanwhile, aging ruler Gaius Sextus plans a final strike against the rebellious lord of Kalare, but to get close enough to act, he must set aside his power to control the elements and make a painful overland slog that neatly challenges genre conventions. Butcher deftly deploys intrigue, conflicted loyalties and hairbreadth action to excellent effect. Few writers balance military realism and cinematic swashbuckling with so much skill or wit. Series fans will welcome the revelation of Tavi's long-secret heritage and the strong climaxes resolving most of the immediate conflicts, while newcomers will have no trouble navigating the well-developed landscape. (Dec.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Turn out the lights, light a few candles, summon up a nice thunderstorm; you're in for an enthralling performance as James Marsters once again guides us through the dangerous streets of Chicago. This time there's even more difficulty than a wizard named Dresden can handle-how did he know that the Small Favor he agreed to do for Mab, Queen of the Winter Sidhe, could lead to so much trouble? Although Butcher had originally planned to write more of the "Swords and Horses" stories he grew up loving, somewhere along the way he met Harry Dresden, and these magical tales have netted a galaxy of fans. Just published in hardcover and already a best seller, Small Favor shot to the number two slot on the New York Times best sellers list, and number one on the Publishers Weekly list; it also made it to number one at Borders and Barnes & Noble.
Captain's Fury is the fourth book in the "Codex Alera" series, which chronicles the life of a young man named Tavi, now captain of the First Aleran Legion. His job is to forge an alliance between invading Canim warriors and the people of Alera. With "Codex Alera," Butcher made a successful crossover from mass market to hardcover; this made it to number 17 on the New York Times extended best sellers list. Although literally worlds apart, these two series show the talent a gifted author has in creating believable and entertaining characters. For the Dresden fans, it was lucky that Butcher met Harry first, as there's always a need for someone to take care of those things that go bump in the night. Kate Reading does not succeed in trying to do the deep voice thing on the Captain's Fury audio, for this isa sword and sorcery tale, where most of the characters are men. Nevertheless, both series are highly recommended for all public libraries-but if there's only room for one, you just can't beat the great performance that Marsters lends to the Dresden Files.