The 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
Butcher deftly mixes military fantasy and political intrigue in the rollicking third Codex Alera book (after 2005's Academ's Fury). Gaius Sextus, the First Lord of Alera, plants his nephew Tavi in a new legion, where Tavi can gather information on the rebellious High Lord of Kalare. Tavi, now a full-fledged Cursor, or spy, infiltrates the legion under the assumed identity of an officer, a station the green young man has not yet actually achieved. Treachery from a supposed ally opens the legion to attack from its bestial enemies, the Canim, incapacitating the captain and catapulting Tavi to the rank of the legion's commanding officer. Cut off from contact with the First Lord and with few seasoned officers to guide him, he must lead the troops in a defense of the Imperium against a horde of frenzied Canim warriors set on annihilating the Aleri people. Readers will cheer Tavi every step of the way. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
The ruthless High Lord of Kalare has declared open revolt against First Lord Gaius Sextus, who allies with the rival Lord of Aquitaine to hold his realm together. While the Countess Amara, a Cursor, or protector of the realm, embarks on a perilous mission to rescue hostages from the heart of the Lord of Kalare's stronghold, young Tavi, a member of the First Lord's household, is sent away from the war-though he finds a way to bring the war to him. The third volume of Butcher's newest series (after Furies of Calderon and Academ's Fury), set in a world reminiscent of the Roman Empire but powered by elemental magic, brings to a climax one portion of his epic tale, leaving room for further volumes. The author of the "Dresden Files" modern fantasy series is equally familiar with old-style, "classic" fantasy, demonstrating his skill in complex plotting and vivid world crafting to masterly effect. A welcome addition, along with series predecessors, to most fantasy collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
“Butcher deftly mixes military fantasy and political intrigue in the rollicking third Codex Alera book...Readers will cheer Tavi every step of the way.”—Publishers Weekly
“The author of the Dresden Files modern fantasy series is equally familiar with old-style, ‘classic’ fantasy, demonstrating his skill in complex plotting and vivid world crafting to masterly effect.”—Library Journal
“Plenty of military action and some interesting revelations about Tavi’s past make this one of the best volumes yet in this entertaining series.”—Locus