Monday, March 24, 2014
Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher
I am a big fan of Jim Butcher, at least his Dresden Files series. I am only halfway through that series and I am quite enjoying it. Since I liked his other work I figured I should give his true fantasy series a try. If you read the blurb about the author at the end of the book you can see that much of his writing and life has been shaped by the Lord of the Rings and other fantasy works. Since it was his first love he has always wanted to try his own hand at writing an epic fantasy series.
If the gossip is true the way this series came about is quite unique. Apparently he was having a debate with a friend as to whether the author or the one great idea was more important to a book's success. The friend said that having a good idea was more important and Jim said that an author can make pretty much any idea into a good book. That day a challenge was born. Jim was challenged to make a quality tale about the missing 9th Roman legion and Pokemon. Out of these random ideas came The Codex Alera series.
In the world of Alera the elements have different entities bound to them. These entities are called furies. When people start to come of age they have the possibility of bonding with their own furies. The different furies enhance different powers and grant different abilities. For example if you bond with an earth fury you can enhance your strength and also seek know where people are standing through ripples you send in the ground. Sky furies can give you the ability to levitate yourself and others depending on the amount of power you have. A few rare people have bonded with more than one.
In this world we are introduced to a young man who has not bonded with a single fury. He is considered a freak for what he lacks even though he does what he can to compensate for it. As he goes about his tasks he manages to uncover a plot to overthrow the current ruler and he becomes deeply involved on the intrigue and fight to saw his home and lord.
I quite enjoyed the characters and a lot of aspects of the world, but there were a few thinks of which I wanted more. The system of magic was not explained well enough for me. How do they bond with these furies? Why do certain people get chosen my certain ones? How do some people have more power than others? What are the limits to these powers? I have more questions, but I figure that you got my point and I still have hope that the future books will explain away some of these.
If you are looking for a fantasy book that is a quick read I would suggest this one. I do not know how the series is going to turn out, but if it is like the Dresden Files it will get better as it goes along.