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First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 6) Hardcover – November 24, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The creativity Butcher displays in his Dresden Files series is less apparent in the derivative sixth fantasy yarn set in quasi-Roman Alera (after 2008's Princeps' Fury). New readers are tossed into a complex plot without any explanation of the considerable backstory, making it hard to connect with the characters or action. The book centers around yet another world-shaking battle between good, represented by Alera, and evil, represented by the vord queen and her legions of scorpionlike followers. A major character is falsely believed dead; there's a traitor in the ranks of the good guys; there's also heroic sacrifice, combat against overwhelming odds, etc. Banter in moments of extreme crisis is absurdly common but never convincing, and neither characters nor story develop anything resembling depth. (Dec.)
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From Booklist

The fitting conclusion to the Codex Alera ties up a lot of loose ends. Tavi, first lord of Alera since his grandfather’s death, struggles to hold together a realm about to shatter. The insectile Vord hold far too much of the land, including areas that surrendered willingly. Alera’s old enemies, the Canim, are now allies, which makes both reluctant partners tense. Certain Alerans of rank persist in nattering over whether Tavi is the rightful ruler. And Tavi’s lover, Kitai, insists on being properly courted to maintain respectability in Aleran eyes. With Tavi trying to keep ahead of one quandary after another and find a way to defeat the Vord, and with various intriguers met in the previous five volumes trying to salvage their schemes, the pace here is much faster than in the immediately preceding Cursor’s Fury (2006), Captain’s Fury (2007), and Princeps’ Fury (2008). --Frieda Murray

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; 1 edition (November 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101769X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441017690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 127 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Fitzgerald on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It seems this is the year for both of Jim Butcher's fantasy series to come full circle. First it was Turn Coat, wrapping up the first half of the Dresden Files, and now it is First Lord's Fury resolving the story of Tavi of Calderon. Codex Alera began with a young shepherd boy losing his sheep and subsequently being caught up in the larger political machinations of a treasonous High Lord attempting to usurp power from the First Lord in the Calderon Valley. It is, therefore, only fitting that the Calderon Valley is the backdrop for the final act of the Codex Alera.

Eight years later, in Alera, and that shepherd boy has grown into an Academ, a Man, a Cursor, a Captain, a Princeps and finally The First Lord. However, one thing has not changed: the fate of Alera still rests on his shoulders.

Tavi, now known as Gaius Octavian, returns from his journey to Canea to find his land under siege from the deadly Vord. Already having conquered the Canim, the Vord Queen has now turned her attention towards Alera. In Princep's Fury we saw her armies march on Alera Imperia, causing Tavi's grandfather, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, to sacrifice himself and Alera Imperia to slow the march of the Vord Army. Sextus' sacrifice allowed the Aleran Legions breathing room, but was ultimately just a delaying tactic that made it possible to set up the dramatic last stand of Alera.

One of the more unique aspects of the Codex Alera series is that while it is told in 3rd person limited (which I failed to initially identify, thank you Christopher), it feels, to me, very much like a 1st person fantasy series told from several different character viewpoints.
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74 of 86 people found the following review helpful By genre lover on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As usual with Jim Butcher, this is a compulsive page turner, but it seems the author lost interest in this exciting and original series in the final two books. He certainly stopped committing himself to the themes and arc he'd so beautifully developed in the first four. Maybe he got weighted down by too many characters, plot lines and too many enemies. The vord are way bad but when they appeared in the series and then took center stage as the big bad, the emphasis shifted from being an adventurous and exciting story of a boy who is true to himself as he learns to realize his potential in a politically and socially dangerous world to being a 6 book long monster battle movie.

This review contains spoilers.

In the first books, Tavi's growing maturity and moral education, and his and Isana's slowly awakening powers are handled with intelligence and with a great, mounting dramatic build. The final two books, though, are mostly just one big battle scene after another. Few unexpected plot twists, no particularly surprising cleverness from Tavi, and sadly, we don't get to see his fury-crafting power as it grows. In Princeps, he's pretty much stagnant fury-wise. In First Lord, there's one scene showing him being clumsy with Alera as his flying tutor, and then suddenly he's super-fury-man. After such a delightfully slow dramatic build-up to Tavi first discovering his potential for fury-craft in first four books, the development of his powers feels ignored, rushed and phoned-in. We never see him manifest his water fury, fire fury, air fury, etc. We never get to see him experiment with them and their potential. He barely continues to find creative new uses for furies in the final two books.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Beanbag Love on November 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was disappointed in the previous book in this series, "Princeps Fury", but, as it felt like a 'bridge', I suspected this one would be much better. I wasn't wrong. It ends the series with a major bang. Not a moment of down time.

No, it's not a perfect story. The ending leaves questions and the epilogue feels like a hasty wrap-up. But the rest of this book is one gorgeous, bloody, exciting, suspenseful, heart-wrenching moment after another.

Characters who should die, do. Characters who should die, don't. And other characters that we've come to love aren't safe at all. There is some genuine heartache along with the fast-paced action. And, even in the darkest moments of the book, it never feels bogged down by tedious hopelessness. Yes, I find hopelessness in fiction to be tedious. Heads up to many fantasy/sci fi writers who think it's hip and challenging to go bleak. It's not. Jim Butcher can rip your heart out, but you never feel like you won't get some satisfaction out of the story, and that's a rare talent when exploring such incredibly dark tales.

Again, my only complaint is that a few things might have been wrapped up better at the end. I don't know if Butcher is planning to revisit this world at all, but there are plenty of questions he could answer for the readers.

I'm trying so hard not to give any spoilers that I think this might be the most cryptic review I've ever written. I guess I should just recommend the whole series and be done with it. I'm very thrilled to have been taken on this ride. Thanks Jim. :D
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