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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jim Butcher
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (386 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $8.24
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon." "Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat - return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine." Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Amara will find Tavi's courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury - one that could turn the tides of war.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Butcher's absorbing fantasy, the first in a new series, the barbarians are at the gates of the land of Alera, which has a distinct flavor of the Roman Empire (its ruler is named Quintus Sextus and its soldiers are organized in legions). Fortunately, Alera has magical defenses, involving the furies or elementals of water, earth, air, fire and metal, that protect against foes both internal and external. Amara, a young female spy, and her companion, Odiana, go into some of the land's remoter territories to discover if military commander Atticus Quentin is a traitor—another classic trope from ancient Rome. She encounters a troubled young man, Tavi, who has hitherto been concerned mostly with the vividly depicted predatory "herdbanes" that threaten his sheep as well as with his adolescent sexual urges (handled tastefully). Thinking that Amara is an escaping slave, Tavi decides to help her and is immediately sucked in over his head into a morass of intrigues, military, magical and otherwise. Butcher (Storm Front, etc.) does a thorough job of world building, to say nothing of developing his action scenes with an abundance of convincing detail. This page-turner bodes well for future volumes.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This first book of a series, the Codex Aliera, is a real page-turner, with the classic plot of a kingdom threatened by both an outside invader and internal treachery enlivened by an abundance of original details and sheer storytelling gusto. For centuries, the ability of the people of Aliera to bond with furies--elemental spirits of earth, air, fire, water, and metal--has allowed them to defend their land against invaders. But the current lord is old and lacks an heir. So Aliera's traditional enemies plot with treacherous lords within the country to seize power. Far off in the mountains, the young lad Tavi struggles with his inability to attract and bond with a fury--and with sensual adolescent urges. He saves the life of a young girl he believes to be a slave, but who is actually an agent of the king, looking for traitors. Tavi is himself drawn into battle and war before he can say "lost sheep." A promising series launcher. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 872 KB
  • Print Length: 516 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 044101268X
  • Publisher: Ace (June 28, 2005)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,650 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
94 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, witty, and entertaining March 29, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A well crafted fantasy by Jim Butcher. The setting is a Romanesque empire called Alera where the people bond with furies (elementals) of air, earth, fire, water, or metal during their childhood or early adolescence to obtain magical powers and thus defend the land against their foes. Our main hero's name is Tavi. He is a 15-year-old shepherd boy, one of the only people in Alera who has not bonded with a fury. Obviously he turns out to be more than he first appears. Amara is a courageous and resourceful heroine; Fidelias a bold and daring villain. As I've come to expect of Mr. Butcher, the writing is excellent, witty, and very entertaining. His style in this one is quite different from the Dresden novels, however. For example, rather than remaining first-person throughout, the perspective bounces around between the three main players. The pacing is superb, a real page turner. While the Dresden Files are more my style, I very much enjoyed this book as well. Recommended read.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Pokemon meets Lost Roman Legion" September 27, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
According to a video interview Jim Butcher gave, he started writing the Codex Alera series on something of a dare: someone challenged him to write an epic sword-and-horse fantasy based on the two things the challenger found most annoying, those being "Pokemon and lost Roman legions". One would think this would be an awkward combination, but in Jim's hands, it's something new and original to bring to the genre. I love the modified Roman Empire milieu, and the concept of "fury-crafting", of working with elemental beings which can shape the substance of things around the crafter, fascinates me.

That said, I also approached this series on something of a dare: a rather strident teenaged fan of Jim's urban fantasy series, "The Dresden Files", came onto the forums on Jim's website, blasting the Codex Alera series and practically ordering Jim to stop writing it and focus his time and talent on more Dresden Files books. His reason: "Codex Alera sucks because it isn't the Dresden Files". I'd only at the time scanned a few sample chapters of Furies of Calderon and had found it a little hard to tune into (I'm a little leery of epic fantasy since, to me anyway, the bar got set so high by greats like J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert E. Howard), but I decided to give it another shot and see what the kerfuffle was all about.

I'm glad I rose to the challange set by this otherwise forum troll: In some ways, the book is a set-up for the series to come, but it is still a very worthwhile read. The characters are life-like, complex, and very sympathetic -- even the antagonists: the Marat might, at first glance, seem like mere barbarians who work closely with the totem animals of their tribes, but as the story unfolds, we find they are a complex community of individuals with their own psyches and ideas.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff. Don't expect Harry Dresden, though. December 9, 2005
Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series succeeds largely because the wry humor underlying the story is irresistable. Furies of Calderon is good, too; but it has a totally different tone. You'll enjoy FofC, I think -- Butcher is an excellent writer, and he paints a compelling word-picture -- but don't come into expecting Harry Dresden in a Fantasy Universe.

I admit that I found the beginning of the book a little slow. The setup takes several chapters, because there are quite a few characters to introduce: Tavi, the 15-year-old boy with no furies (magic powers of air, water, earth, or fire) to call upon; Amara, the crown's spy; Tavi's uncle and aunt; and a few more. *Do* give the book 50 pages before you decide what you think of it, as that's when the action really starts.

And it's good stuff. If you've been looking for a solid sword-and-sorcery and a nice not-so-predictible quest, you'll enjoy the book a lot. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series, which (thankfully) has already come out.
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45 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good first fantasy novel and a new series November 5, 2004
All the people of Alera are bonded with elemental furies which come to them in their childhood or early adolescence - except Tavi, who at 15 does not have his fury yet and is considered somewhat of a freak.

However, it is Tavi and the escaped Cursor Amara who will set off a chain of events that will change their world and help foil an invasion attempt of their home instigated by traitors. This is an action-adventure fantasy novel that moves along at a brisk pace with a fairly wide cast of characters.

Jim Butcher has created an interesting world with this novel and it is obvious that most of the secrets of Tavi's family have yet to be explored, but thankfully there will be another book which may flesh out some of the lingering mysteries.

My only slight disappointment is that Butcher succumbed to the fantasy cliché of using an orphaned 15 year old boy as his central character - but that did not stop me actually liking Tavi. On the whole I'm glad I've read this book and will be looking forward to book 2 when it is published.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars decently written book with over used plot devices. November 3, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is pretty good. Your typical fantasy story. A young kid on the verge of becoming an adult wrestles with being different. At the same time, the world is coming apart. Evil forces are on the verge of destroying an age old empire. The kid is the only one who can save the day. He's helped by his motley band of... well... this is definitely nothing new.

I guess why I might be tempted to give this book a half way decent review is that it is readable. What makes it unique is the 'Fury' aspect. Furies are 'spirits'. Everyone in this world has a Fury except for the main character, that kid I was talking about, Tavi. People use the Furies mostly for war it seems.

This might be the first book I have ever read where I was saying "ok already, just die". There are 3 bad guys who are chasing the kid, a young lady and the kids uncle/aunt. By the time this book is over, every single one of them has been on the brink of death many many times, has narrowly avoided death, has taken part in a battle and been spared death... on and on. So at a certain point, your not sighing with relief at the close escape, but cursing the author, saying "Common now".

I don't want to go on and on. Butcher is one of the most popular authors out there today. At my local bookstore, I swear there are a couple hundred copies of his books. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you, this is no where near the George RR Martin books. It reads more like that massive Robert Jordan series, 'Wheel of Time'. In fact, I might be too generous with 3 stars.

The characters are ok. the plot is rehashed, the writing is above average, and the concept is (other than the furies themselves) old school. I wouldn't go running out to get a copy of this if I were you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
I love him butcher's writing style. He has a way of capturing my imagination and making me not able to put the book down.
Published 2 days ago by John Schlingman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series
Love this series gets a bit long in the tooth and a bit predictable by the last two books but still has surprises. Good read.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great characters.
Fast paced. Exciting. Great characters.
Published 3 days ago by Shirley Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, hard to put down
Excellent read, with a great magic system and engaging characters. Highly recommend!
Published 4 days ago by Ian Doyle
4.0 out of 5 stars ... for some minor editing issues that made this seem like it may have...
Except for some minor editing issues that made this seem like it may have been a little rushed in publication, this is a fun story with lots of great action.
Published 7 days ago by John R.
4.0 out of 5 stars good book slow to entice
Good book,but it took more time than I thought it would take for it to make it enticing enough for it to become a fast reading. Read more
Published 11 days ago by rodrigo de oliveira costa
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this story
Absolutely captivating series. Bought the Kindle version after reading them all in paper back simply so I can have them with me to read anywhere. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read, I got caught up in the story ...
Very good read, I got caught up in the story and "over read" on 1 night and had a long day at work the next day HA HA.
Published 21 days ago by A. P. O'Sullivan
4.0 out of 5 stars it will take courage and determination to succeed against rebels with...
Alera is a realm where people bond with furies at an early age, elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Jamie W.
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it but I don't always like it when a ...
I liked it but I don't always like it when a book jumps to different characters in a story. I like it better when an author sticks to one. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Tjazz
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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.

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Topic From this Discussion
How old is Amara??
I believe Amara is an adult, not a child.
Apr 28, 2011 by Donna Cravey |  See all 5 posts
Why not include series # for all the book???
i completely agree! The worst is when you decide to start a new series and aren't quite sure which book is first. so you read the synopsis of one and it starts straight off with, "three months after having fought and killed 'number one baddie of previous book'..." Completely spoils the... Read More
Mar 3, 2011 by Miss Adeo |  See all 2 posts
When will this audio book become available and who is reading it?
According to Penguin Audio's site, the book will be read by Kate Reading.
May 13, 2008 by Jennifer M. Cunningham |  See all 4 posts
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