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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2005


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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) + Academ's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 2) + Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera, Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101268X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012688
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 4.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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
writing.

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 100 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Renee C. Mulhare on 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 By Esther Schindler TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Nicholson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 3, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The 'Furies of Calderon' is the first book in the 'Codex Alera' series by Jim Butcher.

I've been a fan of Butcher's Dresden novels, featuring famed vampire fighter Harry Dresden. So when I saw this book was available and it had received generally high reviews, I was eager to get into this book.

When I started this tale I was impressed; I thought I'd finally found the holy grail of fantasy books...that being a writer that was possibly equal to, or at least comparable in fantasy writing skills as George R.R. Martin ('Ice and Fire' series). However, my initial enthusiasm quickly fell away, replaced by the realization I'd stumbled upon a very good story, but unfortunately, supported by mediocre story telling.

First, the good:

All the ingredients for first rate fantasy were there; magic, unique characters and creatures, deceit, treachery and some perilous treks through dangerous territories. There was even a hint of romance and some subtle erotic moments. The plot for the story itself was noteworthy with the classic good vs evil motif. Then coupled that with Butcher's proven ability to weave magic through the written word (as he's done so many times before with the Dresden Files) and you should have an outstanding tale...should have.

However, I have a principle regarding fantasy writing, as defined by the following statement...'TO HAVE GOOD (OR GREAT) FANTASY, IT MUST BE, WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF FANTASY WRITING, BELIEVABLE'

And with my statement in mind, these are my concerns: ***No specific spoilers, BUT, read at your own risk***

1.)There was one mode of travel, that seemed utterly unrealistic; unrealistic, even given the fact that magic was a factor.
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