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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1) Paperback – June 28, 2005
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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.
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
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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Furies of Calderon is your standard fantasy story. The novel takes place in a quasi-medieval past time on an alternate Earth or some kind of Earth-like space populated by humans. Everyone in this world has a Fury, which is some kind of sentient elemental power that attaches itself to a person when they're hitting puberty and allows them to do elemental magic. The stronger your Fury, the stronger magic stuff you can do. Some people even have more than one.
There is a boy protagonist (Tavi), teenaged, who is an outsider (sort of) because he doesn't have a Fury. He is special in some other way that is hinted at yet never revealed in the book because this is volume 1 of who knows how many and there has to be some way to make you read the next 6 books, right? Right. So, he's special and doesn't know it, is considered a freak by some and a pity case by others, wants to leave the "homestead" and go off to the "city" to study at the "university" so he can make something of himself. And, by gum, his dreams are gonna come true! (cue Disney music)
And, of course, we have the familiar set of Kings and Queens and Knights and nobles and Homesteaders and serfs and all that jazz. You'd think that people with such wildly different everyday circumstances from regular humans would find some wildly different way to organize themselves and structure their society. Nope. Damn humans, always the same.
To go along with this standard worldview is the standard political intrigue plot. Some noble somewhere doesn't like how the King runs things. He thinks he can do things better.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic start to a fantasy series. I have read most of the Dresden Files, and was expecting something like that.
This was surprisingly different- a different voice... Read more
Awesome book beginning a long and satisfying fantasy series. I didn't think I'd like it at first, because I just wanted to read more Harry Dresden. Read morePublished 4 days ago by catherine
This book is SLOW, SLOW, SLOW. The characters are alright, but I never fell in love with them. The closest I came was Amara... Read morePublished 5 days ago by CasterlyRocker
I've always loved coming of age stories. And I thought this would be a nice predictable book. It was and it wasn't. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Jim Phillips
This is the first book in the Series. Personally while i love the Alera Codex Series, to me this book is the weakest. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Lawrence