Skip to main content

The Codex Alera Series by Jim Butcher

First Lord's Fury, the last entry in the Codex Alera series was recently released. I've completed it now, and here are my thoughts on the series. My first exposure to Jim Butcher's work was with the Dresden Files, a series of urban fantasy novels starring the titular Harry Dresden, Chicago's only wizard listed in the Yellow Pages.

In contrast, the Codex Alera series is a much more traditional fantasy world. The country of Alera exists on a fictional continent where humans are able to control the elements through what they call furycraft. Every human is able furycraft at at least some level, and it has shaped society, all lamps are fury lamps, and need to be lit through the use of a small amount of fire crafting, healing is all performed in tubs of water by watercrafters, messengers are all windcrafters, who fly through the skies. Blacksmith's are all metalcrafters who are able to sense just the right conditions for forging the metal.

Not all furycrafters are created equal however, most people are only adept in one or two elements, those who can control all of the elements to a great degree make up the aristocracy of Alera.

It's strongly hinted that the first humans of Alera were a Roman legion that somehow ended up on a mysterious new continent, along with their hangers on. I don't know enough of Roman history to identify many of the elements that are influenced by it, although clearly the arms and military structure is very similar.

Our hero for this story is a young boy named Tavi, who's father was lost in a recent war, and who is something of a freak in that he possesses not the slightest inkling of furycraft. Obviously he is the subject of much ridicule, pity, and bullying, but he's clever, and has managed to get by in spite of his disability.

The first two books in the series deal mostly with political scheming and backstabbing, which progresses slowly into a more traditionally fantastic overwhelming foreign invaders storyline. Over the many books, we get to see Tavi frequently strive in the face of impossible situations, and eventually become a beloved leader, and fearsome strategist.

One of my favorite things about this series was the ingenious ways that Tavi would think of to combat furycrafting with simple mechanical know how, and eventually be able to instruct others on how to combine furycrafting and more traditional engineering to create wondrous feats.

At first I found it hard to get into the series, just because I was expecting something more along the lines of the Dresden Files, but then I came to love the politics and scheming for what it was. I'd highly recommend checking this series out if you're interested in a fantasy story that approaches the genre from a slightly different angle.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Worst Contact Allergic Reaction I've Ever Had

I'm started to feel like a bit of a freak show. I've of course been injured by shrapnel from a pipe bomb, and I've got impressive scars to prove it (side note: One of my friends said that I need to come up with a really awesome story to go along with my scar, and I sad "Someone throwing a pipe bomb at me isn't awesome enough?")

I've mentioned that I took a first aid/CPR class in my first quarter of college, taught by Ron Hussman at Edmonds Community College. He was a great instructor, with a lot of great stories being a navy medic for 24 years, I think that's what he said. I'm proud to say that the pictures of my leg injury are now part of his curriculum, but I got tired of raising my hand every time he asked if someone had done something in particular.

Called 911? Check
Used an epipen? Check
Been in shock? Check
Ridden in an ambulance? Check
Had burns in your throat? Check (seriously, don't let your kids hold roman candles while they fire)
Latex all…

CM's Star Gaogaigar

So, this is Star Gaogaigar from the King of Braves Gaogaigar cartoon, one of the infamous Brave series of cartoons. Basically, the Brave series was a handful of cartoons with toylines supported by Takara after the original Transformers line had stopped being profitable. Each series was unrelated to the last, and was heavily aimed towards selling toys, featuring a lot of combining figures, especially centered around a central hero character, which would combine with just about everything else under the sun for various upgrades. A lot of Transformers fans consider the toys to these cartoons as the spiritual successors of the original Transformers line.

I've never watched the cartoon, so instead, here's the opening:







Now that that's out of the way, look at that box! It's huge! Height and width, it's about on par with the larger Soul of Chogokin boxes, but the thing that's really odd about it, is that it's just as deep as it is tall, if you look at it from the sid…

What It's Like To Get Pipebombed

Well, I'm going to break with my rule of not actually mentioning anything about having a pipe thrown at you, but in celebration of the 6 month anniversary, I really wanted to write it up.

So, without further ado, here's what happened on my Fourth of July 2009, and the six months since:

So, it's the Fourth of July, 2009, about ten-ish or so at night. Being that we live in a condo, and our homeowner's association has prohibited fireworks being let off in our complex, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood in order to better see the fireworks everyone else was letting off.

We walked straight out the front gate, got about maybe 50 feet down the street, and a dark car with it's headlights on pulled out onto the street, about a block ahead of us a man with a white shirt was walking in the same direction as us, nothing noteworthy about either of those. However, upon passing us, something was tossed out of the passenger window and bounced off my chest, upon the gro…