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, wood, and metal. But in the remote 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 horde—return to the Valley, Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness will be a power greater than any fury, one that could turn the tides of war…
My husband is a gamer. Back when we were dating, he introduced me to the Pokémon games. I’m not as addicted to games as he is, but I do love these playful creatures, even if a lot of them do have frightening descriptions if you actually stop to read those. So when I first heard of the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher I became interested because of how this series began. Apparently at a Writing Conference, Jim Butcher was asked if the plot made a story, or a writer? Jim Butcher took the position the writer does, because a good writer can take a bad idea and turn it into a good story. He had the person who posed the question give him two ideas which do not go together, and one of those ideas was Pokémon, while the other was Roman Legions.
Pokémon are a bunch of different creatures with varying types, like Steel, Fairy, Water, Earth, Psychic, and many more. This concept was simplified down to just a few elements, and Furies were created. Each Fury is associated with one element, and each human bonds with at least one Fury. Except for our main character, Tavi. Tavi is a young teenager who does not have a single Fury. He is criticized, and ridiculed because he hasn’t yet bonded to one of these creatures. But he is out to prove, this doesn’t mean he is helpless. His Uncle let’s him watch over some sheep, who end up taking a wander somewhere they shouldn’t be while Tavi is helping a girl with something. Tavi has learned his lesson, and his Uncle and him go into the woods to track down the sheep and bring them back. But they run into trouble, as creatures who haven’t been seen in several years are seen and attack them. This is only the start of the trouble for Tavi and his fellow villagers.
Roman Legion turns into the enemy. There are those trying to overthrow the First Lord. Shouldn’t be hard as he is getting older, and has no living children to take over after he dies. He also hasn’t named a successor. This group is mostly working in secret, although the First Lord and others have an idea of at least some of this groups members. I won’t say to much more about this group as there are secrets revealed throughout the story, and I don’t want to spoil things. I’ll only say those creatures seen in the woods, play a serious role in the plot of this first book.
The plot is full of mystery and wonder. Mostly wonder as to if everyone will survive, or how many people are going to be dead by the end of things. Are we going to lose anyone we’ve just been introduced to? I won’t say. There are Easter Eggs throughout the book regarding…things…so you’ll want to pay attention. In addition to the Easter Eggs, there are also a few surprises that will have your jaw hanging open due to the pure shock, but then you may start to smile having an idea of what is about to happen. You will not be disappointed.
There is also a bit of fighting to live throughout the book. The first battle isn’t very big, taking place between only a handful of individuals, and is basically right at the beginning. After which you will be hooked needing to see how things will play out.
If you haven’t picked up Furies of Calderon, I highly recommend it. Fair warning, there are six books in the series, but it is a complete series so you can binge read them if you would like.