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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  67,582 Ratings  ·  2,840 Reviews
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 ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 503 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Ace (first published October 5th 2004)
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Popular Answered Questions

Sharon Schultz No, this book leans more towards adult audiences. Slavery, Rape, Cannibalism and Violent combat are in this book.
Sean Goh On the surface it would seem to borrow elements from George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, you have the wall protecting the kingdom from icemen to the…moreOn the surface it would seem to borrow elements from George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, you have the wall protecting the kingdom from icemen to the north, Barbarians at the gate to the East and political intrigue and plotting Littlefinger or Tyrion would be right at home in, but this series (only read book 1 so far) takes that basic premise and does a lot more with it. You have the multiple perspectives GRRM employs in GoT as well, but its tightly held together so when it all converges towards the last quarter of the book in a satisfying conclusion you don't feel lost at all.

Would feel like Game of Thrones meets Avatar: The Last Airbender's elemental manipulation, but that's a simplistic one liner generalisation. Definitely worth a read though!(less)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
34th out of 2,680 books — 19,198 voters
The Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Most Interesting Magic System
18th out of 1,708 books — 6,473 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 14, 2016 Katerina rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Katerina by: Phandom Duck
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Romans and Pokemon.

That was my initial reaction when I heard of Codex Alera's concept and I am sure your face looks like this as well (don't deny it fellow readers,it's a normal reaction).And to answer your next question,NO it was not lame and weird,YES it was a brilliant,brilliant high fantasy book.

You're intrigued,aren't you?

The story
Alera is an empire similar to Rome regarding the social layers,the administration and the army,founded by the descendants and the camp followers of the Lost Rom
Sep 08, 2015 Evgeny rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Most of the people know the background of this series. For the rest of you I will tell it again. Jim Butcher made a bet he could write a fantasy book(s) based on Roman legions
Roman legions
and Pokemon.

This is the result. You have a society somewhat resembling that of Ancient Rome with its military being almost exact copy of Roman legions. Magic also exists and comes in the form of Furies (glorified Pokemon). Some of them are related to wind, some to wood, some to fire, etc. This is not Harry Dresden series.
Jul 26, 2016 Carly rated it it was amazing

**Edit: The original review discussed Codex Alera's rather entertaining "origin story," which involved a flamewar, a bet, Pokemon, and the Roman legions.
Because this is "author behavior" that is not discussed in the book, it may not be in line with the impressively subjective new policies of GR.
I don't want to break these shiny new rules, so I am deleting most of the fun parts of this review.
My original review is posted over at booklikes--you can take a look at it there, if you want. Sorry abou
Peter Tr
Jul 25, 2016 Peter Tr rated it liked it
Read from December 26, 2015 to January 03, 2016

This review is for the whole series (spoiler free). First of all, I would like to say that reading some other reviews, you will get the impression that the story has Pokemons, or at least something similar. That's kinda bullshit. It has nothing to do with either them, or anything resembling them.

Codex Alera is a nice fantasy story, taking place in Alera, a realm strongly resembling the Roman Empire. The magic system is the best i have encounter, sav
May 12, 2016 Kaila rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, fantasy, magic
I admit that I made a huge mistake by reading this novel before any of The Dresden Files. At the time I was shuffling through my Kindle library and I had just finished one or two urban fantasy novels. I was not in the mood for another one, so I thought, Hey! How about The Furies of Calderon!? Oh poor unwitting me, picking it up, all in good faith.

My first problem with this book is where the premise came from. Although I could not find any definite evidence, the rumor is that Butcher was bet he c
Mike Malaspina
Aug 03, 2007 Mike Malaspina rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: fantasy
Furies of Calderon is your typical fantasy epic. Swords, sorcery, world turning upheaval, the blackest of evil and noblest of good. Only, the true hero of the story is not only powerless... Because that's been done before. No, the true hero is now only powerless, he's the ONLY powerless character. Even the other lowly farm hands can command boulders to simply pull themselves out of crop fields.

The savage Marat barbarians all have years of fighting experience from birth and great mighty beasts wh
Dec 24, 2008 April rated it did not like it
First of all... I consider Jim Butcher to be a very talented writer, and I have greatly enjoyed the Dresden Files for a number of years. So when reading my complaints, you must also keep in mind that, having read all of the Dresden Files books more than once, I had a certain level of expectation that needed to be met.

They weren't. With the exception of a few short scenes in the beginning and in the middle, this first book in the Codex Alera was very, very subpar. It's not even all that long and
Executive Summary: A fun but trope-heavy fantasy story that combines a Lost Roman Legion with Pokemon. Yeah, you read that right.

Audio book: I've long heard both good and bad things about Kate Reading. I actually got to meet her last year for the A Memory of Light book tour as she and her husband both live near me, but had never listened to a book by her before now.

Personally I think she's a really good reader. However, she may not be well suited for this book as it has many male characters (the
Aug 13, 2011 Twyla rated it it was ok
I am shocked at how many people actually really liked this novel. The pacing was awful, the characters were flat and there were too many (often I couldn't tell who was on which side) - and the lame novice-to-hero progression of several characters was painfully uncreative. The only good parts were parts where the men spoke a little like Dresden (Butcher's other major series' protagonist). The one witch was creepy enough, and the monsters were pretty cool, but that seems to be Butcher's general st ...more
Feb 01, 2009 Stephen rated it really liked it
4.0 stars. Great, well developed characters, an excellent magic system and wonderful world-building and plot pacing. Appears to be the start of a compelling series. Will defintely read the next books in the series.
Kevin Xu
Mar 07, 2016 Kevin Xu rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
worst fantasy book ever, too many books like this out in the fantasy genre out there! too many tropes! so formulaic of a story! the first line on the back cover tells the whole plot to the series! please stop writing books like these! if this was written in the late 70s or the early 80s, then it would have worked a lot better and fresher

I only read about 150 pages into the book and stopped
Entering the Codex Alera series you're introduced to some very familiar tropes, but also to some very new ideas.
On the familiar side, there is a coming-of-age plot for one of the main characters, there is a political power struggle and a lot of action and battle scenes.
On the other hand, the society is somewhere between the typical medieval setting and the Roman Empire. This is fresh enough for me. The most prominent idea would be the furies, elemental creatures that are bound to almost every hu
Oct 23, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
An interesting series from the creator of the Dresden files. This is more of an epic fantasy with a really interesting magic. The characters were well done & I especially liked all the different creatures. Very interesting world & inhabitants with logical politics & problems.

That said, I had a few problems with the story, especially at the end. (view spoiler)
Fantasy with some romance. Good story. First in the complete series of six books. A little too much internal reflection, a battle scene that went on and on, and a bit predictable, but still a solid hit.

(I read the entire series. Six books. A coming-of-age tale. Feel-good fantasy with brotherly camaraderie and romantic relationships amidst a military theme. Apocalyptic battles towards the last books.)

Audio, narrated by Kate Reading, includes annoying trumpet fanfare numerous times.

This series i
Oct 21, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
5+ stars to an awesome start to a series. Not sure how the rest of the series is going to compete with the start of it but I am looking forward to see where it goes. Especially since my friend says they get better.

Epic fantasy adventure story of Tavi. Tavi is a boy born without any furies and is looked upon by many in his realm as a freak. In the realm of Alera people have furies which allow then to control earth, water, air, fire metal in some way or another. Some are very strong and some not s
Sep 24, 2016 Tilly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books

I started to read this series, knowing that the authors main inspirations for these books were the old Roman empire and Pokémon. That sounds really weird but after hearing this I was very curious about picking up the first volume and I wasnt disappointed.
First of all it was not very difficult to get into the story and this is a problem which I have very often with other High Fantasy series, especially in the first novel. The plot was very exciting from the
Feb 13, 2009 Justin rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own
I read this book after I ran out of Dresden Files. Jim's little blurb at the end of his books had convinced me to give it a whirl. Let it be known, this is not to the caliber of The Dresden Files. It is a good book none the less. The story follows several characters in the world of Alera, who find themselves intertwined together in a land on the brink of war. This is a book of themes. Bravery, honor, love, family and sacrifice are all themes predominately displayed through out the story. Alera i ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

I tried, I really tried. DNF at 18%.

High fantasy just is NOT for me.
Jun 17, 2016 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
4 ish stars.

One of the things that frustrates me about most fantasy novels is that such a large portion of the first books in series are spent establishing things to make sure the readers understand how epic the series is. Worldbuilding, magic systems, characters, plot. All of these things in and of themselves are important and interesting and necessary components of a satisfying story arc. I just often find myself too bored to care about what's actually happening by the time all of the things h
Yeah - I liked it!
It reminded me a lot of Sanderson's Elantris with a dash of May's Pliocine Exile.

The magical system - Furies - has a huge amount of potential, and it's easy to see how it inspired Butcher to write this series.

Traditionally, magic falls into two camps:
Wizards - they learn spells/potions/summonings, etc and then carefully use them as tools to achieve the end result.
Sorcerers - they are the source of magic and improvise on the fly to twist the world to their desire

Furies don't fal
A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read this for ages and I'm so glad I finally did! I loved it! A lot of people complain that it's very trope heavy, and I suppose it is, but it didn't bother me in the least. There are lots of brilliant ideas that make the tropes feel new and it was just such a fun ride. The main characters were fantastic and I felt deeply invested in all of them. Although I don't care much for Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, I have to say that I really enjoy his Codex A ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this was an excellent start to the Codex Alera series. It was jam packed with everything I need in a book which includes a great plot, great writing, great characters!! That is all I am going to say for this review. I am just going to let the rating and these few words let you know my love for this book while I go and start book 2!!!!!!!!
Dec 29, 2008 Lightreads rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
So at the end of a lot of the Harry Dresden books there's this author biography that talked about how Butcher has loved epic fantasy since he was a wee thing, and how he wrote it for years but never got published, and it was urban fantasy that broke him into print. But what he really loves is epic fantasy, because he imprinted on Lord of the Rings and he just, OMG, he loves it.

Which tells you most of what you need to know about this series. Epic fantasy where the good guys win through ever-mount
Dec 12, 2015 Ivan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It wasn't bad read but I expected lot more and I expected high fantasy book not YA.

First the good stuff.Book is set in interesting and unique world where magic affects everyday life and everyone has it.Magic system and combats are also nicely done and I disagree that furies are similar to pokemon/digimon, I think that magic system works similar to Avatar:Last airbender which is always plus for me.I also loved that protagonists is the only one who doesn't have any magic so he has to compensate wi
Jan 22, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Codex Alera 1: Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

As you probably have noticed by now, I am a huge fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series. The books are fun reads - fast-paced, gritty and realistic, while still maintaining that a tarnished patina of fantasy about them. They have a great narrative voice and I could read them the same way I eat a bag of Doritos - all in one sitting, unsure of how it happened, but with less orange Cheez (tm) on my fingers. I know for a fact that as long as Jim But
May 02, 2013 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Science Fiction & Fantasy July 2010 Selection
Mar 21, 2009 Felicia rated it liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
mmm not my favorite, found it hard to get through although I will try the next in the series.
Feb 12, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of epic fantasy and/or the Dresden Files
I finished all six volumes in Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, so I’m writing one review to cover the whole set. Regardless of which of the books this review is attached to, if you want to read this epic saga, start with the first book: Furies of Calderon . I’ve also read all fourteen of the full-length books in his Dresden Files, and there are some interesting points of comparison.

First and foremost, this is a well-crafted and engrossing tale — definitely worth reading.

The tale follows the li

So...imagine you take Roman people, customs and building designs and then insert them in a magical world of strange creatures and savages. Then say you give every 'Roman' the ability to summon elemental spirits called Furies to 'craft' fire, water, earth, air, wood and metal. That's more or less what this book is.

I had read Furies of Calderon before and not enjoyed it anywhere near as much as I did now. I think the type of fantasy had to grow on me. It was sort of G.R.R Martin in parts, sort of
Ranting Dragon
Jun 20, 2013 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: cameron

Jim Butcher is best known for his bestselling urban fantasy series, The Dresden Files. In 2005, Butcher decided to expand his writing tool belt and released the first book of the epic fantasy Codex Alera series, Furies of Calderon.

Furies of Calderon takes place in a land known as Alera, ruled by the First Lord (emperor) and his various underlings. What makes the denizens of Alera unique is the fact that they have access to a magic known as fury-crafting, w
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Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resi ...more
More about Jim Butcher...

Other Books in the Series

Codex Alera (6 books)
  • Academ's Fury (Codex Alera, #2)
  • Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera, #3)
  • Captain's Fury (Codex Alera, #4)
  • Princeps' Fury (Codex Alera, #5)
  • First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, #6)

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“The course of history is determined not by battles, by sieges, or usurpation, but by the individuals. The strongest army is, at its most basic level, a collection of individuals. Their decisions, their passions, their foolishness, and their dreams shape the years to come. If there is any lesson to be learned from history, it is that all too often the fate of armies, of cities, of entire realms rests upon the actions of one person's decision, good or bad, right or wrong, big or small, can unwittingly change the world.
But history can be quite the slattern. One never knows who that person is, where he might be, or what decision he might male.
It is almost enough to make me believe in destiny.”
“Because a sound tree doesn't have bad roots, Amara. No enterprise of greatness
begins with treachery, with lying to the people who trust and love you”
More quotes…