Nancy O'Toole's Reviews > Academ's Fury

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
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May 28, 10

bookshelves: fantasy, borrowed-reads
Read from May 21 to 27, 2010, read count: once

As a reward for his part in saving Alera, Tavi has been allowed to attend the Academy under First Lord Gaius's patronage. But when Gaius grows gravely ill, Tavi will have to use all of his wits to find out a way to keep the old monarch's illness a secret from his political enemies. Meanwhile, a deadly enemy with the ability to posses any creature has been released from Marat territory. They are heading for Amara and Bernard in Calderon, and for Tavi in the capital. How will they defeat such a deadly foe?

Academ's Fury is the second book in Jim Butcher's epic fantasy series, The Codex Alera. I was pleased to see that it was a noticeable step up in quality from the first book. One part of this improvement is due to Tavi becoming a much stronger character. Although I didn't necessarily have any issues with him in Furies of Calderon, I couldn't help but notice that he was often overshadowed by the other major characters, like Amara. This is not an issue here. I'm not sure if it's due to the fact that he's a couple years older, or the impact that studying at the Academy has has on him, but the Tavi of Academ's Fury is more confident, assertive, and can take control of the situation when necessary. Sure, he still gets scared or overwhelmed at times, but I'm pretty sure anyone would in his situation. Like Furies of Calderon, Tavi's story is not the only one we get to follow. Amara has her own struggles in Academ's Fury. There's the outward struggle against the strange creatures called the Vord, as well as her internal struggle to determine what her relationship with Bernard means now that he is a Citizen. We also get to watch Isana get thrown into the highly political atmosphere of the capital. Fidelias, one of the major villains of the series, also returns and we get to see far more of his dealings with Lady Aquitaine, a unique villain who prefers not to achieve power through mindless violence and slaughter, although she'll strap a sword on and dive into the fray if the occasion calls for it.

Academ's Fury is an incredibly fun read. I really enjoyed watching our heroes fight against both human and inhuman enemies. The last action-packed one hundred pages or so were so gripping that they made the book near impossible to put down. The book's biggest flaw would have to be that it can be a bit predictable. For example, in this volume we get to learn one of Isana's big secrets. This was something I saw coming from the end of Furies of Calderon, so it didn't have that much of an impact on me. This is not to say that the book is completely devoid of surprises, but as someone who's read a fair amount of fantasy, I have a pretty good idea of certain upcoming developments. I of course, would still recommend the series to fans of sword and sorcery fantasy. Academ's Fury was just a blast to read, and my enjoyment of the character's stories completely outweighs any disappointment over a few plot points.
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Reading Progress

05/24/2010 page 300
42.61% "So far, really enjoyable!"

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