Crystal's Reviews > Academ's Fury

Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
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's review
Apr 24, 2010

it was amazing
Read in April, 2010

Many reviews I've read have been disappointed in this second book in the Codex Alera series, claiming that it was slower than the first. I admit it has less actual battle, but there's more intrigue and at least as much intensity and excitement as the first book, in my opinion. Plus there's two concurrent battles taking up the last few chapters that last long enough to more than make up for the scarcity of armed conflict in previous pages. In this book, Tavi, the hero of Calderon, is in the capital of the nation studying at the Academy while also working as a page in the Citadel. At this time in history, the First Lord looks like he'll die without an heir, so many of the High Lords are trying to hurry him along. At the same time, an enemy from the first book (the Vord) begin to branch out, attacking at Calderon and the Citadel simultaneously. Tavi must help defend the realm against its enemies without any of the sorcery every other citizen uses as easily as breathing and with the help of other youngesters (a Marat young woman from the first book and several Academs in training).

That's what I liked most about this series (so far). Unlike most fantasy heroes, Tavi isn't a freak because he has unusual magical powers. Instead, everyone else has magic and Tavi has to rely on his wit to stay alive. Many of the main characters are quite likable, with the motivations of all of the villains fairly well explained (the Kalare are perhaps a bit too villain-y for me). My single disappointment about this book is that the Academy was rarely mentioned except as a setting for the conflict. I wanted to hear more about the school itself but that was clearly not the focus of the book. The ending of the book more strongly hints at some of the First Lord's family history that should have been obvious to anyone paying attention in the second half of the first book. Another thrilling adventure! On to the next!

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Neil (new) - added it

Neil I just can't get that into the Dresden Files, it's just not my thing. I'll have to give this series a try instead.

Crystal Please do let me know what you think then. I might try Dresden Files, even though I don't usually like urban fantasy, just because I seem to like Butcher's writing.

message 3: by Neil (new) - added it

Neil I've heard from people that I trust that Dresden Files starts to get deeper by about the third book, but I hate starting a series that many books in. So I've been working to get through the first two books. They aren't bad, but I don't understand the hoopla either. I think there are better urban fantasy/noir detective combinations out there, like Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt series. I've probably spread the Dresden Files books out too far too. They would probably work better if you read them one after another.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I tend to like epic fantasy set in an ambiguous alternate past better than contemporary fantasy. I have a hard time suspending disbelief when the book is in a contemporary setting.

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