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Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1)
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May'12 - Furies of Calderon > Furies of Calderon - Finished reading **SPOILERS**

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Sandra  (Sleo) | 2229 comments You know the drill - post here when you're finished. Since there's a spoiler warning, just remember to uncheck Add to my Update Feed at the bottom of the posting box.


Jennifer (jenlynn97) | 9 comments Just finished reading. First impression: didn't like it at first, but got REALLY into it! I was enjoying Tavi and Kitei (sp?) and I am interested to see where that goes. I enjoyed the characters, but thought the "world" could have been more fully explained. With my rampant Serialitis, I will be reading the rest of the series now. I will write more later!


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments I finshed it two days ago

I wanted to like this book, I truly did...Butcher is my favorite author's favorite author, and i was looking forward to enjoying this book, so you can see how disappointed I am right now, did I have high expectations? not really...
though I did enjoy the book enough to finsh it and it kept me interested enough to consider reading the next book, but I found it silly and childish, naive at some places, there were parts that seemed like they been written by a ten year old, I'll give you some examples
+++Spoilers Ahead+++
* why was Amara captured and interrogated in the beginning for outdated security information, while they could ask "The first lady"

* it's obvious the First lord trusts Amara utterly, he sent her to the valley to be his "eyes and hands" there, and he was so sure there is some kind of disturbance in the Valley he didn't let her rest, why didn't he send her a back up? was he so sure she could make it?

* the Marat hordmaster decided to help Tavi protect his people after Tavi saved his daughter and passed the blood trial, does that erase the whole bloody history between the Marat and the Aleran, it was all over with a single handshake?

* I'd like to elaborate about the handshake, it happened during a ceremony in which the first lord was awarding his people for their performance in battle, now, where does the marat fit in this ceremony? the handshake was should have taken place in a different occasion or at least in the beginning, for Doroga is a leader as well....all and all, I don't like the order in which the awards were handed..don't know

* I'm not against Amara and Bernard falling in love, But Bernard telling her that he "liked her", now that sounds like a high school kids movie, I thought it was ridiculous

* Tavi asks his uncle whether he could keep Doroga, as if was a stray dog who followed him home...not amusing


Samantha (sambonie) | 2 comments Jasmine wrote: "I finshed it two days ago

I wanted to like this book, I truly did...Butcher is my favorite author's favorite author, and i was looking forward to enjoying this book, so you can see how disappointe..."


Glad I'm not the only one who had some doubts about some of the plot points. I did give Butcher some leeway where it was his first novel but the amount of trust that Doroga extended seemed a bit over the top.


Lara | 52 comments I'm a big fan of this series. I've read some of them more than once, and got each book as soon as it was released.

@Jasmine, I may be able to address some of your questions.
1. Amara was captured in order to provide verisimilitude to her mentor's "death", not for information.

2. Why Amara didn't get backup? That is for future books. The First Lord tends to be more subtle, and to send one rather than a troop. He is also spread thin, and her role is to go in on her own as needed.

3. The history between the Marat and the Alreans is not over, but the Marat have a very different way of looking at things. After all, they are NOT human and do not see the world the same way. Plus, Doroga sees benefit in pairing up.

4. I don't recall the award ceremony well enough to respond. It seems to me there are many different ways to do this, and someone would be unhappy with each one.

5. I didn't have a problem with Bernard starting simply. He is a rural man who has been loyal to the memory of his first family. He doesn't have a lot of experience dating, as there is no real opportunity for that. Plus, he knows he'll scare Amara away if he moves too quickly. They are both finding their way in a relationship that is complicated by each of their roles in society.

6. I thought Tavi's comment was funny. The Marat had been treated as closer to animals than people, and Doroga is so obviously large, dangerous and extremely subtle that it is clearly a joke to talk that way. I guess it depends on what you're sensitive to. But, since it became clear that he outmaneuvered the Alerans, I don't think anyone in that conversation thought of him as animalistic at that point.

Just a note, there is a lot that is revealed about the world in which the Alerans live throughout the series. I appreciated the fact that Butcher threw us in and didn't send half the first book explaining everything in detail, but let us learn from experiencing people's actions. Then, we can learn more as some of the characters learn based on their situations.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Lara wrote: "I'm a big fan of this series. I've read some of them more than once, and got each book as soon as it was released.

@Jasmine, I may be able to address some of your questions.
1. Amara was captured ..."


ok Lara, I'll bite... can you -without spoilers- explain to me how the Marat are not humans?...that sounds racist to me


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Derrick wrote: "Jasmine wrote:
* Tavi asks his uncle whether he could keep Doroga, as if was a stray dog who followed him home...not amusing

I wonder if the world building passed you by on this one? It is prett..."


I see what you mean, but the occasion hardly called for humor... humor should have its proper time and place... and that was not the time NOR place, people were dying for God's sake!, thousands and thousands of them, Bernard and Amara were exhausted and desperate, their leader just died a horrible death and they could do nothing to stop Atsurak, and to top it all they didn't even know if Doroga was on their side or just happens to be their enemy's enemy, the whole situation was so messed up, and that's when Tavi chooses to make a joke? I don't think so


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "ok Lara, I'll bite... can you -without spoilers- explain to me how the Marat are not humans?...that sounds racist to me"

Jasmine, Derrick is right. Also, there are clear descriptions of how the Marat are both physically different and have unique benefits and cultures due to their partnership with specific animals. Humans clearly cannot have those relationships. Also, their world view is tied to their species in a way that humans cannot fully comprehend because humans experience the world differently.


Kristjan (BookTroll) | 1 comments I found the story interesting only so much as the world in-which it is set was nicely done and progressively revealed. The characters themselves seemed to be little more the exaggerated caricatures with very little nuance and emotional control. Sadly, this is a very similar style to how he wrote the Dresden Files, of which I am a fan; however, the style doesn't extend well into the epic fantasy motif. Too many characters and no enough obvious limits on plot development (a common probably with fantasy). After awhile, it felt like the "good" guys were perpetually "preaching" a limited point from a very weak straw-man position. It quickly grew tedious. While I did finish the series ... it is not one that I would recommend.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Lara wrote: "Jasmine wrote: "ok Lara, I'll bite... can you -without spoilers- explain to me how the Marat are not humans?...that sounds racist to me"

Jasmine, Derrick is right. Also, there are clear descriptio..."


hmm, well...when I started reading and found a mention of the Marat not being human, I actually started paying attention to their physical description and found them very human, do they have tails? extra set of arms or they simply walk on four rather than two?
they ARE human, and the fact that they can not use furies is not a reason enough to consider them less than human, since Tavi can't either -and he's the one who made the remark about "keeping" Doroga"-

now one can assume that the Marat have their "own" magic which is bonding with animals, I don't see how different that is from boding with the other powers of nature "furies"

that leaves me with one conclusion...the Alerans ARE racist, they think themselves above others because they can control the elements, there is no other explanation in my mind

@ Derrick: I agree, it probably comes to where you stand, and what you consider humorous


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "now one can assume that the Marat have their "own" magic which is bonding with animals, I don't see how different that is from boding with the other powers of nature "furies"

that leaves me with one conclusion...the Alerans ARE racist, they think themselves above others because they can control the elements, there is no other explanation in my mind"


I think there is a difference between humanoid and human. Just because they are shaped like us does not mean they are the same. And I don't think that human=people, although it seems as though the Alerans do. Perhaps that is the hang up. While the Marat are sentient people, they are not human, they are a different species. An interesting point is that there has been no mixing of species for the hundreds of years of their contact.

This conversation is interesting to me, since I grew up reading fantasy. In fantasy there are many species that are humanoid, but are not human. They can even interbreed, but no one suggests that they are the same species as humans. I'm thinking here of elves, orcs, fairies (in many cases), and hobbits. The fact that they are differentiated by origin and characteristics does not make them less of people. But it does mean they are not the same kind of people (species) as Mankind.

Anyway, I think that the different magics of each type of people in the series are based in fundamental differences between them as species, not just "tribal" differences. They CANNOT do what the others can do, because they are not the same type of people. While the differences may be visually subtle, they are substantially meaningful.


message 12: by Jasmine (last edited May 08, 2012 10:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Derrick wrote: "Jasmine,
Maybe it would help us all if you would define what you mean by "human" and "rascist"?

Because I thought I addressed the "human" thing pretty clearly in Post #7, which you either ignored,..."


not at all Derrick, I'm actually having fun...I mean this is how I think a book should be discussed :)

now you brought up an interesting point, what is a human? Lara also mentions species of the fantasy worlds... now I'm in a bit of disadvantage here since I only read this book, but I went to wikipedia and read the descriptions of the Marat and the Icemen, from what I read about the Icemen they resemble "big foot" therefore one can safely assume that they are not humans, as for the Marat... to me they resembled... um..."caucasian native Americans?" I mean they had no pointy ears, no hairy feet and they were of a normal height, they have their own magic, which explains their extra strength (like the earthcrafters) and extra senses (like watercrafters) and extra speed (like aircrafter)-did I get those right?

so basically, to me..the Marat are not humans because Butcher said so... or may be he decided to make the Alerans a racist people who thought any other peoples who are different from them are not humans.

and what I mean by human? I mean the one that looks like human, talks like human, thinks like human, and have a basic social structure (family, tribe ...loves his children) of humans...sorry guys, the Marat, though a different people are very human to me, and thinking otherwise is a discrimination in my opinion

p.s : I saw your other reply Derrick, and didn't ignore it, but unless you give me a page number to prove your point, I can't just take your word for it...not that I don't believe you :D

p.s.s: there are cannibal cultures throughout the history, don't ask me for examples because I try to stay clear of such topics :D
(not ignored)


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "so basically, to me..the Marat are not humans because Butcher said so... or may be he decided to make the Alerans a racist people who thought any other peoples who are different from them are not humans."


Jasmine, it's really hard for me to not bring up spoilers in this discussion. However, the Marat don't see Alerans as the same species either. When Doroga talked about how the Marat came to the world, to let Tavi know the importance of what they found in the wax forest, it was clear they were not from the same world as Alerans.

Also, while the Marat take on characteristics of their animal totem, I guess you'd call them, they do not bond in the same way with each other. So, why do you think Kitai was so upset when her eyes changed? Butcher doesn't spell it out, or go into to this now, so I'll leave it at that. When I first read the book, I didn't analyze that scene, but it is significant for her.

And I still keep to my human as one species of people, since so many scifi books have done the same thing as well. Using Star Trek as an example, they visited many worlds that have people who look like humans, with a few minor changes. The evolved differently, so cannot be said to be the same, even if they look similar. Perhaps it is a cop-out, but there is a lot of precedent for this type of situation in novels and movies.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Lara wrote: "Jasmine wrote: "so basically, to me..the Marat are not humans because Butcher said so... or may be he decided to make the Alerans a racist people who thought any other peoples who are different fro..."

about Kitai's eye color change, I think I already figured it out...she bonded with Tavi, he is her totem...somehow..am I right?...I mean many things led to this conclusion.. the eye color was my first clue, since Butcher emphasized before when describing a Marat that he have the same eye color as it's animal, he also said that Kitai eyes had many colors, to me it's a way to say "no distinct color" now she was upset, because obviously she wanted to be with the horse clan, or at least with her father's clan, both Doroga and the horse clan woman (can't remmeber her name) said it's unprecedented...oh and Kitai asks Tavi, if it's ok with him if she learns to ride a horse...also Doroga tells Tavi about himself and Kitai's mother, as if he's expecting them to get married or something... so, all those clues makes it really obvious...right? Tavi and Kitai end up together somehow...though I'd like to know what kind of characteristics she'd get from him, since a Marat get strength from his/her totem

so what I get from your reply Lara, is that the Marat are not humans because Butcher said so...


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "so what I get from your reply Lara, is that the Marat are not humans because Butcher said so... "

Well Jasmine, I guess that is always the case when we read fantasy or science fiction novels--we have to accept the reality the author has created. You definitely read the signs right. I think the fact that the Marat can react to humans as though we are the animals to the Marat, is a supporting feature for us not being the same species. As for what Kitai can gain, I'm not going to spoil the story of later books. After all, the Marat are already stronger and more resistant to extremes in temperature than humans. They don't lose the strengths they already have, at least.


message 16: by Ena (last edited May 09, 2012 09:44AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ena (enantoiel) | 61 comments This is my first Butcher book. I liked the world-building, and characters were interesting enough to keep reading. My only and the biggest complain is it took pages to tell any major enough conflict, too detailed for my taste to distract me from the story.

It started with the night in the fury storm where Amara, Bernard, Isana and Tavi were confronted by both Fidelious's group and Kord and his sons. I eyed the page number and it was barely the half of the book, but it was detailed like it was the finale of the story. After this, it became a tradition and every notable conflict treated this way.

As for the Marat discussion, I imagined them looking quite like a Nordic Barbarian tribe with cannibalistic tendencies, never noticed them anything other than humans. Then again, fantasy races do not differ too much in my mind other than their life span and racial characteristics. I don't (or can't) think them quite so different than humans. @Jasmine's posts brought to my attention that fantasy races have rather too close similarity to humans overall, other than life span, cultural diversities and racial tendencies. As a fantasy reader, I don't mind this at all and accept if writer says "these people are not human, but Marat" I say " oh, ok, Marat, got it". But I also find Jasmine's argument quite reasonable. I believe, further in the series, we will have a more distinct portrait of why Marat are not human but a completely different fantasy race.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Ena wrote: "it took pages to tell any major enough conflict, too detailed for my taste to distract me from the story...."
oh, same here... did you notice how a single second's move takes forever to explain, sometimes one character is doing something and I'm thinking "what? is everybody else just standing there watching him? won't they stop him" the in turns out to be really quick for anyone to respond... did you feel that?

and of course my argument is logical ;) though I admit that Lara got me with "the Marat can react to humans as though we are a different species"

you see my sister did read the entire series and before I come here and rant about the book I actually plagued her with my observations, got some confirmations to some conclusions, and I got her to admit that the Marat "could" be humans but are discriminated against...she probably said that just to get rid of me :D

this map of Alera is the official one, and it has a drawing of the Marat (to the right)...
http://th03.deviantart.net/fs51/PRE/i...


message 18: by Jasmine (last edited May 09, 2012 10:31PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments oh and here is the Marat drawing by the same artist

description


Ena (enantoiel) | 61 comments Jasmine wrote: oh, same here... did you notice how a single second's move takes forever to explain, sometimes one character is doing something and I'm thinking "what? is everybody else just standing there watching him? won't they stop him" the in turns out to be really quick for anyone to respond... did you feel that?"

I felt it quite painfully at times :D At the end of the book, it says Butcher is a martial arts enthusiast. And it shows... a bit too much. I did what I hate most reading a book; I skimmed and skipped, at times one or two pages, at a time.

Personally I don't even like overly detailed descriptions of a fantasy world, I'm more interested in how characters perceive it, how they feel about environment. I can fill the rest in my imagination better, seeing it characters' eyes, rather than dry description.

And after story divided characters into different groups and made them go their own separate sets of trouble,when it started to narrate one group, it took too long before mentioning other groups' situation.

Overall, it's a good story but I feel Butcher may not be my cup of tea, in the end.


Ena (enantoiel) | 61 comments Jasmine wrote: oh, same here... did you notice how a single second's move takes forever to explain, sometimes one character is doing something and I'm thinking "what? is everybody else just standing there watching him? won't they stop him" the in turns out to be really quick for anyone to respond... did you feel that?"

I felt it quite painfully at times :D At the end of the book, it says Butcher is a martial arts enthusiast. And it shows... a bit too much. I did what I hate most reading a book; I skimmed and skipped, at times one or two pages, at a time.

Personally I don't even like overly detailed descriptions of a fantasy world, I'm more interested in how characters perceive it, how they feel about environment. I can fill the rest in my imagination better, seeing it characters' eyes, rather than dry description.

And after story divided characters into different groups and made them go their own separate sets of trouble,when it started to narrate one group, it took too long before mentioning other groups' situation.

Overall, it's a good story but I feel Butcher may not be my cup of tea, in the end.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments hmm, I don't remember skipping or skimming, I know I spaced out a lot...and didn't care to go back and read the parts I lost :D

I like what you said about seeing the world through the characters's eyes, I feel the same, I always think that the best way to experience a world is by living it with your characters, Brandon Sanderson did a great job with that...did you read any of his books, I'm particularly in love with his Warbreaker and Mistborn worlds, there is also Patrick Rothfuss, who's world is so real and vivid, you can breath in it, though I find that some people don't perceive him the way I do ....

as for Butcher, well, i'm willing to give him another chance, like I said, he's my favorite author's favorite author (that's Patrick Rothfuss btw)and I might read the next book just to know how Kitai will beneft from bonding with Tavi, or I would just ask my sister to tell me and move on to more interesting books, but I'm still willing to read his "Storm Front before giving up on him...


Ena (enantoiel) | 61 comments Jasmine, I agree with you on Sanderson. I'm reading Mistborn series with the sister group (Fantasy Book Club Series) and I had some problems with him on character development in the first book, second book was redeeming enough on that part and I liked every other aspect of the series so far. Sanderson does a very good job balancing descriptions, action, though pacing of the story can be off-balance here and there, it does not distract me like Butcher's style.

Rothfuss, I didn't read yet but on my tbr list. I'm waiting for a book club to choose it as monthly read and remove my excuses to delay them in the pile.

I'm also curious about Kitai and I'm interested in seeing how Tavi, as a sole non-magical character in a land where everyone has some magical ability, will fare. Amara - Bernard as a couple is not a story I find interesting, though I like them as separate characters. I'm willing to give the series a chance some time, too, if not immediately.


Joseph | 764 comments I remember hearing Butcher talking on a podcast (it was either Slice of SciFi or Dragon Page) about the genesis of Codex Alera. I couldn't track down the original source, but per the Great God Wikipedia:

The inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to while a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.[1]

Which I always found amusing.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Joseph wrote: "I remember hearing Butcher talking on a podcast (it was either Slice of SciFi or Dragon Page) about the genesis of Codex Alera. I couldn't track down the original source, but per the Great God Wik..."

LOL!
pokemon!!! yeah, that makes sense


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Ena wrote: "Jasmine, I agree with you on Sanderson. I'm reading Mistborn series with the sister group (Fantasy Book Club Series) and I had some problems with him on character development in the first book, sec..."

the fact that Tavi is the only none magical person in a magical world was actually what made me want to read the book in the first place, I remember telling my sister when she was reading, it either is a great idea or it will fail terribly, he will either find a way to survive it or turn up with even greater powers, now seeing that neither happened, I'm not sure if I'm happy because it's not what I expected, or disappointed because it's nothing at all, well not nothing, Tavi managed to use the weaknesses of some crafters against them, but it didn't help much, now will he learn anything useful in the college? (other than dealing with bullies)...ok, I think I do want to read the next book, not very soon I'm afraid


Yvonne (Yinari) | 41 comments Finished the book last week.At first I didn't like Tavi because he was the only one without furies, but that did change over time as I realized that it was actually good that he was the only powerless person out there. I did totally expect that he would gain some overpowered super ability or something near the end. So I was was really glad, when that didn't happen. Kind of hoping it stays that way in the next books.

Pokemon! Yes that does make sense now. The Roman Legion part too as I did notice some Roman like things in the book.
All the fury crafing also reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender.


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "he will either find a way to survive it or turn up with even greater powers, now seeing that neither happened..."

Well, this is the first book in the series. There is a lot of plot, character development, and action to go yet. One of the things I like about this series is that the people grow and change (abilities, minds, etc.) over the course of the books. Life is not static, and the characters learn from and deal with the consequences of various events and interactions with others.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Lara wrote: "Jasmine wrote: "he will either find a way to survive it or turn up with even greater powers, now seeing that neither happened..."

Well, this is the first book in the series. There is a lot of plot..."


I agree, I like really done character's development, the best I seen -and I'm going back to Sanderson- were his characters, especially in Warbreaker, I didn't like some of those characters but I loved how they grew and developed in front of me

now it falls to Butcher to manage to develop his characters well, that's yet to see

um, Lara, I've noticed that you try to project this book to real life...do you like it that much?

p.s: did I mention that english is a second language? I feel that some times I don't make sense even to myself....


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "um, Lara, I've noticed that you try to project this book to real life... ..."

Jasmine, I had not realized that. I always thought I was pretty good at separating the fantasies I read from reality. After all, I let myself get sucked into, and accept, their world without judging based on current society's standards. Although, I don't always like what I find. But then, that is to be expected.

And great job on your posts in a second language! I hadn't realized you are translating as you type. Kudos! It's much better than I've done (having studied several languages and never become proficient at any of them).


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments
Jasmine, I had not realized that. I always thought I was pretty good at separating the fantasies I rea..."


now I feel bad for criticizing this book so much, I really hate it when people say bad things about the books I love, will you forgive me?...I'll try to think about the things I liked from now on...ahm, I'll need to think real hard :D


Lara | 52 comments Jasmine wrote: "
Jasmine, I had not realized that. I always thought I was pretty good at separating the fantasies I rea..."

now I feel bad for criticizing this book so much, I really hate it when people say bad t..."


Jasmine, I agree with Derrick that it's fine for others not to like everything I like. And I actually enjoy a thoughtful description of what someone did not like about a book. It can open my eyes to issues I didn't see; since I didn't see them, they clearly didn't bother me so much. Which means I'll likely still like the book, but recognize why it may not be so universally enjoyed by others.


Sonia Lal | 20 comments reread. done.


Jennifer Provost (parthalan) | 25 comments Finished this a while ago... I agree with a few others in that I really wanted to like it more than I did. It seemed like a YA story all dressed up to be in the adult section, does that make any sense? That said, it was enjoyable, and I'm game for at least #2 in the series. And I love the pic of the Marat posted above!


Amanda | 17 comments I agree with a lot of people. It had its moments and was intriguing enough to get me to read the second book. The obvious Roman illusions bothered me a little as I like my worldbuilding more separate from reality. The rest of world was different though so I can let the Roman thing go. Not a fantastic book but not bad either and for the most part enjoyable.


Nichole (randomreviews) | 5 comments I enjoyed this book and all but there was one thing... I can't tell if it's because I had other things to do or because I wanted to jump to my next "to-read" book but did anyone find the fight at the Garrison unbearably long? Maybe I had too much on my mind but I could swear that fight took an insane amount of pages. I mean it became annoying at a point and I started skipping a tremendous amount of content. Maybe it was just me...


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Nichole wrote: "I enjoyed this book and all but there was one thing... I can't tell if it's because I had other things to do or because I wanted to jump to my next "to-read" book but did anyone find the fight at t..."

nope, it's not just you, we already discussed this matter above, we concluded that Butcher sucks at action scenes...
this poor book did suffer because I also wanted to finish it and stat my next "to read book", and now it's sandwiched on my "read" shelf between two of my favorite books for 2012 :D


message 37: by Jasmine (last edited May 20, 2012 08:16AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Derrick wrote: "Jasmine wrote: "we concluded that Butcher sucks at action scenes..."

No, not "we". I found it quite well done and much better than some of the fight scenes in the Dresden Files.."



LOL!!!
you weren't part of That discussion Derrick...so i'll correct myself " the conclusion we -who discussed the action scenes- made is that Butcher sucks at action scenes..." :D


Tish | 52 comments I liked the action scenes--in fact, I liked everything and didn't skip or skim a word! As the story opened, I thought some things were a little tired: the boy who hasn't yet come into his powers even though he's well past the age when that usually happens, the kick-ass warrior girl. However, it was written well enough that I quickly grew to care about them and lots of the other characters and to root for them to succeed. And I just kept waiting for Tavi's powers to kick in. Okay, NOW! No...How about NOW? No... Well, maybe next book. Which I have already requested from the library. Anyway, some things I can see coming (we know Tavi is not just a steadholder's nephew, for example), but with the way things are going so far, I expect a few twists on the way.

As far as Tavi's "joke", when I read it, I thought it was SO not funny, but Tavi obviously meant it to be funny. He is after all, only a kid, who's been through the wringer lately, likely feeling rather giddy to arrive on the scene with the rescuing band of Marat to save the day. And makes an inappropriate, immature joke--I know real people who do that when they are nervous or overly hyped up.


Brian | 4 comments Furies of Calderon was a good read that mostly kept me engaged throughout. The magic system was interesting and I can see where it is almost endless in its application. I did like the idea of a named fury assisting the caster. The flow of the book was pretty good although I would like for a first book in a series to follow only one or two characters in order to build the story and world from their individual perspective as long as both perspectives are different. I felt like this book was a later book in the series rather than the first.

The action scenes were well done for the most part although I think the main battle at the end was a little drawn out and I thought one of the bad guys should have bitten the bullet at least. I know the main antagonist is needed for the rest of the books but still…

I enjoyed reading about Tavi as his character is fighting uphill in the grand scheme of things. He seems a determined character despite his shortcomings in the book. I am looking forward to see his development throughout the series.

As far as the comments on racism and the like; I generally do not try and judge a fantasy book based on our standards of society. I want to read about something very different than our society for the most part and it is just a fictional work. It is similar when I am reading a historical writing or about another time period. It is hard to judge based on our standards of the time.


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Brian wrote: "As far as the comments on racism and the like; I generally do not try and judge a fantasy book based on our standards of society. I want to read about something very different than our society for the most..."

interesting point you've got there, Brian.. I agree that when reading fantasy, especially high fantasy one might find the societies depicted in the book different from ours, actually, you might read a book about my culture and think it's fantasy or unreal due to cultural differences, but I think we can both agree that in high fantasy fiction the norm is stereotyping, you might find something like "the people of that land are a cheerful people" well, does that mean no one of them suffers from depression? or "the peasants in this kingdom believed in ghosts, or worshiped their king, or loved unicorns" you know..that kind of thing

what lead me to think that Butcher is addressing racism - which actually made me think more highly of the book- is that I saw no physical differences between the Aleran and the Marat, other than the fact they called them none human, there was no difference, now if we're to talk historical fiction let's talk about salves, centuries ago the "white people" kidnapped and transported the " black people" from Africa to the Americas... now what made them believe that it's ok to enslave other people, skin color? or just the fact that they were a merchandise bought and sold, they believed those people are "less" than them, like "animals" they can buy breed and shoot when they are too old to work, and skin color marked a slave there, not a collar (like this book) not a brand or a haircut, just their color...

I did not want to be sidetracked but my point is this: it's true that high fantasy books try to explore different ideas and new worlds, but they can't go too far, for they need this connection with the reader, he needs a ground to stand on, facts and themes and constants that he could understand in order to comprehend the new world he's being introduced to, and racism could one of those....or so I think

p.s: I do not mean to upset or offend anyone, I find this a great opportunity to discuss "my" views about high fantasy writing :P


Tish | 52 comments I agree that fantasy is a good means of addressing social issues such as racism and I think Butcher did so in this book. The Alerans seemed very racist: groups different from themselves were deemed inferior and basically animals. But then we see what happens when someone such as Tavi encounters them and we get to learn a bit more about them and realize there are lots of similarities as well as some differences. Cooperation and real relationships ensue. Then some Alerans such as Kord were less human than the Marat.


Brian | 4 comments I also think it is interesting that we each notice different things from the story and key in on each instance. The Alerans being racist never even crossed my mind. :)


Jasmine Me (Jasmineme) | 126 comments Brian wrote: "I also think it is interesting that we each notice different things from the story and key in on each instance. The Alerans being racist never even crossed my mind. :)"

I'm glad you see things from my perspective, which means I manged to bring my point through

I think it has to do with cultural and even personal differences, there might be some undercurrent in a book that might be noticed by some reader, like a philosophy the author is trying to convey subtly, some might like it and appreciate it, others might think it offensive and unacceptable, you can tell a lot about an author from his books, don't you agree?


Jennifer (etoiline) | 5 comments I never really thought about it before, but I suppose the Alerans *are* racist, or at least simply arrogant. They feel that their furycrafting abilities put them higher than other beings on the planet, whether or not that's true. Sort of a "since no other beings can do this we must be the best" thing. And as Derrick wrote in msg 42, the Alerans aren't even from Carna (the land this series takes place in), and so could be carrying predefined ideas of personhood from that lineage.

I remember hearing the series' genesis story and laughing aloud. I know little about Pokemon but I have an interest in Roman history, and it was fun to tease out the details that show the influence of our history on a fictional world. There's more of that influence in future books, so if that bothers you now, I guess this series might not be for you.


Tish | 52 comments Has anybody noticed that the details of the book here on Goodreads contain what I would call a big, fat spoiler? I'm glad I didn't look at it very closely before I read the book.

If that story about the inspiration of the series coming from two lame ideas proposed by someone else is true, then Butcher is indeed talented. He's written a great story, which I would think would be hard enough to do starting with your own good idea.


Sonia Lal | 20 comments I had no problem with the action scenes.

Also i think the other race is a different race. Well not so different they can't breed but I. suspect it would be a like a horse and donkey. or is that mule? and there are other races they probably cant get with.


Sonia Lal | 20 comments also whoever said something about the book's cliches-the farm boy who is clearly meant for greater things.


Michele | 99 comments I liked it, but I didn't love it. Not sure if I'll read the next in the series. I liked Tavi and Amara, and am curious about Tavi going off to study. However, the book seemed like just one big fat battle. I like battles well enough, I was bored with the extent of battle or leading-up-to-battle action scenes in this book.


Bill Blume | 28 comments Things I liked:

Butcher creates a very interesting world here. I especially enjoyed the "magic" he employs here. That he has it as a common trait among all the people in this world, they employ it even for the most mundane of tasks. I rather liked this, and I felt he introduced explanations about the mechanics on an as needed basis as opposed to doing too much of an info dump.

The main characters also stand out quite well. Tavi proves a fun hero within the story, and the rest of the main cast definitely holds its own. I found the female characters almost all likeable and well-developed.

Things I didn't like:

The second act of the book suffered at times. Butcher made some choices that just seemed either cliche or unnecessarily over the top. This had a great deal to do with the secondary characters who were two-dimensional. I think the greatest offender had to be Pluvus Pentius. I had no objection to Pluvus being a douche bag (aside from that also being a bit cliche), but his decision to lock up two of the main characters after an attack on Count Gram stretched credibility. This smacked of plot moving character as opposed to the characters moving the plot.

The Marat, while interesting in some ways, were also a weak point to the book for me. As often happens in fantasy novels, the savage races always manage to have some strange cultural practices that just happen to work out well for the heroes. I could somewhat forgive this, though. It's tough not to have that happen in fantasy stories with multiple cultures on display, but I still felt it could have been handled a little better here. I think some of the racism complaints from earlier in this thread are very much born from this fault.

While I did enjoy the main characters, I felt it was a bit of a cop out that almost none of them actually die at the end of the book. I'm not saying I wanted the characters to die, but Bernard must be a Marat, because he's gotta be half-cat as many times as he ends up on death's door and survives. Sorry, I just don't buy that. All the major characters survive even though almost every one of them has the ever-loving stuffing beat, cut and broken out of them at some point.

The biggest offense in this book:

There are some major plot points that go completely unexplained. First and foremost, Tavi doesn't have any furies of his own to do magic. More than once, Butcher has Tavi's aunt and uncle (who I'm willing to guess aren't related to him at all) discuss that they need to tell Tavi something that he doesn't know about himself which explains his fury issues. I don't object to this being part of his origins, but don't throw the obvious taunt out to the reader (TWICE!) and then leave the thread unexplained within the book. I'm sure one of the later books reveal this, and I might be all right with this if Butcher didn't have at least three major plot points of this nature within the book (the other two are Fade's sudden sword-fighting prowess and what truly drives Aldrick to be a traitor). As a reader, I felt cheated that none of these points was ever explained especially when time is taken to shove these questions in my face. Just rude, dude.

Even though I have more gripes than praises here, I found the writing pretty solid for most of the book. Butcher maintains a lot of tension while juggling several storylines and delivers an intriguing reality for the reader to explore.

My favorite moment was when the walls of Garrison are raised higher for the second part of the battle. That scene gave me all sorts of good tingles.


Lara | 52 comments Bill wrote: "Things I liked:

Butcher creates a very interesting world here. I especially enjoyed the "magic" he employs here. That he has it as a common trait among all the people in this world, they employ it..."


Bill, that is a great review. While I loved the book and the series, I can't necessarily argue with any of your points. I'll just say that the various unexplained subplots are dealt with in future books, and magic is a "wonderful" way to save lives. While this book mostly stands on its own, it is really part of a much bigger story. As a fan, I hope you take the time to read the others, but also recognize that we each have our own preferences and priorities.


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