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Furies of Calderon

(Codex Alera #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  96,662 ratings  ·  4,156 reviews
In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies-elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal-fifteen-year-old Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. But when his homeland erupts in chaos-when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies-Tavi's simple courage will turn the tides of war.
Mass Market Paperback, 673 pages
Published June 2005 by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (first published October 5th 2004)
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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 n…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)
Sharon Schultz No, this book leans more towards adult audiences. Slavery, Rape, Cannibalism and Violent combat are in this book.
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Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 R
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beginner to adult fantasy
2.5/5 Stars

Furies of Calderon is a good beginning to a series but honestly, I’m quite disappointed with it.

I’ve heard a lot of great things about Butcher’s books, and although he’s most famous for his Dresden Files series. However, Codex Alera seemed to interest me more at the moment; the combination of two totally different concepts that I loved: Roman and Pokemon? In a high fantasy book? Now THAT is something that sparked my interest. I’ve had this book on my TBR shelf for a year already, and
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anne by: Romans & Pokemon
I don't really read a lot of high fantasy. In fact, I'm not even sure what makes something high fantasy.
I have my ideas, though...


I've been reading Butcher's urban fantasy series, Dresden Files for a long time now, but I've avoided reading his Codex Alera stuff because it sounded too weird for me. Even the name Codex Alera is just...?
Ehhhhh? Seemed like there would be too much funky Lord of the Ringsy world building for a fantasy-lite reader like myself. Some of us don't do well with that sort
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mario the lone bookwolf
This is a unique series, I could instantly describe a few happenings, settings and character progressions out of each part because everything fits so perfectly together and is described in an ultimate Wow! style.

The enemies, my gosh, this is such a fresh setting and I love how the author got the idea for the whole series as someone told him in a kind of bet or joke or something he should write a novel including pokemon fighting characteristics.

The fighting scenes brought me to the idea of how
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, magic, fantasy
I probably 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. You had such good intentions.

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 couldn't

**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
Petros Triantafyllou
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
Nimrod Daniel
Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
$0.99 on Amazon, go grab your copy

I became a fan of Jim Butcher after reading book 3 in The Dresden Files series, it was a superb book. Codex Alera is totally different than the Dresden series, and Furies of Calderon proved for once and for all that the author is much more important than THE great idea (if you don't know what I'm talking about - this book was conceived as a result of a bet. While Butcher was trying to prove his point that the author has a
Michael Britt
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Derpa
Actual rating: 4 Stars

Back in the late '90s, maybe early 2000s (don't feel like looking the exact date up), Jim Butcher made a bet with some stranger on an online forum that he could make any 2 ideas into a good book. That man chose the Lost Roman Legion and Pokémon. This is the result of that bet.

Now that we have a bit of the backstory on why it was created, let's talk about the result. The story follows 4 POVs; Tavi, Fidelias, Amara, and Isana. Furycrafting is basically the name of the mag
Mike Malaspina
Aug 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Zain Otoom
Okay not much to say, because I was mostly bored reading this. But let’s list things properly,
I enjoyed some of them. Tavi and Bernard are my favourites. I enjoyed Tavi’s perspectives, but hated Amara’s. Felt neutral over Isana and didn’t care much for Fidelias, even though I was impressed at the beginning by how cunning he is. It didn’t last long though.
The writing
The writing is descriptive, which isn’t necessarily always bad, but in this case I almost gouged my eyes out. It wa
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
I am a huge Dresden fan and loved the unconventional means by which this series came into existence –
It’s basically a series of half a dozen books set two thousand years after a lost Roman legion travelled through a rift to a world where pokemon exist, and now the legionnaires live and work with pokemon, except they’re called “furies” (I’m not even making this up, he did it as a dare after being called on one of his assertions by a crowd at a convention: He said everything in writing is about ex
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

I was thoroughly entertained reading Furies of Calderon. Was it groundbreaking? No. But it was fun, and I really enjoyed the characters. The plot is heavily based in the politics of Alera, so it definitely appeals to me on that level. I am interested to continue and see what happens in the rest of the series.

If you're looking for an amazing writing style...maybe look elsewhere. Lots of repetition of phrases and words. LOTS. So much so that it was distracting to me as the
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first re-listen - let's see if I love it as much as I did the first time around.... it's been 4 years.

will update review afterwards ...

Update 12-28-19

I decided to read the books instead of listening to the audiobooks. And I actually devoured all 6 novels over the last 10 days. I didn't want to leave the house, or be social. And on most nights I read until 2am, and the all consuming feel was still there.

Codex Alera is an amazing series, anyone that loves Words of Radiance should pick this se
Dec 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
99c Kindle sale, April 13, 2019. High fantasy series by Jim Butcher (better known for the Harry Dresden series) based on Roman legions and ... Pokémon? Hmmm. It’s just 99c so maybe I’ll give it a shot.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*9/17 update* So I reread this, and while I still really enjoyed it, there are some aspects around sexual violence that stood out to me in ways they didn't the first time around. I'm not going to change my rating, because that feels, I don't know, dishonest or something? But while sexual violence is not brushed off, the way it was depicted still felt a bit sensationalized.

THIS WAS SO GREAT!! SUCH a fun epic fantasy! Even though this is the first book in a fantasy series, this didn't run into a
Tessy Ijachi
Buddy read with my tbr twin Laura

Actual rating is 1.5 stars

Am so disappointed with this book. I really wanted to like it but Alas I ended up hating it. But on the bright side, this book broke my record of never giving a book one star.

How I felt while reading this book

It was so boring, am not even kidding. Am certain my chemistry textbook would be so much more fun than reading this book.

The whole experience felt like I was stuck in the middle of an ocean, in a rowboat trying to paddle my way to
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott  Hitchcock
I did this one as an audio book with Kate Reading as the narrator. She was excellent as always.

Much like in Wheel of Time there is a discipline collar similar to the A'Dam. For whatever reason these get a rise out of me worse than any of the other evil things in books much darker than this or WOT. There's just something so wrong about being able to throw a collar around a person's neck and controlling them against their will.

I liked but didn't love the characters and found Tavi and Isana to bo
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.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I started to read this series, knowing that the author´s 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 wasn´t 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 th
Kevin Xu
Nov 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 29, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Putting it aside for now. I feel bogged down by the amount of fantasy I've read this month and it's almost spoiling the reading experience for me, though the 100 odd pages I've read, I thoroughly enjoyed. Will pick it up in the near future!
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Despite the three and a half star rating I did enjoy this novel. However I feel like we have barely scratched the surface with this book and so many of my questions have not been answered. So this was an introduction to the world and its characters. So as an opening novel to a series it had a lot of promise, but as a story in its own right it lacked a bit of definition. I am excited to continue on with it as I have heard that the series dramatically improves from book 2 onwards I didn’
Ashley Marie
2.5 stars

Maybe I read this wrong. Or maybe Kate Reading wasn't the best choice for audio narrator. Or maybe I've just fallen out of love with Jim Butcher's writing (I still need to try the first Cinder Spires book, so I'll hold off on judgment for now). Maybe I need to give my paperback copy another shot, sans audio. Regardless of the overall problem, I wasn't really feeling this one. I loved the concept (hence the so-much-potential shelving) but it just felt like it got bogged down in... I don'
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
BR with my TBR twin Tessy

Actual rating 3.5 stars.
An entertaining read. Good but not great.
I loved the concept of furies and liked the characters even though they're not that easily to identify with. The battle scenes felt a little bit (ok a lot more) drawn out up to the point when they became boring. But still it sets a good premise for future books and the ending made me curious as to what will happen next.

If you like action and A LOT OF DESCRIPTIVE BATTLE SCENES this book is just right for y
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
3.5 stars.

The novel was exciting, action packed, and filled with loads of twists. The author crafting a really fun adventure story which captures your attention from the first pages and holds it unto the last. Just an excellent fantasy to spend hours on.

My favorite part of the narrative (besides the non-stop action) was the cast of compelling characters. I enjoyed all of them: good and bad, sane and crazy, Alearan and Marat. Each of these people crafted in full dimensions, complex in their hist
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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

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)

Articles featuring this book

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
415 likes · 278 comments
“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…