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Book Discussion & Recommendation > Recommendation: The Codex Alera Series (High Fantasy)

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message 1: by PointyEars42 (last edited Jun 11, 2013 04:46AM) (new)

PointyEars42 | 476 comments Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series.

I've just blazed through the entire series in about 2 weeks (audiobook set at a minimum of 1.5X speed) and highly recommend it. Yes, yes, I know- male author & male protagonist... why am I recc'ing it on VF? Hmmm, how to answer that without spoiling 6 novels?

There are several romantic story lines that run through the series – some of which tap into romance/UF tropes and handle them with a deftness I wish I saw in actual romance/UF novels. The women all make interesting choices and have their own agendas and it makes them feel like fleshed out people and not stock romance characters written in just so there’s someone for the men to fight for/over. They actually tend to be a bit more emotionally complex and layered than the male characters. Also, even though the main Aleran society is based on the gender & social divides of Ancient Rome, many of the female characters in the series are mentally, physically, or magically equal (or superior) to many of the men and because strength is a valued commodity, they get to exercise their abilities.

That being said, it is high fantasy first and foremost. There are lovely moments of romance & intimacy (face it: sexy-times happen, even in a war), but it’s just one small facet of their busy lives. The series is all about the world building and the magic system and never lets you forget it. I can't connect to younger characters, so the first book didn't work for me that well, but each book is set a few years apart so that didn't last very long. If you’re looking for a VF-ish book that’s weighted towards the fantasy and not the romance but still contains those elements, and is humorous without cocky one-liners, this may work for you.

message 2: by Liz (new)

Liz | 6 comments I really enjoy Jim Butcher's work. I struggled to get through Furies of Calderon but hubby said the rest of the series was worth it. He was right.

message 3: by PointyEars42 (new)

PointyEars42 | 476 comments Liz wrote: "I really enjoy Jim Butcher's work. I struggled to get through Furies of Calderon but hubby said the rest of the series was worth it. He was right."

Yup. I just kept pretending that Tavi was Luke Skywalker and that Uncle Bernard's hold was Uncle Ben's moisture farm and that fury crafting was the Force etc etc... it really helped me get to the next book :)

message 4: by Eliste (new)

Eliste | 111 comments While it was a good series, I don't really think it fits this group. I'd be more inclined to suggest it as a Sword & Laser book than a VF one. It has the wrong.... feel?

Actually wonder if anyone else has this. I find that VF picks make me feel a certain way, and not all romance hits it. But there's a certain... squishiness that I feel when I read a VF.

message 5: by Cassie (new)

Cassie Witt | 5 comments I agree that it's not really a series for vaginal fantasy, despite how well-written it is.

I loved this series, and it is definitely on my "to read again" list.

message 6: by Molly (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) I remember either Tom or Veronica recommending this on Sword & Laser. I'm a fan of the Dresden Files, so I'll definitely check this out when I can. :)

message 7: by Jute (new)

Jute | 238 comments It's very different than the Dresden Files, but I really liked the series. I read it with my husband about a year ago. (Some couples watch TV together, we read together.)

The greatest thing about this series though is the story of how he came to write it. Apparently he was arguing with someone who insisted that the writers that make it are the ones with the best story ideas and Butcher said ideas aren't what do it, it is writing skill. The man kept arguing so Butcher told him to give him the two worst ideas he could think of and he'd write a book about them. The man gave him "Lost Roman Legion" and "Pokemon". So Butcher wrote this series.

Anyone who has read it can tell he did use those ideas, but his skill has made an amazing story.

message 8: by Kellios (new)

Kellios I really liked the series. I agree that it is more of a Sword and Laser feel despite the romance aspects, but it is a great series.

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Furies of Calderon (other topics)

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Jim Butcher (other topics)