Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
I've just completed a long review for Jordan's Last novel, so in fairness, I must keep this one brief.
I first came across this book decades ago, and it pulled me into a fantasy series that offered great reading and loads of fun. It starts a bit slow, but then it builds into a wonderfully detailed fantasy world without being tedious, and sets a journey that will take the entire series to complete. It deals with modern and timeless moral issues, and does it very well.
This series is one of the earlier "modern people thrust into a fantasy realm" that really had meat to it, real "bite" similar to Andre Norton's earlier effort, Quag Keep. Rich characters, great plot, a detailed world and just plain good writing. Machiavellian and magical, and I like both together. This series has it in spades.
The narrator Silverstein is great for this work, and I hope to hear more of him in future listens.
I liked this first Audible novel in the series so much, I bought the entire series, and I do NOT regret it.
If you like Dungeons and Dragons, if you play dungeon crawler games, if you like action in a fantasy realm, you'll enjoy this. A LOT.
Plain and simple. it's GOOD. Enjoy!
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by 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”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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