©2007 Jim Butcher; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks
The larger story arc of the series so far is wonderfully fascinating and intriguing. I have enjoyed following the main characters' arcs through the story. It is a bit black and white in some ways with the Very Bad being Very Bad and the Very Good... well, you get it, but there are a lot of grey areas and characters (Lady Placida is fantastic!) The story involving Fade and Isanna is beautifully written; Lady Aquitaine (et al) is fascinating...
My biggest problem with how the series is developing - and it's a major issue for me, is that at least 1/3 of the book is taken up with battle tactics during the war which seem much like a fantasy version of a History Channel documentary. Hours and hours are spent in detailed battle plans and execution. Nothing there there, just details of swords/arrows/spears/etc. While I can see how probably many fantasy fans find this exciting, to me, it became extremely tedious. Every battle or development in the war, over time, started to sound exactly the same in every respect. There's absolutely nothing creative or of interest for me in this kind of war documentary. To quote from the book: "And the battle went on, and on. And on." And it does.
This incidentally was why, of the Dresden Files, "White Knight" is probably my least favorite (huge battle there, which, compared to this Alera book, makes it seem short....)
Jim Butcher remains a favorite author of mine, but I'm not sure that I'll continue on with this Alera series, just because of these endless, tedious battle-upon-battle scenarios.
Last word: I sincerely wish that there was more actual story and development here. Mr. Butcher's creative imagination is strong, unique and wonderful. If you love battle scenes, you have a lot to love in this book.
This review applies to the series. Normally, I listen to sci-fi and decided to give this fantasy series a try because of the high ratings the books got at Amazon, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. The characters are excellent, the plot good, etc. The first book takes a little getting use to the new concept of furies and the author doesn't really try to explain how one gets these furies powers. (This probably explains some of the poor reviews on the 1st book) He does implied that it is genetic, but how many people in today's society really understand genetics? Who's ya daddy! The sixth book of this series is due out in November and I looking forward to it.
Kate Reading does one of the best jobs of narration in this series that I've heard anywhere! If you like a narration performance, you'll like this one. Lots of blood and guts, but very, very few 4-ltr words, if you dont count CROWs; - this series swear word.
Audible needs to cross-reference these audio books with the book reviews in Amazon, their parent company (I believe). This is especially true where there are few or no reviews on the book. Just a note about my high 5-star ratings - I usually only rate books that I really enjoy, hence high ratings in all my rating history. Hope this helps!
First let me say, I don't do reviews and am not a "staff writer" of which I suspect are the source of some reviews. Just my opinion. :-)
In either case, I just love this series. The characters, the storyline, etc.
I've done the Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind series. Good but not great. More soap opera than not. Always got the feeling it was written with a "string 'em along" publisher's attitude in mind. The Codex series is just a great series. The characters are kept to a manageable number and are very engaging. Jim Butcher's style is addicting. Yes, the good guy wins, but it's the way they win. Leaves you breathless.
Books 1 and 2 are, for me, simply captivating. I'm finishing up on book 3. and it's a nail biter to say the least. Likely I'll do them all.
After reading the two preceding books, I Still can not figure out what the deal is with the horns. I can live with them, I just don't understand their purpose. I love this series and though it took me a while to snuggle in with all the characters, I feel as close to them now as I do with Jamie and Claire of the Outlander series. I'm glad I stuck with this one. The only reason it didn't get a five star rating was because of the excessive battle descriptions which I consider a cop out for book filler. He's got a better writers brain and shouldn't be stooping to such silly tactics.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
This series is getting better and better..... Tavi keeps on growing up and learning and gaining more responsibilities.. He becomes an important tool to the first lord and gets to be in interesting places. I do enjoy how the characters develop in this series and the gap of few years between books to allow the character to develop and grow in a reasonable pace.
I thought the previous book was an eventful one, but its nothing comparing to this book's events. Oh how so many things... So many secrets and so many OH moments... And the ending was a really really good one. Will start listening to the next book really soon,.. So excited
By the way, I do like the narrator, Kate Reading is a really gifted narrator and the voices of the characters change with the years.. Tavi's voice is not the same way it was in the first book, it does sound right for the age he is in.. Fantastic job.
Very well done. I am enjoying this series.more with each book. I am glad I continued with the second then third book.
But the but I still have, and I may be very wrong to ask this rhetorical question; what butt decided to throw in such a rash and discordant noise as those trumpets? My two girls, both Siamese, get a look on their faces that is pure distain when, without a reason I can puzzle out, the noise is thrown in. .
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Superb narration, but what's with the trumpeting fanfare? These loud annoying trumpets interrupt the story at multiple points throughout the book. Grrr.
Nonetheless, this is a fun, fast-paced, and (mostly) feel-good story. It's alternative history of a fantastical nature. Roman history. The mysteriously missing Ninth Legion. Far from England and Hadrian's Wall, this book is set on a planet called Carna, on the West Coast of Alera, on the River Gaul, at the Elinarch Bridge.
Newly graduated from the Imperial Academy as a cursor, Tavi (Octavian) continues to outgrow his uniforms while learning the military life of a Roman Legionnaire, Alera-style. Because Tavi still cannot employ fury-power (making him the only fury-less freak in the Empire), he must rely on his wits, instincts, and friendships. Bringing a flavor of historical Rome to this fantastical setting, Tavi also relies on his readings of ancient texts, where he gained knowledge of old "Romantic" siege weapons, battle-tactics, and fire-starting methods. I enjoyed Butcher's integration of old Rome into the novel, including the catapult weapon Tavi called a "mule" for its bucking kick-back motion (also called an onager).
Some of Tavi's old friends from the Academy play secondary roles, including Max and Ehren, as does his girl, the resourceful Katai. We also meet Cassus Antillus, half-brother to Max.
We also meet more Canim wolf-warriors, including War-master Nasaug, the son of Ambassador Vaug from the prequel, and Sarl, a nasty ritualist employing dark blood magic.
Butcher writes well, but he needs to consult a thesaurus. Does every grin have to be "wolfish" or could we please try for some nuance?
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
The books in this series are shaping up to mark individual, chapters, or episodes in the development of Tavi of Calderon. The titles, beginning with book 2, pretty much lay that out. This installment has lots of spycraft and a big battle at the end. I think what I enjoy most is that the main character uses his wits to get himself in and out of trouble. In his world, he is basically handicapped. That doesn't even come close to stopping him though. He experiences the humiliation of not being able to do what everyone else can, but he is also not bound by their blinkered thinking and limitations. Tavi is a great character for perseverance and cleverness. He is a well-crafted character.
I am not going to go on about the reading and the horns as I did in my reviews in the previous two books. It is enough to say that Reading's characterizations are solid and her pacing is good. There seem to be some editing flubs where one word runs right into another, but other than that, pretty clean.
I absolutely love my audible account, makes its from enjoying a book to loving the stories found in the books. Do forgive my errors in the reviews i do have dyslexia but i will share my love with everyone
the emperor has sent tavi his commission he is to be a low ranking officer in the army. and they are placed out of the way of the impending war. a high lord rebels and enemies of the empire unite to defeat him.
at the same time Bernard is again needed to help the empire with his secret wife take septimus to the city. but septimus can not use magic. while the high lord is fighting the rebels a enemy force lands on the coast making Tavi the only defense for the empire
Butcher again has secrets to show you as you read the books. but most of them you can figure out before the secret is reviled. but with his skill he plays some misdirection making people see the secrets he wants you to see while hiding others.
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