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Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1 | [Jim Butcher]

Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-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.
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Publisher's Summary

In the realm of Alera, where people bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal - 15-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.

©2005 Jim Butcher; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks

What Members Say

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4.3 (5400 )
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3 star
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 (152)
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 (103)
Overall
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  •  
    Eric San bernardino, CA, United States 02-11-09
    Eric San bernardino, CA, United States 02-11-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    153
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
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    Overall
    "great fantasy series"

    This is a wonderful series with great characterization and complex plot, lots of political machinations without becoming bogged down. This is not just a tolkein clone, Butcher has created new creatures and magic system. as well as intresting characters that are complex not just cardboard cutouts. I would love to see more of his books as audio.
    The only annoyance is the random trumpet noise that I have to assume announced the end of a cassette or a CD originally.
    Overall a great series well written adn well read.

    46 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim San Jose, CA, United States 09-15-09
    Jim San Jose, CA, United States 09-15-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Remastered into chapters from CD."

    The audiobook was clearly remastered into chapters which is awesome, but the horns trumpeting were clearly the end of the CD previously.. Please Audible, Go back and take that out..the book is awesome but one more than one occasion it interrupts in the middle of a sentence!

    Love Kate Reading reading and Jim Butcher has a unique writing style. 5+ for that but minuses for the horrid conversion from CD.

    35 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-25-12
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 04-25-12 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1085
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    168
    90
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    609
    1
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    Story
    "Warning: May be habit forming."

    The Furies of Calderon kicks off the Codex Alera series which follows the life of Tavi, a young boy with no furycrafting skills, in a world where everyone has access to furies and their abilities. The fantasy world of Alera is very interesting and the magic of the various types of furies hooks you in quickly and makes for a diverse set of circumstances. Tavi is hard pressed to get by compared to the rest of the world due to magical handicap but he also learns to use skills that others neglect due to their reliance on furycrafting.

    Once I started on the first book it quickly became obvious that I was going "all in" and that I would be listening to the rest of series one after the other. Six books later I was still as satisfied as when I first began the journey and I can definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Epic Fantasy.

    Kate Reading, a veteran of the Wheel of Time series, does an excellent narration job as always.

    53 of 56 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Gretna, LA, USA 05-03-13
    Michael Gretna, LA, USA 05-03-13 Member Since 2014

    Commodities broker, father, husband, and avid scifi/fantasy/self help fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    60
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost Roman Legions...And POKEMON?"

    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.

    69 of 74 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Readalot SC USA 05-25-09
    Readalot SC USA 05-25-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    334
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    33
    0
    Overall
    "Great fantasy series"

    This review applies to the series (posted at book 3 also). 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 don't 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.

    18 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 05-03-13
    Michael New Orleans, LA 05-03-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2260
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    292
    144
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1391
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lost Roman Legions...And POKEMON?"

    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.

    29 of 32 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Maynard, MA, United States 11-20-13
    Elizabeth Maynard, MA, United States 11-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    50
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    "I had mixed feeling about this one"

    I am a big fan of Butcher's Dresden series, so I was hopeful that this would be equally good. It is a very different kind of reading experience from the noir-magic world of Dresden's Chicago.

    The fury crafting idea is a good one. I wished that Butcher would have explored its roots and talked more about how it came to be a central part of this world. Instead, it just is. This left me wanting more thought behind the whole concept.

    The other thing I want to flag for potential readers of this book (haven't explored further in the series and not sure I will) is there is an important sub-plot/series of events that center around violence against and sexual dominance of women. The women throughout the book are very strong characters and not victims in any usual sense, but I have a hard time reading books that have extensive sexual violence.

    Kate Reading does a fine job reading the book. But it is a pale shadow in terms of entertainment for me compared with the world of Harry Dresden (the magic bits in the Dresden files and the traditions and philosophies that underlie them are much stronger and better conceived than what I saw in this first book in this series.)

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy O Fallon, IL, United States 05-14-09
    Randy O Fallon, IL, United States 05-14-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    3
    Overall
    "Well Crafted Story."

    This is one of my favorite fantasy series. It had me interested from the beginning and I couldn't wait to read the following books. The main character actually develops and turns into a true hero that you enjoy following in the story. If you're looking for a CHANGE from Robert Jordan's long winded style with plots that go nowhere, then this is your book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 06-29-10
    David Houston, TX, United States 06-29-10 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1737
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    518
    166
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    351
    18
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magic holes"

    This is warmed over but still tasty at times. Butcher is a better than competent story teller and gives us a wide spectrum of engaging characters along with an interesting and fairly satisfying central conflict. Probably the best thing about this series is the world the author has created--full of well crafted surprises and well integrated. With one exception...

    For me, the greatest weakness of this book was the inconsistency in the use of magic. Other reviewers have already mentioned this, and it is a definite problem. Fury craft only gets used by the major players, and then only when the author is ready to extricate them from a very difficult situation. Just one for-instance out of scores of these slips--an assault on a defensive wall which relies on climbing poles which should have been destroyed quickly and easily by the wood crafters among the defenders. As a result of these lapses, the magic in the world becomes a device rather than a convincing and reliable aspect of Butcher's otherwise solid creation.

    I'm trying to decide whether to pick up the second book in the series. Word is that it improves as it goes on, but I am not sure it is worth a credit. Especially since there is so much superb fantasy writing available these days.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Sunset, UT, United States 04-22-10
    Don Sunset, UT, United States 04-22-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    9
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    1
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    Overall
    "Almost Epic"

    Those who have read Butcher (The Dresden Files) are already familiar with some of the author's narrative conventions. You'll find them all here. Maybe that's bad. But once you immerse yourself in the world of Alera, you'll easily overlook those minor issues. Where Butcher excels is in the development of characters you love with motivations you can actually understand. He has also created an unusual and compelling world for those characters to inhabit. Sure, it is not difficult to find parallels with other fantasy epics. I like to characterize this series as Lloyd Alexander meets Anne Mccaffrey ... and that works for me. The narration is about as good as it gets; as others have noted, the production feels a little off sometimes ... but not to the point where it's a problem. Kate Reading (aka Jennifer Mendenhall) is more than up to the task of handling dozens of voices. Furies of Calderon is far from perfect and sometimes predictable. Still, it is a solid, entertaining read/listen that should draw you in if are willing to let it.

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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