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Furies of Calderon Audiobook

Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera, Book 1

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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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  •  
    Dragonscar 11-26-13
    Dragonscar 11-26-13
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    "What is with the idiotic fanfares?"
    If you could sum up Furies of Calderon in three words, what would they be?

    Battles galore!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Actually, the saga is fascinating and will clearly lead to more books in the series. It stimulates the mind to consider what went before and what will come after - not just in the story, itself, but for humankind. <br/><br/>The characters are well-drawn and engaging, but I find that the author relies too much on battle behavior to expand information about a number of the characters, but left far too many holes in the actual development.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Tavi going back for Kitai


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I must admit, I did get bored with all the battles. Each one was extended and highly detailed making it feel like the series was little more than one VERY LONG battle. IOW, there was more battle description than actual story.<br/><br/>But what there was of story and of character was strong and engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    The single biggest irritation were those awful fanfares with reason for them - just stuck in from time to time in the middle of a conversation. It was almost as if they were put in to mask an edit-join in the recording. However, instead of masking them, they highlighted them and the sounds were absolutely TERRIBLE and disruptive to the narrative.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbknecht United States 09-12-09
    Barbknecht United States 09-12-09 Member Since 2010

    I love SciFy and Fantasy Novels History is my second love especially the Dark ages through the Renaissance and The American Civil War

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    "Good book tough editing"

    The book was great and the naration was very good too. I just didnt understand the editing. there were some very quick cuts that seemed rough and a trumpet sound that would go off in the strangest places. it would have been great at chapters end but it was in what seemed random places. Other than that the book was fantastic.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael New Orleans, LA 05-03-13
    Michael New Orleans, LA 05-03-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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.

    39 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 12-23-09
    Jeffrey 12-23-09 Member Since 2017

    I love to read sci-fi, fantasy, and an occasional murder mystery. If one day I can be a successful author I will consider myself one of the few and fortunate.

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    "A diamond in the rough"

    This novel just proves Jim Butcher's ability as a great writer. I started out with Dresden files, which is another great series, and stumbled upon furies of Calderon. The novel is nothing like Dresden files, but still very well written. No longer are you inside the head of one character, now third person dominates the narrative. If you are expecting Harry Dresden in medieval times you will be disappointed. Instead think of Romanesque legions and law, complete with a king and a senate. The outer dwellings with stead holds and strategically placed citadels. Now imagine Furies or elementals bonding with humans giving them each unique abilities (varying in strength depending on the character) relating directly to the nature of the fury. Imagine a world with deadly and mystical creatures, savage natives, and treachery from every angle. Can you imagine the new depth of fighting? Attacks from the air, the ground, and even from within your own body. Jim Butcher creates a novel with familiar parallels while at the same time breaking the rules (in a clever and intriguing way) Kate Reading is a great narrator. She is perfect for this type of novel. Her voice is elegant and her British accent sets the mood for the novel perfectly(Think Lord of the Rings narrator). Never have I been so pleasantly surprised as I was when listening to this novel. I'm just one person but I say GET IT! I hope you'll enjoy it as much as my wife and me.

    26 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Sunset, UT, United States 04-22-10
    Don Sunset, UT, United States 04-22-10 Member Since 2008
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    "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.

    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-02-09
    Ryan Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-02-09 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A true gem"

    I just finished book 4 of this series and am so glad to have found this series. The writing and characters are deep and well crafted. The language is truly some of the best fantasy I have listened to (read? :-p). Also Kate Reading is a skilled Narrator.

    I find myself staying up listening just to hear what is going to happen next. Download it. You wont regret it.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Atwood 06-04-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "whats with the horns?!"

    the story was a decent fantasy, although i prefer the wit and sarcasm of the author's Dresden Files. the performance was also well done. it loses a star for the random blasting of horns that seemed to have no purpose and would happen in the middle of several scenes. highly annoying.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skipper 11-04-15
    Skipper 11-04-15

    I prefer 3rd person point-of-view, and books with fewer than 500 pages.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "annoying trumpet fanfare"

    Fantasy with some slight romance. Good story. First in the complete series of six books. A little too much internal reflection, a concluding battle scene that went on and on, and a bit predictable, but still a solid hit.

    Audio includes annoying trumpet fanfare. It blares mid-scene, and at numerous points in the book. Maybe cassette breaks? Loud. Very annoying. Kate Reading's performance is excellent, however.

    This series is told in 3rd person POV (yay for that). The long-lost Ninth Roman Legion — stationed near York and possibly disappearing near Hadrian's Wall at the Scottish-English boundary sometime during the 2nd Century AD— isn't really lost. No, it just marched into another world, to this magical place. That's why we couldn't find them. And that's why the Alerans in this fantastical setting are known by Roman names like Octavius (Tavi, the hero), Maximus, Gaius, etc., places are named Gaul, Aquitaine, etc, and Alerans refer to themselves with Latinate terms like academ, cursor, legionare, legion, patriserus, etc.

    This series takes place in the dangerous Kingdom of Alera, where the Ninth Roman Legion settled at least a thousand years ago. Alera is surrounded by non-human (but somewhat humanoid) Icemen, Marat, Vord, and Canim.

    Villains are three-dimensional. Along with several treacherous Romans (Alerans), the cannibalistic Marat play a major role in this book. The Marat bond with animals, especially raptors (man-sized vicious birds), wolves, horses, and gigantic gargants. They command their animal totems / chalak. The Marat lands (Maratia) border the Calderon Valley in eastern Alera, where an invasion takes place, in this book.

    Alerans are only puny humans, so their survival amongst the barbarian Marat, Icemen, Vord, and Canim depends on their ability to control the Six Elemental Furies: earth-stone, wood-plants, fire, water, wind/air, and steel. All Alerans are — innately, genetically — capable of fury-crafting.

    However, young Tavi, a shepherd boy living at Bernardholt in the Calderon Valley, has shown no sign of that special fury-crafting gene. Thus, Tavi is treated (by some) like a retard, and at 15 years, his lack of fury-crafting is considered most likely to be permanent.

    But he's resourceful anyway; he can think his way around most problems...

    Human Characters: Tavi, Aunt Isana, Uncle Bernard, Amara the academ/cursor, Fidelius her teacher, Kord and sons Bittan and Eric, Aldrick the swordsman, Odiana the water witch, Fade the slave, Gaius the Emperor, etc.

    Marat Characters: Atsurak (chief of wolf clan), Doroga (chief of gargant clan), Katai (Doroga's whelp), Hashat (chief of horse clan and Doroga's sister-in-law).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hillarie CT United States 03-30-14
    Hillarie CT United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "good book, but I could do without the horn blowing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Furies of Calderon to be better than the print version?

    Can't say, I only listened to the book, and have not read the print version.


    What other book might you compare Furies of Calderon to and why?

    It is similar to many other fantasy/adventure books such as books by Terry Goodkind.


    What about Kate Reading’s performance did you like?

    I thought she did a good job of differentiating characters. I liked her use of inflection and the cadence of her voice. She is easy to listen to, and does not distract the listener from the story.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a good book. Not earth shattering, or the next Trilogy of Middle Earth, but interesting and enjoyable. I liked it enough to listen to the 2nd in the series now.<br/>The major thing I would like to change is the ridiculous horns that sound in the middle of the storyline. They seldom seem to have anything to do with the plot, and add nothing to the rendition of the story. The book would be better without them.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert L 08-17-11
    Robert L 08-17-11 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Redeems itself in the end"

    This is definitely not some of Jim Butcher's best work. I'm left wondering if this is one of his earlier novels that he was unable to get published before the success of the Dresden books. The quality of the writing improves steadily after the first third or so. Enough, for me, to make it worth it to get the next one. I had put off getting it for some time because of an earlier review that made it sound like the book was full of graphic rape and bestiality. That was definitely an exaggeration. The reference to bestiality was a single line and the scenes involving the rape were not graphic - although I think the book would have been better if they had been left out altogether. I've certainly read worse books from other well established authors. If the rest of the series is up to Jim Butcher's usual standards, then I will be happy to have read this one.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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