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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

Average Customer Ratings

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    218
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    135

Performance

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    5,142
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    1,903
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    644
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    145
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    84

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    681
  • 2 Stars
    167
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    113
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Oh, how I HATE the horns!!!!

I love Jim Butcher. I love the Dresden Files. I love this story. I like the narrator fairly well. But I HATE HATE HATE the horns that sound at crazy times during the story. Get real, Audible, there has to be an easy way to get rid of those stupid horns.

41 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

No more noise, please

This is a great book and reading. However, the horns and trumpets that occur at inappropriate times are irritating and interrupt Kate Reading's wonderful narrative. Whoever came up with the idea is an idiot.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

176 of 186 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • Baltimore, MD
  • 09-15-09

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.

75 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 04-25-12

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.

73 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eric
  • San bernardino, CA, United States
  • 02-11-09

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.

58 of 61 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • George
  • Montgomery, AL, United States
  • 10-02-13

Sound Effects

For some reason they have added trumpet sounds at strange places throughout the narration. It's very annoying and really is not not well performed either. The narrator is great. It is just the sound effects that are bad.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • 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.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Randy
  • O Fallon, IL, United States
  • 05-14-09

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enjoyable listen

I enjoyed this book; Kate Reading did a lovely narration and great voices while Jim Butcher always makes an entertaining read. Jim Butcher is pretty predictable though. Although the Dresden Files series is a completely different format, the array of expressions his characters can have are all the same, as is the level of hardship and self-battering. Nonetheless, though he is not an excellent or original writer, he is a good storyteller and deserves four stars on his own.

While the narration was wonderful, the editing was not. Throughout the book, sentences were edited right on top of each other which made it seem like there was a lack in punctuation and can lead to double takes while listening. The fanfare was also irritating. It seemed to be inserted in breaks within a chapter, so right after a fairly suspenseful pause your ears will be assailed with fanfare. Though the narration was excellent, these two issues were consistent and the reason I would rate the audio-book four stars.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful