Review: Jim Butcher – Academ’s Fury

Seeing how much I have enjoyed listening to the Codex Alera audiobooks so far, I think I will continue what is by now almost a tradition. I listen to it a bit evey night before going to sleep. Let me tell you, when an action scene comes up, it’s very detrimental to my sleep…

academs fury

ACADEM’S FURY
by Jim Butcher

Published by: Orbit, 2009 (2005)
ISBN: 0143143778
Audiobook: 20 hrs
Paperback: 628 pages
Series: Codex Alera #2

My rating: 7/10

First sentence:  If the beginning of wisdom is in realizing that one knows nothing, then the beginning of understanding is in realizing that all things exist in accord with a single truth: Large things are made of smaller things.

For one thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the Furies–elementals of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Metal. But now, the unity of the Alerans hangs in precarious balance. The First Lord of Alera has fallen in his efforts to protect his people from the vicious attacks of their enemies. Now, the fate of the Alerans lies in the hands of Tavi, a young man who must use all of his courage and resourcefulness to save his people–and himself.

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It’s been two years since the events of Furies of Calderon. Tavi is now training to be a Cursor at the Academy in Alera Imperia, Isana is the first female steadholder, Bernard has been promoted to Count, and for Amara it’s mostly business as usual – with a little extra time spent with Bernard. Tavi’s day-to-day life is mostly stressful, what with studying and doing work for the First Lord – and let’s not forget bullies. Still without any fury crafiting whatsoever, Tavi is an easy target. But he has new friends to stand by him and help him once chaos ensues.

The first thing I noticed about this second instalment in the Codex Alera was that I enjoyed reading about Tavi more than any of the other characters. He has grown as a person and now he’s right at the center of the political intrigue. Amara and Bernhard spend a lot of time fighting the invading vord – an alien species whose attacking strategy chilled me to the bones. While I still found their storyline interesting, the military battles never quite caught my interest as much as the more personal battles Tavi and his friends have to face. But let’s be honest – Jim Butcher is great with action scenes. I found myself holding my breath on more than one occasion, hoping our heroes would be alright.

academs furyMy hopes from book one came true as well. We do learn more about the Marat and their culture, and I’m happy to report that we experience a reunion with Doroga and Kitai – what a badass! I loved how Jim Butcher managed to tell a new, and essentially standalone, story while keeping some connections to the prior book. Politics still exist and with the First Lord starting to show his age they are more important than ever. However, this time I didn’t really find myself caring all too much about who succeeds Gaius Sextus as First Lord. There was too little explanation of the Dianic League (some feminist movement, from what I gathered) and the relationships between the powerful houses of the realm.

These little negative points do not keep Academ’s Fury from being a fast-paced and thrilling read, and while I don’t really bite my fingernails hoping for this character to achieve one thing and that character to rot in hell, I enjoy finding out what happens to them. One thing that did hook me was the ending. We get a glimpse of what’s to come for Tavi – even though I find myself wondering what new threat is going to show up in Alera and whether we’ll follow the same structure as we did in the first two books. Either way, I’m in.

THE GOOD: Thrilling fight scenes, more Marat culture and some new and very interesting species (the vord, the Canim).
THE BAD: The worldbuilding still seems a bit half-hearted to me.
THE VERDICT: A fun read following Tavi and the rest of them, along with some new great characters. One little boy can indeed save the realm… twice.

RATING: 7/10 Very good

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The Codex Alera Series:codex alera 2

  1. Furies of Calderon
  2. Academ’s Fury
  3. Cursor’s Fury
  4. Captain’s Fury
  5. Princep’s Fury
  6. First Lord’s Fury

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