Beware my Fury

Earlier I made a post about Jim Butcher’s great series The Dresden Files. His other ongoing series is The Codex Alera. As stated by the author himself, this is the kind of book he wanted to write when he first became a writer; a story set in a fantastical world of magic. First for the actual world and basic story. This series is set in the country of Alera in the world of Carna. Alera is a country of plain humans surrounded on all sides by hostile nations. The Aleran civilization has survived for hundreds of years because of one distinct advantage they have over the other nations. Alerans have the ability to control the elemental forces of the world, called furies. There are six varieties of furies: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Wood, and Metal. Each one has very varied applications in a way far more complete than Avatar the Last Airbender. Everyone can control a wide variety of furies but they can only manifest a select few. A manifested fury is like a companion and is a person’s strongest fury. And in a surprising twist, the nobility of the world are distinguished by having control of the strongest furies. All technology and such is powered by furies from lamps to healing to elite archery and swordfighting to the building of structures. In this setting, the story follows a young man in a very rural and dangerous valley on the outskirts of the kingdom who completely lacks any control over furies whatsoever. He must rely on his wits in order to survive and fate increasingly puts the very fate of the kingdom in his hands. The series is radically different from The Dresden Files in ways far beyond the setting. Unlike Dresden, which is narrated solely by the titular character (except for 2 of the short stories, but that’s besides the point). This series tends to follow a few ongoing, concurrent, and heavily related plotlines. And while I haven’t read the series recently enough to remember the style of its writing, I do remember that it is nothing like Dresden’s wonderfully snarky, wise-ass nature, or at least, it’s not as blatant and doesn’t occur in the narration (since this series is in the 3rd person). Also, this story is less about mystery and investigation that lead to epic battles and more about uncovering secret political intrigues and epic battles going on concurrently. … on second thought, both series may be more similar than I thought, but Jim Butcher structures them differently enough that the mystery and action both feel very different. Dresden is sort of defined by its humor and snarkines and the Codex Alera uses those aspects that Butcher channels so well from his personality into characterization. In this way, I can see the Codex Alera is a maturation of Jim Butcher’s writing , the project he wanted to write since he began writing (it helps that he himself says this in the ends later Dresden books where he advertises this series. This series is a departure from the Dresden Files, but that hardly detracts from it. This series was very enjoyable read that I suggest to anyone with a desire to read.

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