Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cursor's Fury: Book 3 of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher

Cursor's Fury: Book 3 of the Codex Alera
Jim Butcher
Narrated by Kate Reading, unabridged
Penguin Audio, 20.5 hours

Jim Butcher has yet again created a memorable masterpiece in the Codex Alera series. The story is set in the mystical land of Alera, whose residents seem to be descendants of Roman Legionnaires. As befits legionnaires of any time or place, there are plenty of stunning battles, heroic characters, and menace from both ingenious alien races and treacherous allies. Add to this the ability of Alerans to control different aspects of the forces of nature (fury crafting) and you have the ingredients for an exciting piece of literature that spans five books. Each title builds toward the conclusion of this saga, with the sixth and final book in the series scheduled for publication later this year.

Narrator Kate Reading keeps the audiobook alive with a delicate command in her voice that demands attention. She accurately conveys excitement and danger, providing a good read that will lock in listeners and keep them engaged throughout the battle-filled story.

Cursor’s Fury continues the adventures of Gaius Octavius, or Tavi, the only Aleran who cannot perform magic by controlling a part of nature. But Tavi is the grandson and only heir to the First Lord, Gaius Sextus. His true identity is kept secret to avoid assassination by those seeking to overthrow the First Lord. Tavi’s mother uses her water-fury crafting skills to prevent Tavi from developing what would no doubt be extremely powerful fury crafting. As a result, Tavi is forced to rely on his wits to overcome many serious tests that come his way.

Recognizing his leadership skills and seeing through the veil created to hide Tavi, the First Lord, Gaius Sextus, realizes Tavi is his grandson. To protect him, Tavi is sent to train with a legion of recruits who are far away from civil strife. Because the First Lord has not named an heir to the throne, some of the major houses of Alera feel the need to overthrow the powerful First Lord and place themselves on that throne. The most ambitious of these is House Kalare. Lord Kalare has made it known that he will do anything to capture the throne, and in Cursor's Fury he makes his move.

To help insure his victory, Lord Kalare allies himself with the Canim, one of the sworn enemies of Alera.
The Canim are a humanoid/wolf race that live across the ocean from Alera. Lord Kalare asks the Canim to invade at the same time he attacks the First Lord. The plan seems to be working until it’s discovered that the Canim have something else in mind. They don't come over with merely an invading army, they come over with most of their population in order to take Alera themselves. And to emphasize the point, they burn their ships so they cannot return to their homeland.

Meanwhile, instead of being out of harm’s way, Tavi's 1st Legion of "fish," finds they must fortify and hold the bridge to the city of Elinarch. The bridge is a strategic point where the Canim threaten to invade Alera. The young legionnaires are called fish because they are new recruits and, instead of knowing how to battle, they flop around like fish. Through a series of unplanned events, Tavi is forced into the rank of Captain and must use only his wits to lead the legion of "Knights Pisces" into a major battle that may decide the future of Alera.
With a war on three fronts, this book is full of exciting action and a great cast of characters. Codex Alera is one series that is worth reading, or better yet, hearing again and again.

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posted by Gil T. @ 1:11 AM Comments: 0