The Codex Alera Series

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The Codex Alera Series

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1Irisheyz77
Editado: Jun 30, 2007, 4:59pm

A place to discuss Jim Butcher's other series of books.

Has anyone read this series yet? Is it any good?

2booklover79
Jun 30, 2007, 6:25pm

I have not read this series yet and I was going to ask the same question.lol. I believe it's told from 3rd point of view and it's straight fantasy? Is it planned as a trilogy or a running series like The Dresden Files?

3Irisheyz77
Jun 30, 2007, 8:20pm

I think that it might be another running series. Right now there are four books listed on Butcher's website: Furies of Calderon, Academ's Fury, Cursor's Fury, and Captain's Fury. I also think that you are right in thinking that they are straight fantasy.

In some ways I don't think that I've read them because I don't want to be disappointed in something that Butcher writes. That happened to me with another author David Eddings and a few others.

4booklover79
Jul 1, 2007, 5:51pm

Oh, I loved David Eddings early series of books. The Belgariad and Mallorean but I have been disappointed in his latest works. I think one of the later books was called Redemption of atlas or something like that.

The only reason why I haven't tried out his new series is I'm kinda tired of the sword & sorcery fantasy genre at the moment. Ya know the plotline...the young boy/man venturing off to find his destiny in some magical realm. It's gotten old for me so I've shied away from straight fantasy for the moment.

5Irisheyz77
Jul 1, 2007, 6:14pm

Belgariad and Mallorean were loves of mine as well. The redemption book was ok but nothing super great. I finally swore off books from him after reading Regina's Song. What a piece of crap that was. Then he came out with a new series called The Dreamers or something like that. I bought the first one because all the reviewers said that it was like Belgariad and Mallorean. Let me tell you though, this book was worse then Regina's Song. Which makes me wonder if people actually read the Belgariad, for comaring the new series to it was more of an insult than a compliment.

6booklover79
Jul 2, 2007, 7:51am

I heard of Regina's Song. That was more of a contemporary fantasy work right? I vaguely remember looking at the book but putting it back because it wasn't what I expected from Eddings.

Another author I think that hasn't come up with anything original lately is Terry Brooks. It seems he's also using the same formula in his later books too. I've also stopped reading Terry Brooks too. The latest books he's come out with aren't as great, in my opinion, either.

7edding
Ago 19, 2007, 4:06pm

Since no one seemed to answer the original question: I have read the series so far and like it very much. It is an interesting amalgam of coming-0f-age, buddy fantasy with a new twist on magic.
What do others( that have read the books) think?

8gallandro_83 Primeira Mensagem
Out 17, 2007, 11:45pm

I loved this series!! This is the type of fantasy that really holds my attention. Jim Butcher not only manages to weave a complex tale that brings in a fairly unique idea about magical gifts as a whole which is explored more and more through the series, but what really captures my attentin is the multiple point of views in each story that coalesce into one grand event that shapes Butcher's new fantasy world.

I've really enjoyed this new entry into a fantasy world since it isn't so filled with the standard fantasy creatures and sterotypes. I would recommend this to others and am wondering if anyone can recommend other stories like this where I can find the sort of political ramification that follow on the ations of the characters. (Two such stories are Carol Berg's Transformation series and Patricia Briggs Raven series.)

9reading_fox
Out 18, 2007, 7:09am

"recommend other stories like this where I can find the sort of political ramification that follow on the ations of the characters."

C J Cherryh is pretty good with political ramifications, fantasy wise Fortress in the eye of time is a good place to start, or maybe Morgaine saga which is excellant but less political.

10CursorsFury Primeira Mensagem
Nov 12, 2007, 2:20am

I, unlike most Jim Butcher fans it seems, have not read his Dresden Files books. They were recommended to me, but instead I picked up Furies of Calderon.

I love this series. Many Dresden fans seem not to and complain that they are not like Butchers other books. Well yeah!! It is a different series with different characters and even a different world. I have been told that the Dresden books are full of sarcasm whereas Codex Alera is not. I don't really care. I am a head over heals in love with this series.

There are three books out so far:
Furies of Calderon,
Academ's Fury,
and Cursors Fury.

Butcher has been signed for three more, and Captain's Fury comes out on Dec. 4th 2007. I cannot wait.

These books weave a wonderful and unique world with characters that your never quite sure about and never feel false or flat. The traditional take on magic is not used here, but instead people gain their "powers" from a manifestation of different elemental powers in the form of furies. The world is dependent on furies in their every everyday life, to cook, heal, travel, hunt, build, fight, etc.

The main character is the only known Aleran to be considered furiless and it would be the equivalent of being born without both your legs in our world. He is looked down upon and considered a freak. He must use his mind and his drive to rise in the world and prove himself. You want him to succeed, you want him to win at everything, and you can’t help but cheer for him all along.

He is supported by a wide range of characters that really brings home the idea that no one and nothing is truely right or wrong, black or white. The "bad guy" you can't help but like and understand what he's doing. Some of the "good guys" you don't necessarily like and wonder if they are all that "good." I like that your are constantly re-evaluating your opinion of the characters involved through these books.

I've said a lot. I hope you give them a try and enjoy them as much as I have and will continue to do.

11Irisheyz77
Nov 16, 2007, 8:43pm

As I just said on another thread I do have book one of this series. I picked it up while I was waiting for White Night to come out. But then due to time contraints and a huge TBR pile I just haven't gotten around to it yet. But I think that now that I'm going to be taking the train into work again and will actually be able to give my poor neglected books some love and attention that I'll move this one up in the queue. =)

12CursorsFury
Nov 26, 2007, 9:20pm

SO EXCITED!!!!!

Only a week until Captain's Fury is out in bookstores. And I bet you can even get a book a day early, if it's not "strict on sale."

For those interested you can read the prologue and first four chapters on Butcher's site. Such a tease, but so far it appears that it's living up to his standard of every Codex book being better than the last.

I'm just starting the first one again so I can re-read the first three in the series in preparation for the new one to come out.

13Irisheyz77
Editado: Nov 27, 2007, 7:41pm

I would....but then reading those chapters would probably spoil what's to come in the next few books.

I just started Furies of Calderon and I am liking it lots.

14TinazReading
Nov 27, 2007, 11:07pm

For those of you who didn't pick up Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series yet, do it! I completely understand the hesitation of fans of his Dresden Files books, as the Alera series is a big jump from Harry Dresden's Urban Fantasy universe. I avoided this series like the plague because I didn't want to be disappointed by one of my favorite authors.

That said, my worry was misplaced. The Alera books are GREAT because Butcher knows how to write endearing characters that stay with the reader. Honestly, after reading Academ's Fury, I went out and bought all the available books in the series.

15Irisheyz77
Nov 28, 2007, 9:02am

*laughs*

You're reason for not picking them up is the same as mine. I didn't want to be let down by JB as has happened in the past with authors.

As you say though the series does not disappoint. I'm a good way through the first book and have recently put the 2nd one on hold at the library (going to put my new BPL card to use!).

16Irisheyz77
Nov 28, 2007, 10:08pm

Does anyone know if there is a map of Alera somewhere on the net? I'm curious about the layout of the land.

17tardis
Nov 29, 2007, 11:20am

What? A fantasy series without a map? This is appalling!

Butcher should have his fantasy writer's license revoked immediately.

18Irisheyz77
Nov 29, 2007, 2:11pm

I know!

With this type of fantasy book I usually expect to see a map...and since I am just in book one I don't have much of an idea of what the layout of the land is. So I often find myself flipping to the front of the book to get orientated only to get disappointed time and again when there is no map. =(

19CursorsFury
Dez 5, 2007, 4:15pm

IT IS HERE!!!!

Captain's Fury is finally out! So happy!!!

20Irisheyz77
Dez 5, 2007, 7:22pm

I actually saw Captain's Fury in the bookstore over the weekend...before its release date. I had snuck inside the store (I'm kinda on a book ban again) to pick up the 2nd and 3rd books in the the series. The purchase of which I rationalized by the fact that I had a coupon that was gonna expire....and I almost bought CF too. With the help of a friend who pretty much explained that my books at home were on the brink of revolting (again) and that I shouldn't antagonize them further by bringing too many new books home at once.

I dropped hints with a few people though that I wanted it so maybe Santa will bring it to me for Christmas.

21etoiline
Dez 7, 2007, 12:05pm

The Codex books are amazing. I usually go back and forth between which Jim Butcher series I love, depending on what book got released most recently ;) But I've reread the Codex series more often than I've done with DF.

If you like Jim's style of writing, you will like the Codex books. It is straight up fantasy, nothing urban about it. His magic concept is highly original, and though he takes a fairly stereotypical fantasy convention (farmboy goes on to do great things) he does it in such a way that you're excited to find out what happens.

Captain's Fury is everything the sample chapters promise and more. Lots of things that were left open in the first three books are brought to a close...but not necessarily ended. A definite favorite for me.

I second whoever mentioned Carol Berg's work. She is a wonderful author and a really nice person (I've met her) and her books are great interweavings of magic and politics and emotion. Butcher and Berg, my favorite authors.

22Irisheyz77
Jan 13, 2008, 3:38pm

I was poking around on the forum on www.jim-butcher.com and it turns out that some fans have taken it upon themselves to create a map of Alera. Since I know that there are many fans of the series here and that others might be interested I thought that I would copy and paste those links here:

Calderon Valley http://www.bestsharing.com/files/1UIIU351046/calderonvalley5.jpg.html
Map of Alera http://www.bestsharing.com/files/B4kSmx351045/MapOfAlera14a.jpg.html
Map of Carna http://www.bestsharing.com/files/JNu75351048/Carna.jpg.html

For those interested in the thread they came from go here:
http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,5170.0.html

23Irisheyz77
Jan 18, 2008, 7:19pm

For those that have read this series....what is your favorite book so far? I've only read the first two but so far I think that Academ's Fury is above and beyond Furies of Calderon. I am really looking forward to reading Cursor's Fury but am trying to pace myself a little bit since there are only four books out so far and I am quickly going to run out of reading material....and I don't want this series to end just yet!

24CursorsFury
Jan 19, 2008, 3:03am

I thought that each book was better than the last; at least with the first three. The fourth is on par with the third. I'd say that Cursors Fury and Captain's Fury are my favorites. While pretty much every page of Cursor's I loved, and I can't say the same for Captain's (not that I didn't like every page, just not love) there are parts of Captain's that just stand out so strong that I can't pick a favorite between the last two.

Maybe when I re-read Captain's Fury a second time, not rushing through it to see what happens, I may be able to pick a favorite but for right now they're at a tie.

25Irisheyz77
Editado: Jan 30, 2008, 11:28am

For the record, I've just got to say that this series has got to be one of the most addictive that I've read in a long time. I don't want to put the books down! I am 3/4 through Cursor's Fury now and I have become highly resentful of such things as work and sleep because they take time away from my reading the book.

I also recently bought Captain's Fury and I just know that I'm going to want to move right into that....despite the library books and early reviewer book that I have waiting for me. I might have to ask one of my friends to hold it hostage until I get those other books out of the way.

26CursorsFury
Fev 7, 2008, 1:01am

I sort of stop sleeping for more then 4 hours when I'm reading this series, and often even when I'm re-reading the books. While I'm reading I forget about food even.

GIVE IN!!! You know you want to. Captain's won't let you down.

27Irisheyz77
Fev 7, 2008, 8:55am

ACK!!!! You are an enabler Cursors!

I can't read it now. I have 3 ER books to read (how I got so lucky I have no idea). I'm in the middle of one, The Translator, and its amazing and so should be done with it in no time. Another, The Journal of Curious Letters has been getting mixed reviewers over on the ER thread, but I have hopes for it. The third (Sephardi Entrepreneurs), which actually came first and shouldbe my focus, I've been struggling to get into. So I think that I will use Captain's Fury as a reward for finishing that book. At least that is my plan. I might just leave Sephardi unfinished...which is a reviewer in and of itself...but because it was free I feel like I should give it more then my normal cut off point before throwing in the towel. I will read it to the half way point. If its still a struggle then I will quit. Others have given it a good review so I don't know why its so hard for me. Perhaps Cursor's Fury is to blame. I was reading them both at one point before CF took all my reading time.....I think that its greatness has overshadowed my thoughts of Sephardi. (Note to self: don't try reading any other book while reading an Aleran series book)

28CursorsFury
Fev 11, 2008, 12:30am

So I found a message/thing written by Butcher on the army set up and I shortened it and put it in an easier form. So for those of you on Cursor's Fury or Captain's Fury hopefully this helps.

Name - Size - (Size Broken Down) - (Leaders Title)

Spear – 8 legionares (File Leader)
Century – 80 legionares – (10 spears) (Centurion)
Cohort – 320 legionares – (4 centuries, 40 spears) (Tribune)
Legion – 4480 - 6400 legionares (14 - 20 cohorts) (Legion Captain)

Prime Cohort – 640 legionares – (double-sized of normal cohorts) (Legion Captain/First Spear)
First Spear – Senior Centurion

A Spear is made up of 8 legionares. These men do all of their work together and share a single common tent when the legion is in the field. In formation, they stand in a line, with the file leader standing in the front rank of the formation, the second man in the second rank, etc, 8 ranks deep.

There are fourteen to twenty cohorts in every legion. The specifics change from legion to legion, depending upon the needs of the various legions. Placida, for example, has a lot of big open land around it, and so carries more than the normal number of cavalry in each legion. Antillus is a northern city, in mountainous territory, whose legions primarily defend the Shieldwall, so they run with fewer scouts and skirmishers.

All legions are mainly heavy infantry units. Most carry at least one cohort of auxiliaries (scouts and cavalry). All of them try to have at least a century of Knights (which is referred to as a "cohort" in organizational terms, even though it isn't--except for the Crown Legion, which has something approaching an actual cohort-sized contingent of Knights.). Each cohort is led by a Tribune (except for the Prime Cohort, which is led, on paper, by the Legion's Captain, but is actually run by the senior Centurion in the Legion, the First Spear). And each Legion, which numbers between around 4000 to 6500 legionares, is led by a Captain.

29CursorsFury
Fev 29, 2008, 10:26pm

So I found on Jim's site a discussion thread about Jim's future books and this is what it said about the Codex Alera series:

"Alera has six books in it. I'm gonna write those, and we'll be done with Alera. I won't write off the idea of going back some day entirely, but at this time, I'm not really planning on it. Stories begin and go, and then they end. That's what stories do. If they don't end, they aren't stories--they're moneymaking franchises."

and

" . . . pretty much nobody recognized furies as pokemon until I pointed it out."

I love that. Furies as pokemon?? I just can't seem to see it.

30CursorsFury
Mar 1, 2008, 12:28am

I would like to say to Butcher that a character guide in the back would be GREATLY appreciated, even more than a map (though I wouldn't say no to that either). I can never remember who's a high lord, who's married to who, who's related to who, and where they live/rule. I've got the big ones, but I sure could use some help. Maybe even in the guide say where their loyalty, as of then is known, is.

31Irisheyz77
Mar 1, 2008, 8:27am

I'm with you on the character guide thing. It would be helpful. There is a little one on wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alera#Characters

although it doesn't include everything and there are spoilers involved for those who haven't read all 4 books.

Perherps we can start up a thread/guide here to try to keep everyone straight.

32Irisheyz77
Mar 1, 2008, 8:31am


I can see how the furies and pokemon are related...but I don't like the reference so I'm gonna choose to ignore it. lol But Think of it though Pokemon are these magical-eske beings that have various powers. They are captured by people and housed in a ball and brought out when they are in need of that particular powers.

Furies are always magical-eske beings, although they don't have as much physical form as the pokemon beings do. The furies become attracted to humans and are drawn/bonded to them. The rest quietly around and within the people until they are drawn out because they are needed. And it is then that they can manifest into physical form.

33seitherin
Mar 1, 2008, 2:11pm

OK, folks, you have corrupted me. ~ grin ~ I finally started Furies of Calderon. It was just screaming at me from my TBR pile and I was tired of listening to it so I picked it up to get some peace and quiet. Things are so much nicer now that it's quiet.

34Irisheyz77
Mar 1, 2008, 2:44pm

Yay!!!

Can't wait to "hear" what you think of it. =)

35CursorsFury
Mar 2, 2008, 12:25am

I second that "YAY!!!"

One more person to discuss these books with.

Welcome to the dark side . . . well . . . welcome to the amazing word of Alera at least.

36Caspettee
Mar 3, 2008, 2:58am

Three quarters way through Furies of Calderon. I have avoided the forum so nothing is spoilt. Seriously contemplated not going to work today as finishing the book is damn sight more important LOL.

Ok back to the book I go.

37Irisheyz77
Mar 3, 2008, 5:21am

*laughs*

You've been infected with the bug now Caspettee....you know you are addicted when you think that normal life activities are getting in the way of your reading time. Rmember though...work is needed to earn money to pay for all those pesky bills that keep a roof over your head and food in the tummy. Speaking of food, don't forget to eat & get in some sleep!

38Caspettee
Mar 4, 2008, 3:33am

Finished the book now so wont pick up book 2 till the weekend so I dont have to worry about anything getting in the way LOL. I have never taken time of work for a book though I know a few who have, perhaps the final alera book might justify a "mental health day" from work :)

39reading_fox
Mar 4, 2008, 5:50am

For my next read I have a choice between white night and furies of calderon

Thoughts?

White night would mean a re-read of all the preceeding novels, but this isn't necessarily an issue.

40Caspettee
Mar 4, 2008, 7:20am

Well having just read Furies I would say Furies. If you haven't read any of the series just remember it is not like The Dresden series. This is a proper fantasy series. However it is packed full of action and humor. I personally loved the book and I am not big on "hard core" fantasy.

41Irisheyz77
Mar 4, 2008, 8:25am

Reading_fox - I'd go with furies of calderon. of all the books in the Dresden series White Night is my least favorite. Its far more informative in terms of gaining new some background information on Harry but a lot less action and sarcasm that we have come to expect from our beloved Harry.

After that you can plunge back into the Dresden-verse...finish White Night and be ready for when the next book comes out next month.

42CursorsFury
Mar 9, 2008, 5:27pm

So reading_fox, what did you decide? I curious what your thinking of Furies of Calderon if that was your choice.

43Caspettee
Mar 10, 2008, 6:01am

Me too

44reading_fox
Mar 10, 2008, 7:52am

I took your advice and went for furies.

I'm about halfway through. Its certainly different!

I'm not too keen on the multiple switching POVs, particularly when we only get a brief glimpse and also from those characterss with whom I don't think (at this stage) we are destined for a long relationship.

I could have done with a lot more world description - what are furies, how and why people "get" them, crafting, etc. I'm slowly getting my head round it, but for a concept that different, more explanation early on would be helpful. I don't think many people who aren't already well versed in mainstream fantasy tropes are going to be flocking to this.

however, I am enjoying it. Its a fascinating world, great characters.

When I've finished it I'll post a full review, and comment on the appropriate spoiler threads.

45Irisheyz77
Mar 10, 2008, 8:43am

as JB said in a post on his message board, the furies are a little like pokemon. I will admit there are weaknesses to the series...things that you normally see in traditional fantasy like maps and character lists and things like that, but overall I really enjoy the series and the characters. Although Tavi is my favorite and while I would prefer to have the series told entirely from his POV there are times when the switch is necessary to get an idea of what the big picture is.

46Caspettee
Mar 12, 2008, 6:54am

To be honest because this isnt like traditional fantasy series is why I like it. I don't have to learn a whole new language or be lectured for a whole chapter on what the new horrible creature is and how many ways it can kill the main character.

I felt the first book didn't really need h explanations as it was so action packed you just thought "ok they have magic awesome" and got on with it. The 2nd book there was a lot more depth given which was more believable. I preferred Tavi at school explaining theories on furies to me better then I would have in the first book. So to me that made more sense. The 2nd book also filled in a lot of the gaps as well.

I have just jumped onto amazon to order the 3rd book and I'm totally excited to see what JB does with the 3rd book.

47Irisheyz77
Mar 12, 2008, 9:07am

If you liked the 2nd book then you'll love the 3rd...as it was SO much better. Lots more action....and just so so good. =) I think that the 3rd is my favorite.

48Caspettee
Editado: Mar 16, 2008, 8:05am

#22 Those maps of the Alera world no longer seem to be up.

I was able to find updated maps if anyone was interested you can find them here http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,5303.0.html

49Caspettee
Mar 16, 2008, 8:09am

Along the lines of maps while trolling through the JB forums I found this message posted by JB about the Alerian world which was interesting.

"It is a realm that occupies the lion's share of a continent. :) They share it with the Icement, who have been walled off a la China, only it's worked out a bit better, tactically, and done a little less damage to the economy. Alera, though, is the only nation of humans, and the word "human" and "Aleran" is essentially interchangeable.

The continent next door is linked to the one Alera is on via a land bridge which is where you find the Calderon Valley--hence its importance in relation to matters involving the Marat, who live next door.

The world itself is called Carna, but Alerans (like the inhabitants of many large and insular empires in our own history) in general don't spend much time thinking about things that happen beyond their borders.

Jim"

50Storeetllr
Editado: Abr 2, 2008, 11:36pm

Hey, there ~ I jumped on the bandwagon last night and started reading Furies of Calderon, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Not sure yet that I agree it's better than Dresden, but I'm only about 1/3 of the way in. I do know, however, that I'm glad I took Irish's strongly worded advice and got started on it. :)

51Caspettee
Abr 4, 2008, 4:36am

I know me too. I just got book 3 in the mail and Im itching to read it. But I have book from the library so need to read that one first :)

I agree I couldnt say I love it better then Dresden I like it for different reasons. I would put both Dresden and Alera on the same level for different reasons.

52CursorsFury
Abr 4, 2008, 12:50pm

Caspettee, ditch the library book and start on Cursors! You can always renew the library book. Cursors is so worth overlooking any other book that's around.

A title has been given finally for the 5th book in the series.

Princeps's Fury - release date of Dec. 2nd, 2008

Can't wait.

53Irisheyz77
Abr 4, 2008, 1:27pm

My liking it better than Dresden didn't occur until after book 3. =)

Although now that Small Favor is out the tide might turn back.

54Irisheyz77
Abr 4, 2008, 1:28pm

ooohhh....C'mon December...

I can't wait for the next alera book. =)

55CursorsFury
Editado: Abr 28, 2008, 7:28pm

I just feel lucky that these books are so amazing and they are coming out once a year while he is also writing the Dresden books. I read Kristen Britain's series and they're good too but it takes almost 5 years between books.

56Irisheyz77
Abr 28, 2008, 9:45pm

The fact that he is constantly writing two different series could explain some of the flaws of the novels. It can't be easy keeping track of two different storylines....nor can it be easy to stop writing a story in order to edit another.

57Caspettee
Abr 29, 2008, 3:49am

Irish you are probably right and it would make a lot of sense then. To be honest though I think it reflects his writing too that I can ignore the flaws in the book. Actually I just dont care I love the series.

58Irisheyz77
Abr 29, 2008, 6:03pm

*laughs*

I'm with you Caspettee. Even when I can see whats coming from a million miles away I still love the journey to get there. =)

59Caspettee
Maio 8, 2008, 3:46am

Yes Irsih exactly.

Back on track I recently found this explanation of the Roman influence in the Alera series on Wikipedia I thought it was fascinating:

Author Jim Butcher, when participating in a recent online debate about this subject, said "Alera is set more or less in the present. It just isn't happening on Earth.

"There's plenty of Lost Roman Legion stories out there. Mostly, the stories are about where they went, and what they did when they got there. This one just happens to be about the world they got lost on, and the society that developed there over the next couple of thousand years."

60Lug_D213
Ago 30, 2008, 11:53pm

The Codex Alera is almost the perfect book (to be the perfect book it would need to have more externalized metal furies and a hell of a lot more Kitai)