Category Archives: Book Review

Princep’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 2 treasure boxes
Book five of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 24, 2009), Paperback: 640 pages, ISBN-10: 0441017967, ISBN-13: 978-0441017966

Princeps‘ Fury is an action filled story, told in great Jim Butcher style. The story continues with the threat of the Canin greatly reduced, but Tavi is once again sent away, this time overseas with the Canin. The High Lord is hoping to protect Tavi but once they arrive, they are met with a huge surprise. In the meanwhile back in Alera the Vord have reappeared. This story takes place in both Alera and Canin.

This is the fifth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. It is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There was plenty of action, some of it pretty gory, and all coming from various different characters and different events.  I liked how they escaped the Canin homeland, I liked how more information was revealed about the Great Fury, and I liked the details provided about Tavi’s father.  There were minor developments in the characters and a bit more information about the Vord was revealed.

The story ebbed at the end with some minor conclusions, but it did not come to any real closure, so the story ended in the middle of the conflict.  I always find it annoying when a book is not a complete story with a beginning, middle and end but it did motivate me to read First Lord’s Fury.
To Purchase: “Princeps’ Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Captain’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review:2 treasure boxes
Book four of the Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (November 25, 2008), Paperback: 656 pages, ISBN-10: 0441016553, ISBN-13: 978-0441016556

Tavi, as Captain has now successfully held the Canin back for 2 years.  Due to his youth, there is an annoying political ploy to remove him and then change his successful battle strategy. Tavi also finally learns his proper heritage.  This story continues both the Canin incursion as well as the civil war conflict with Kalare and takes place about 2 years after Cursor’s Fury.

Captain’s Fury is the fourth of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There are some startling developments in the story.  There are a number of exciting scenes, one where Tavi breaks out of prison, one where he breaks the leader the Canin out of prison and another is where his uncle sneaks into Kalare lands. I liked this book better than Cursor’s Fury, I thought the story was well told.

This books comes to a complete conclusion of the story, yet leaves room for the story to continue, which is the best kind of ending. I recommend this series, but you need to read the books in order since the story builds. I am looking forward to reading Princeps’ Fury.
To Purchase: “Captain’s Fury” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Cursor’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 1 treasure box
Book Three of Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (November 27, 2007), Paperback: 704 pages, ISBN-10: 0441015476, ISBN-13: 978-0441015474

The Vord are nowhere to be found and most people do not believe in their existence or in their proposed threat. The story-line takes place about 2 years after The Academ’s Fury. Tavi is just finishing school, continuing to fight against prejudice, working as an assistant to the First Lord and developing a relationship with the head of the Canin, who is being held prisoner. Due to the political struggles a civil war is breaking out. Tavi is sent away to start his spying career as a junior officer, but he is really sent away to isolate him from harm.

This is a new and interesting concept in Fantasy. The series is about a country called Alera on the world of Carna, where there are elemental beings that can control metal, air, water, earth or fire, they are called Furies. Some of these beings are wild and can do harm, but when they are wild they do not seem to have a lot of intelligence. There are also several peoples who live there. They all have different physical looks and abilities.

The Cursor’s Fury is the third of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a high fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous contemporary fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

I enjoyed this book, though not as much as the first two, as it was not as compelling.  I found it to have too many unbelievable battle scenes.  Tavi still does not have any fury-craft abilities, yet he continues to develop in other ways.  Although he was sent to a post that was to have little action, Tavi ends up being in charge of the only Aleran post between the Canin host and the rest of Alera. While facing several challenges he must lead his men to fight an almost impossible task.

The story did not have a proper conclusion; it left off in mid-story to be continued in the next book, Captain’s Fury.  I prefer a story that is a standalone, rather than half a story; however, it highly motivated me to pick up the next book in the series to find out what happened.

to buy Cursor’s Fury (Codex Alera, Book 3), click here or on picture above

Academ’s Fury by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 3 treasure boxes
Book two of Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (November 28, 2006), Paperback: 720 pages, ISBN-10: 0441013406, ISBN-13: 978-0441013401

Academ’s Fury takes place about 2 years after The Furies of Calderon. Tavi is away from home, studying.  He still has no ability to use Furies and needs to deal with the prejudice and overall lack of strength that this causes. Regardless he is very talented in many ways and is training as a spy for the crown. We are introduced to the evil Vord with Tavi and the empire facing this vile enemy.

Academ’s Fury is the second of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a High Fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous Contemporary Fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

There is a definite development in Tavi’s character as well as the introduction of some new characters. There is also the development of a love story, but that is quite minor. The Vord and Canim are introduced in this book. There is a great fight scene where Tavi is defending against an attack from the Vord (in the guise of Canin, the Vord have “taken” some of the Canin.) We learn more about the Vord and how to fight them.

The book comes to a good conclusion and is very satisfying. This is another exciting book from Jim Butcher with lots of action. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this series.
To purchase from Amazon, click this link or the picture above
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Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review: 3 treasure boxes
Book one of  Codex Alera
Publisher: Ace (June 28, 2005), Paperback: 672 pages, ISBN-10: 044101268X, ISBN-13: 978-0441012688

An unexpected attack from the Marat, shows the depth of Tavi’s character right from the start. This leads to Tavi and his uncle uncovering a planned invasion which threatens the empire. Before long Tavi becomes integral in the battle as he gets pulled into the political and military intrigue.

This is a new and interesting concept in Fantasy. The series is about a country called Alera on the world of Carna, where there are elemental beings that can control metal, air, water, earth or fire, they are called Furies. Some of these beings are wild and can do harm, but when they are wild they do not seem to have a lot of intelligence. There are also several peoples who live there. They all have different physical looks and abilities.

Furies of Calderon is the first of six books in the Codex Alera Series. This is a High Fantasy taking place in the Aleran Empire in a society similar to that of ancient Rome. This book is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters point of view, but primarily from that of the main protagonist Tavi. Jim Butcher has also written numerous Contemporary Fantasy books, primarily the Dresden Files.

The story starts with plenty of intrigue, showing how the current social & political structure is not working. We are introduced to Tavi, the main protagonist, who is very resourceful especially since he has a disadvantage in that he is unable to utilize any furies, which is the main source of magic.

The first book was very exciting almost from the first page. It does a great job of introducing and developing the characters, all who are well rounded. There was plenty of action and some innovative ways to resolve conflict. The story also subtlety deals with prejudice.

There is a good satisfying conclusion, with a good stepping stone to the next installment. I really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to Academ’s Fury. I recommend this book, it is original and fun to read.
To purchase from Amazon, click here or on picture above

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The Codex Alera series By Jim Butcher

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Codex Alera Series

Book Review:  2   Treasure Boxes

This is a new and interesting concept in Fantasy.  The series is about a country called Alera on the world of Carna, where there are elemental beings who can control metal, air, water, earth or fire, they are called Furies.  Some of these beings are wild and can do harm, but when they are wild they do not seem to have a lot of intelligence.  There are also several peoples who live there. They all have different physical looks and abilities.

There are the Calderons who the story centers around, and who resemble us physically, and almost everyone has the ability to bond  with Furies. They can both with anywhere from 1 to 5 Furies from the age of adolescence on with varying degrees of strength.  The nobility tend to have access to the most Furies with the greatest strength, and as this ability tends to be hereditary, that probably explains why.

The Marats, who are similar to us, but different in looks in that they are extremely pale, light skinned and different in that they have an ability to bond mentally and emotionally with other creatures.

The Carin are humanoid but with wolf characteristics both physically and socially.  They have access to a different form of magic that they acquire through the death blood of either their enemies or their own people.

The Iceman are savage, apelike creatures who can communicate with each other without speaking and they seem to have control over the weather.

The final peoples are the Vord, who are enemies to everyone.  They are not humanoid, but rather more insectoid. They operate under the mental command of queens, have the ability to read minds, can burrow into a dead body and re-animate it while adding great strength and no fear. They can also move extremely fast. The queen has the ability to hatch out many different sized and shaped Vord, she also has the ability to create new forms of Vord to better able them to fight their enemies.

The stories center around Tavi a young sheep herding apprentice. From the Calderon valley of Alera and his family. There are 6 books in the series, where Tavi is the protagonist, showing his growth as a person as well as his many adventures fighting the various peoples on his world.  I found the series to be interesting and intriguing.

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


Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The Hollows

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Hollows Series, book 1
Publisher: HarperCollins ebook, 658 KB (432 pages,)


This is a fun book to read.  It introduces the three main characters who live and work together.  Rachel is a sassy and independent Witch, she is also a good fighter, Jenks is a hunkie 4″ Pixie who lives in the garden with his wife and large brood of kids.  Ivy is a sexy, dangerous undead vampire who has the hots for Rachel.  The premise of the book is established where Rachel is setting up as an independent runner (like a private investigator,) working with both Jenks and Ivy. Rachel hasn’t yet been hired to do any work, but she is trying to clear her name, so she can remove the death threat against her. (Hence the name of the book.) In the process she is getting in and out of all kinds of trouble.

Dead Witch Walking is the first book in The Rachel Morgan/The Hollows Series. Currently there are nine books in the series, with another three or four expected to be relaesed in the future. This series is a modern day story that centers around inderlanders: witches, weres, vampires and others including the occasional demon, so it falls into the Contemporary Fantasy or Urban Fantasy genre. It is told in the first person narrative from Rachel Morgan’s point of view, she is the main protagonist.

We learn about the world they live in where Inderlanders and humans live side by side.  We also watch the development of the relationship between the three main characters and we meet new characters and experience new situations with the characters.  It is highly entertaining, with lots of action. This is a stand alone book with a good build right up to an exciting conclusion.

I really enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. If you enjoy reading contemporary fantasy novels with a sassy witch as the main protagonist, then you will enjoy this book.

 

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison

3 Treasure Boxes

Good looking sexy characters with spunk.  The protagonist is an earth witch (a witch who draws her power from the earth, rather than a ley line,) named Rachel with a 4” hunkie pixie side kick with attitude named Jenks and a gorgeous sexy and dangerous undead vampire (a person who has the vampire virus, but hasn’t died yet so is still partially human,) named Ivy.

This series is a modern day story that centers around Inderlanders: witches, weres, vampires and others including the occasional demon.  The story line for each book is around these three characters who are runners (kind of like Private Investigators for Inderlanders.) There is a reference to the Ever After, another dimension connecting their world to an underlying world where ley line power runs through both connecting the worlds.  The Ever After is where the Demons reside. The series is interesting, captivating and fun to read.

First Book: Dead Witch Walking, Second Book: The Good, The Bad and the Undead, Third Book: Every Which Way but Dead, Fourth Book: A Fistful of Charms, Fifth Book: For a Few Demons More, Sixth Book: The Outlaw Demon Wails, Seventh Book: White Witch, Black Curse, Eighth Book: Black Magic Sanction

The Demon Awakens by R.A. Salvatore

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The DemonWars Saga

Book Review:  no trash cans and no treasure boxes
First Book of the first trilogy in the Demon Wars Series
Publisher: Del Rey (February 28, 1998), Paperback: 624 pages, ISBN-10: 0345421620, ISBN-13: 978-0345421623


This book takes place on a world that is equivalent to our pre-technological world, but it includes Goblins, Giants, Dwarfs, Elves, Demons and magic.  It starts out with 3 different, seemingly unrelated people and events, the first is the re-awakening of our antagonist the demon dactyl, the second is an introduction of our protagonist Elbryan Wyndon, who is thirteen years old, the third is a young monk named Avelyn.

I really enjoyed the first third of the book where the characters were introduced, I found them to be intriguing.  However, by the half way point I found the book to be a bit slow and draggy.  The story is your typical good versus evil, however there is not much dimension in the characters, they are either good or evil, with next to no variety in their personalities or characters. I found the story to be predictable and more of a chore to read than a pleasure.  The ending was true to form and not very satisfying.

To purchase: “The Demon Awakens” from Amazon, click here or on picture

The Night Watch Series by Sergei Lukyanenko

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series The Night Watch
2 Treasure Boxes
This is a highly entertaining modern fantasy novel that is written in an unique manner. This series was originally written in Russian and then translated to English.
It takes place in Russia and the story revolves around “Others”. “Others” are people who have the ability to access the “Twilight”, which allows them to use Magic, but at a cost.  These “Others” include Witches, Magicians, Enchantress/Sorceress, Vampires, Werewolves, and others.  With each individual having different levels of power.
There are basically 3 power structures within the “Others”, there are those who are on the side of the light, those on the side of the dark and inquisitors, who are on neither the light or dark side, but rather are above both and monitor both.  The circumstances surrounding a human being when he/she becomes an “Other” will determine whether they are a light other or a dark other.
All 3 power structures main purpose is to maintain an equal balance between the light and the dark. The books all revolve around the protagonist Anton Gorodetsky. Each book has 3 separate, complete stories which are all related to  create a larger story.  Each book is complete unto itself, which is very nice. It takes a little while to get used to the writing, since it was originally written in Russia.

Book 1: The Night Watch,      
Book 2: The Day Watch           

Book 3: The Twilight Watch,

Book 4: The Last Watch