Posts Tagged With: Furies of Calderon

Review: Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher

Book review of Jim Butcher’s Furies of Calderon

fantasy books Jim Butcher's Furies of CalderonJim Butcher is one of the hottest names in urban fantasy right now, but how does his writing style translate into the epic fantasy genre? This was the main question I wanted to answer when approaching Furies of Calderon. I’ve only read the first novel in Butcher’s Dresden Files series, Storm Front, and enjoyed it thoroughly, but I wondered how Butcher’s knack for writing fast-paced mystery in an urban setting would transfer to a classic epic fantasy.

The characters in Furies of Calderon are good, if not as memorable as Harry Dresden and crew. We have Tavi, a boy who is handicapped by not having matured into his fury – what Butcher describes as magic – when everyone else his age has already gained their fury. We are introduced to a fairly standard cast of characters: Tavi’s uncle and aunt, keepers of Bernardholt, Amara, a girl in the king’s employ, and a great villain in Fidelias. Butcher has created a great people in the Marat – savages that have trained ostrich-like birds to do their bidding, and we even get to see some flying knights in Furies of Calderon.

Magic in Furies of Calderon is something that everyone just has by their nature of being human. Each individual has a connection with some element of nature: some draw from the air and storms, others from the earth, and others still from water. It was interesting to read Furies of Calderon and immediately follow up by reading Sanderson’s The Way of Kings; these are two novels that contain storms that are more harsh than normal, and both have a connection to the magic system, Sanderson’s albeit a bit more inventive.

Furies of Calderon moves along at a good pace; I did not once feel like the novel was dragging. There are plenty of action sequences, and the plot moves along like a good epic fantasy should: characters identify problems, embark on adventures to resolve said problems, and team up with other forces to accomplish goals that might not have been possible to accomplish alone. It seems that Butcher’s craft that has been honed writing urban mystery novels has translated well, at least in format, to the epic fantasy genre.

Furies of Calderon is a good stand-alone novel. The main character Tavi starts out with many doubts, and by the end of the novel he has a real sense of accomplishment. In this, Furies of Calderon works well as a self-contained novel, but does leave the door open for future tales, as he has already demonstrated by publishing five subsequent volumes in the series.

For me, Furies of Calderon just didn’t pack that extra punch that pushes some fantasy novels into that upper tier. Being Butcher’s first time out in the epic fantasy genre, this may have been the intent: get a good, solid first novel out there to serve as the foundation for future volumes where he’ll be able to take more risks and be a bit more inventive in the epic fantasy genre. I’ll be interested in seeing where he takes the series next, and if he ups the ante with the following books in the Codex Alera series.

You can purchase Furies of Calderon over at

Fantasy Book News Ratings

  • Overall: 6 out of 10
  • Plot Originality
  • Setting Development
  • Characterization
  • Dialog
  • Pace

Fan Ratings

Categories: Jim Butcher, Reviews, The Codex Alera | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Fantasy Blogosphere: May 23, 2010

We’ve found so many reviews this week you won’t know where to begin. From Warriors to Furies to Empires you can check out reviews of some of fantasy’s hottest authors and recent works here.

Last on our list this week is an interview at The Dragon Page with Charlaine Harris, and I have to say I was disappointed. Not in the interview, the interview is in fact great, but I was really hoping to find a mastermind behind the wild success of Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. Rather than sounding like the Sookie novels were planned, well organized and well thought out prior to being written, Harris comes off as aloof, making it sound like all the novels in the series were just written on a whim, and that the success really has nothing to do with any semblance of a structured plan. To me, this lends even more credibility to the notion that the whole vampire romance/urban fantasy genre is a fluke, a fad that will pass as quickly as pogo balls and hot pink Hammer pants. The guys at The Dragon Page seem to hint that they feel the same way, but they dance around it a bit, as is only natural when you’re interviewing one of the genre’s heavyweights. They even go so far as to mention an impending collapse, stating that Harris, Jim Butcher and Laurell K. Hamilton would be the only authors in the genre able to survive such an implosion. I’ve been covering the Amazon top 5 fantasy bestsellers for over a year now, and I won’t say I’d welcome such an implosion, but it would freshen up the list a bit. Just sayin’.

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Top 10 Fantasy Books for 2010

Here’s my list of the books I’m most excited to read in 2010. The first three are not released yet, and are possibly the most highly anticipated fantasy novels slated for (potential) release in 2010. Picks 4-6 are historical fiction, or some twist on the sub-genre. Books 7-9 are continuations, if not necessarily in the same series, of authors I’ve already read at least once. And my final pick is a classic thrown in for good measure.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

I know its been five years since A Feast for Crows. But Pat over at Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist has this book slated for release in 2010, and he knows George R.R. Martin personally. Coincidence? Hopefully, for legions of A Song of Ice and Fire Fans, its a bit more.

A Dance with Dragons

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

The first two books in Scott Lynch’s fantasy debut series have redefined the meaning of action fantasy. Saying the third book in this seven book series is highly anticipated is like saying Tiger Woods made a boo-boo. In other words, its going to be huge.

The Republic of Thieves

The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss delivered a home run with his first novel, The Name of the Wind, and rightfully earned himself a seat among the top dogs in the fantasy novel industry. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that we’ll see this one drop in 2010.

The Wise Man's Fear

Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson

With a degree in anthropology, Steven Erikson’s ability with characterization should be fantastic. Gardens of the Moon is the first book in the ten book Malazan Book of the Fallen series. With historical fiction gaining traction in the industry and the popularity of the later novels in this series recently, I’m interested to get Erikson’s take on fantasy novels.

Gardens of the Moon

Acacia by David Anthony Durham

Durham has traveled the world, and lived in Scotland for a number of years, before landing in California as a Creative Writing professor at California State University. He’s made a name for himself writing novels involving The American Civil War, Carthage and the war with the Roman Republic. Acacia is his first attempt in the epic fantasy genre, and has made some noise in the industry.


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Fantasy Blogosphere: August 16, 2009

Wow, away for one week and you miss a ton!  Here’s a rundown of the happenings in the fantasy blogosphere over the past two weeks.

Whew! Seems like there’s a lot of people reading Brandon Sanderson and reviewing his work these days.  I wonder if taking over the Wheel of Time series for Robert Jordan has anything to do with this popularity.

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