A compulsively fast-paced fantasy adventure, set in Alera, a 'great world in which any reader can get lost' (SF Site)
For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious Lords manoeuvre to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon.
Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, young Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat - return to the Valley, his world will change. Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave. But Amara is actually a spy, seeking intelligence on possible Marat traitors to the Crown. And when the Valley erupts into chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Amara will find Tavi invaluable. His talents will outweigh any fury-born power - and could even turn the tides of war.
'Butcher has created a wonderful new world of fantasy...This first book in the series introduces all the main characters and the creatures and events that make Alera a great world in which any reader can get lost' --SF Site
At the start of Butcher's absorbing fantasy, the first in a new series, the barbarians are at the gates of the land of Alera, which has a distinct flavor of the Roman Empire (its ruler is named Quintus Sextus and its soldiers are organized in legions). Fortunately, Alera has magical defenses, involving the furies or elementals of water, earth, air, fire and metal, that protect against foes both internal and external. Amara, a young female spy, and her companion, Odiana, go into some of the land's remoter territories to discover if military commander Atticus Quentin is a traitor another classic trope from ancient Rome. She encounters a troubled young man, Tavi, who has hitherto been concerned mostly with the vividly depicted predatory "herdbanes" that threaten his sheep as well as with his adolescent sexual urges (handled tastefully). Thinking that Amara is an escaping slave, Tavi decides to help her and is immediately sucked in over his head into a morass of intrigues, military, magical and otherwise. Butcher (Storm Front, etc.) does a thorough job of world building, to say nothing of developing his action scenes with an abundance of convincing detail. This page-turner bodes well for future volumes.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Amazing but drops 2/3 through
The concept and writing of the story is great up until a point about 2/3 of the way through where the entire writing style changes. I don’t know what the author went through at this point but the story becomes sloppy, almost pointless, and how he writes it is just poor. I found myself losing interest and being drawn out of the book, but I kept on pushing and I’m happy I did as the next there’s a big series to get through.
Jim butcher brilliant author! Finished Dresden files but waiting for the Skin Game. Now I'm on to Fury the second book. Can't wait to read it. Exciting, adventure, thrilling and love.
I bought this book, the first of six in the series, as a light read for train journeys. That was two weeks ago and i have now finished all six and have bought hard copies to reread. Simply put this was one of the best series i have read, and I've read pretty much every fantasy epic out there. The writing is engaging, the plot itself has it's own uniqueness, the characters are developed and the dialogue was expressive and witty. There were also a few surprises in the mix that caught me out, which doesn't happen often and was pleasantly satisfying. Highly recommended.