Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 55/100
Academ’s Fury By Jim Butcher
Finished on 6/22/2017
Genres: Fantasy, Political fantasy, High Fantasy
The First Lord of all Alera has fallen into a coma, and factions are now plotting to take his throne. Can Tavi save the Empire, or will the wolfmen, the bugmen or the elemantalists steal the throne?
Man, I’ve forgotten how good Butcher is at writing characters and dialog. It’s been 3 years since I read his book ‘Skin Game,’ and since then I’d forgotten how good of an author he is. It makes me want his next ‘Dresden Files’ book all the more.
This is book 2 in the Codex Alera, a high fantasy series set in a pseudo-Roman setting. It has Citizens and Centurions and slavery, but it is not set on Earth. Tavi is the only man in the empire who doesn’t have magic, so to survive he has to use cleverness to get ahead. Tavi, as well as his friends, are all lovable and memorable characters.
For the sake of constructive criticism I must point out that the villains all kinda suck. This is true here and in the ‘Dresden Files.’ The Vord (aka Zerg) lack personality by their very definition. Brensis is an ax murdering version of Draco Malfoy. Brensis’s father Lord Kalare is so two-dimensionally evil that he’s willing to kill children. The Aquatanes are a little better, but not by much. The wolfmen are kinda interesting, but they acted as you’d expect generic wolf men to act. In short we had no anti-villains, no characters who weren’t a lighter shade of black. All the bad guys were boringly evil.
The plot was a thriller plot. Tavi and friends have to keep the First Lord’s coma a secret to give him time to wake up, in order to prevent the nation from falling apart. This requires subterfuge, cunning and trickery. And, since this is a Butcher book, lots of combat. Plot is one of Butcher’s strong points, so I left very satisfied in this area.
Net total, this was a pretty good book. Not top 100 best books I’ve ever read good, but I enjoyed the dialog and the characters. I think I’ll keep reading the series.