Review of CAPTAIN'S FURY by Jim Butcher (see his website)
BOOK FOUR OF THE CODEX ALERA
Ace, December 2007
As captain of Alera's First Legion, Tavi has spent two years holding the invading Canim warriors to a draw. Now, though, Senator Arnos has brought two more legions into the battle--and he's intent on destroying both Tavi and his reputation. Arnos intends to be the champion of the nation, setting himself up as a candidate for emperor when the current emperor dies. To make sure Tavi is completely disgraced, the senator orders him to murder civilians--something he knows Tavi will never do.
Tavi's composure is shaken when he learns that the woman he thought was his aunt is actually his mother, and that his late father was the heir to the Alaran thrown. Still, he believes that the war can be won without massive slaughter--that the Canim are anxious to end the invasion and head to their homes. Unfortunately, Arnos wants his triumph and Tavi can do little from the prison where he's locked up after disobeying orders. Fortunately for Tavi, he has a number of friends, and his powers of magic are gradually growing.
Author Jim Butcher (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Butcher) continues his Codex Alera series with an adventure that combines Roman-style military tactics, magic, personal bravery, and political jockeying for position during the decline of the aging emperor. A Roman-style government, military and political system provides a solid base on which Butcher can add his magical system (based on personifications of the different elements). Tavi (Octavian) continues to grow as a character, creating loyalties among his men (and women) that will serve him well if he can survive to become emperor. But at the end of CAPTAIN'S FURY, he's exposed to the Aleran nobility as heir-apparent. His problems with assassins are about to be multiplied.
Butcher is best known for his fine Dresden File series. The Codex Alera series is a great addition to his output. Fans of magical world-style fantasy will definitely want to read this entire series.
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