The furies in this storyline are physical controllable manifestations of the elements, earth, air, water, metal, wood, fire. These furies permeate and drive the storyline through out the whole series and provide a interesting backdrop on which the Tavi's story plays out. Everyone in the story has some control over one if not several of these furies. This control give them the ability to control
Now when I say everyone has control of furies I mean everyone. The only exception to this is young Tavi the main character around which the story evolves. He is considered a “freak” in Aleran society to be shunned by some, hated by others and pitied by all. This lack of furies gives young Tavi his drive to make something of himself in a society where all power and wealth is based on how many furies you control and how powerful they make you.
How he builds the world that all these characters live in is just a treat. Its is all done through first person experiences and descriptions that really bring out the detail of each location. When I first read the novels is was so easy form me to picture the Princeps Memorium, Calderon Valley and what the capital Alera Imperia would actually look like. I have read very few authors that can so easily capture my imagination and put it in the world I am reading.
My of my favorite things about the series are the battle scenes. With the power of the furies and the discipline of a Roman legion the havoc that the author wrecks in the realm of Alera is astounding. The series begin with the realm on the cusp of a civil war in which city state would be pitted against city state. The civil war and the battle for survival of the realm that follows is brilliantly written with amazing victories, awful defeats and heart wrenching last stands intermixed through out the story. I really enjoy how the author combined traditional roman battle tactics like the shield wall with the power of the furies . This power which lets their knights fly, burn their enemies to ash or to turn the ground at there feet against them. This power however is not always enough though against the enemies that Tavi and Alera must face. Time and again Tavi uses his wits and raw courage to save himself and Alera as he is thrust into center stage in much of this conflict by his desire to prove something and when others use him for there own aims.
Overall the series is excellent depiction of a fantasy world mired in war, political intrigue, and long suffering lower class just waiting to change the world. If you are are a fan of well written broad in scope fantasy with rousing and inspirational battle sequences and great characters then the Codex Alera is the series for you. It can be found at most major bookstores, library’s and online.
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(price as of Apr 9, 2016)