Book Review 2009 #37: Academ’s Fury

This review is based on listening to about 3/5 of the book on the trip to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks I took in June, and the remaining 2/5 that I read.

Academ’s Fury is the second novel in the Codex Alera sequence by Jim Butcher. Although he is far more well known for the Dresden Files novels, here in the second book of the Codex Alera series, he starts to really show he can do epic fantasy too.
The novel takes place some time after the events of the first novel. Tavi, as promised in the conclusion of the first novel, is now a student at the Academy in the capital city, and serves Gaius Sextus, the ruler of Alera, as a page.
The political threats that ring Gaius threaten to draw Tavi in, especially given his relocation to the heart of the Empire. And then there is a mysterious rising of strange creatures in the north that threaten his uncle Bernard and his lover, the cursor Amara, and the Marat as well. And then there are the savage Canim, who through their Embassy are clearly up to something…
As ably as he showed the pastoral Calderon Valley, in this novel, the partial change of venue (although there are plenty of scenes in this novel too) to the city shows good worldbuilding, and a whole host of new characters, intrigues and venues.
The old characters grow and develop, too. Tavi, Kitai, Amara, Bernard and even Gaius are not set in stone, but grow and change. Come for the world building, stay for the characters and their personal stories.
The appetite that was whetted by listening to the first novel has only been fueled by this one. Readers of the first novel will definitely want to read this one. And, probably like me, will want to read the third one in short order.