Book Review 2010 #2: Cursor’s Fury

Next up, a return to Butcher’s Codex Alera universe.

Cursor’s Fury is third in the Codex Alera Series by Jim Butcher and continues the story of Tavi, the fury-less young man whose skill, intelligence and bravery have saved the Empire falling apart around him, twice.
In this third novel, noew that his school studies are behind him, Tavi is sent off to be an officer in the Legions, in specific a new Legion formed by the Gaius in a bid to try and create a force that will not be caught up in the tensions rising in his Empire.
However, the rise of a rebellion causes the Gaius to send Tavi’s Legion out of the way–and, unwittingly, straight into the path of something even worse: An invasion of the canine, wolf like Canim. Tavi’s Legion has been moved out of the way of the frying pan of the rebellion, into the fire of being the only force in the area between the Canim and a large chunk of the Empire.
In the meantime, as always, the story follows Tavi’s Aunt Isana, Uncle Bernard and Bernard’s lover (now wife) Amara as they are sent to try and counter the rebellion threat.
And just where is Tavi’s “barbarian” friend, lover and possible lifemate Kitai in all this?
The Codex Alera universe grows and expands in this third novel, and a couple of characters actions, going back to the first novel, are reviewed and reinterpreted. And again, characters and the world change, develop and progress. Butcher has a real sense of moving events in this books–things do not merely happen only when characters are there to see it, and none of his characters are perfect. And the ending. Anyone can write a decent opening to a novel. Butcher, with the sting in the tail of this ending, proves he can end a book as forcefully as he begins one.
I am definitely looking forward to getting to and reading the next novel in one of the most entertaining epic fantasy series out there.
Butcher’s novels may not be high literary fantasy in the sense of George R R Martin, but they provide “value for money” in terms of entertainment. And, in a mild digressive criticism of Mr. Martin, Butcher has shown little trouble in turning out novel after novel in this entertaining series.
Again, though, don’t start here with this novel if you are new to the Codex Alera universe. Start with Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1), and see for yourself.