Tuesday, 21 July 2009
FANTASY REVIEW: Furies of Calderon - Jim Butcher
For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies - elementals of earth, air, fire, water and metal. But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious Lords manoeuvre to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon. Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, young Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans' most savage enemy - the Marat - return to the Valley, his world will change. Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave. But Amara is actually a spy, seeking intelligence on possible Marat traitors to the Crown. And when the Valley erupts into chaos - when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies - Amara will find Tavi invaluable. His talents will outweigh any fury-born power - and could even turn the tides of war.
When it was announced that Jim Butchers Fantasy series was about to be released for the first time in the UK, I found myself covered in goose bumps. Add to the mix that I was already a huge fan of his Dresden books I started a countdown for the books arrival originally in days and months and then down to hours as I eagerly waited by the window for the Postie to arrive.
So you can pretty much imagine how upset I was when I started this novel and found it was nothing special, there’s plenty of fantasy authors out there that write better, plenty with more original plots and did leave me wondering if this novel was more about releasing something based on his previous success rather than having something special released.
When I started thinking like that, I had to put aside my previous thoughts and I decided to treat this as a new author and did my damnedest to forget all about Harry. Whilst it was hard to do so, it did make it easier to get into this novel. It is written well although at times a bit too predictable and it will give the readers the sort of standard fare that will satisfy them. However it won’t give them any new and as such if fans are expecting Jim to do something for Fantasy in much the same way he did for Urban Fantasy then they’re going to be sadly disappointed. A great shame.