Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Cursors Fury Cursor's Fury:
Codex Alera Book 3
by Jim Butcher

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Stephen Litten

This is the third of Jim Butcher’s fantasy series (The Codex Alera) set in his quasi-Roman fantasy world. Once more we follow the adventures of Tavi, one of the few Alerans who doesn’t have a fury (earth, air, fire or what have you spirit) under his control. Tavi must survive by his wits. Luckily, he has these in spades. The rest of the population seem to rely on their furies to bulldoze their way through problems. Tavi solves his by thinking. He has survived going to the Academy, and has now been promoted to Cursor, a sort of travelling investigative magistrate responsible to the First Lord, putative leader of the Alerans. Once again there is plotting and scheming to get rid of the heirless old man, who is hanging on to power by a combination of luck, skill and general indecisiveness among his more powerful than ordinary (but less powerful than him) subjects. He’s First Lord because he controls more powerful furies than anybody else and can work "fury-craft" better than they can.

A new Legion has been created that reports directly to him from followers of all the Houses that theoretically is mostly for show. Tavi, as a cursor, is attached to find out who is lining up with whom. All well and good until another Lord decides to rebel and aligns himself with an invading horde of Canim, dog-like bipeds introduced in the second book. Suffice to say everything goes pear-shaped very quickly, and the new Legion suddenly finds itself in combat, something it wasn’t supposed to do for at least a couple of years. Treachery and intrigue abound, With Tavi and his relatives in the thick of it.

Butcher has brought back many of the characters from the first book, The Furies of Calderon, and hatched a few surprises, some of which aren’t all that surprising to the observant reader. Finally we learn who Tavi’s parents are, who Fade is, and what on character who disappeared at the end of book one is up to. As a series it hangs together well, and if Butcher is reluctant to kill his main characters, at least he is prepared to put them in considerable danger. A good read if you like high fantasy, with a refreshing lack of elves, dwarves and the other usual suspects.

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