Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

First Lords Fury First Lords Fury
by Jim Butcher

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Stephen Litten

Jim Butcher’s First Lord’s Fury completes the Codex Alera, which is a hexology (six-parter). Tavi is now Gaius Octavian Severus, though not First Lord of Alera. That position is currently held by Lord Aquitaine, whose wife is key to the Vord advance through Alera. And while Lord Aquitaine is a good military commander, he lacks the understanding of the Vord necessary to destroy them utterly, or at least in Alera.

Tavi has inherited one fury from his grandfather, the fury that personifies Alera. She is the most powerful of the furies, being an amalgam of a number of local furies, but her form and constant companionship with the previous First Lords has given her some insights into humanity: she has become a useful councillor. The Vord Queen has Lady Aquitaine and later, Lady Isana, Tavi’s mother. The Vord Queen has found the humans to be more complex than other species she has eliminated and cannot understand their persistent refusal to be consumed. She starts to behave in a human fashion in order to understand them. This unusual behaviour is comic, sad and alien. Naturally the big showdown comes at the end of the book, where the fate of Alera, the Murat, Icemen and Canim are decided.

Once again Butcher has delivered another ripping yarn. His heroes are constant displays of goodness, with the villains providing the more nuanced behaviour. (But villains always did get the best lines.) While not quite as compelling as the rest in the series, perhaps because Butcher was wrapping it all up, it was a good story, with the reader often wondering how Tavi would solve a particular problem; he now has two choices, use his brain or use his furies. All in all, a satisfying conclusion to a good series. On reflection, I would put the Codex Alera series into the "Young Adult" section: a bit tougher than Harry Potter, but not as gritty as The Dresden Files. Read and enjoy.

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