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Monday, 7 November 2016

Review: Academ's Fury

Academ's Fury Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jim Butcher's first two books in his Codex Alera are fascinating - weighted with capable, yet flawed female and male characters, and full of political intrigue and adventure. The very concept: an alien world populated by future descendants of the Roman people is intriguing. However, at times the writing itself feels 'too neat' and the suspension of disbelief falters.

The book follows Tavi, a young man in a world of furycrafters, who cannot furycraft. Furycrafting is the magic system of this world, whereby each citizen has possession of one or more elemental spirits called furies. This concept is of course, based upon the Roman mythologies and the concept of the one 'freak hero' in a world of magic who has none himself. In this book in particular, however, the reader witnesses the development of Tavi as a man - whereas in the first book he was a young adolescent. This develops Tavi as an interesting character and leads the reader to want to follow his journey onwards across the continuing novels.

As far as fantasy works travel this is a 'nice' book. It is a neat distraction that allows the reader to pass away the time without every being anything grander. Yet it is for this reason that the novel works entirely. It is polished escapism.

At times Jim Butcher weighs his story and world down with various political machinations which add a depth of realism to his characters and story but which drag down the entertainment value. Which leads me to consider that I must complete the entire series before making an appropriate judgement of where the entire narrative is leading towards.

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