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Amph Jim Butcher- the Codex Alera

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by MasterGandalf, Apr 6, 2009.

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  1. MasterGandalf

    MasterGandalf Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Out of curiosity, has anyone here read the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher? I recently finished the fourth book and have been greatly enjoying it. The storyline is set in a civilization founded by one of the lost Roman legions after they were transported to another world and acquired magical powers over the elements. In a subversion of the usual high fantasy hero, Tavi, the main character, isn't someone born with special powers but apparently the only person in his civilization with no powers at all. Tavi finds himself thrust into having to use his wits to save the Realm from such threats as the Marat (a race of near-human 'barbarians' who form telepathic links with animals), the wolflike Canim (who practice a sort of ghoulish ritual sorcery involving blood sacrifice) and worst of all, the Vord (telepathic creatures of unknown origin that have toppled entire civilizations in the past). In addition to these threats, High Lord Acquitainus schemes to steal the throne from the aging First Lord Gaius Sextus, while the mad High Lord Kalarus has plans of his own. Butcher is quite good at mixing the intrigue and action, and there's never a dull moment. Anyone else enjoy this series?
     
  2. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Yes very good series. I enjoy them more and more. I think I did a thread on it already though? Maybe it was on a dif. forum.....
     
  3. Raven

    Raven Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 1998

    There's a thread on Jim Butcher's other series, [link=http://boards.theforce.net/science_fiction_and_fantasy_books_and_comics/b10749/23314076/p1]The Dresden Files[/link], but I couldn't find one on Alera. Also, I highly recommend the Dresden Files.


    Alera is a fun series.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Butcher writes each book backwards. He thinks of solutions to problems, and then writes the characters into the problems so that they can think of the solutions he's come up with. There's a somewhat unique use for icebergs in the fifth book that's typical of what I'm talking about, but other scenes involving prison breaks, the limits of various senses, even how the Marat people bond with animals, it feels like Butcher figured out a problem and solution for the character to solve and then wrote the characters into the scene to match the situation.
     
  4. s65horsey

    s65horsey Otter-loving Former EUC Mod star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 24, 2006
    I've read one and am on the second one. I really like them. I was a huge fan of the Dresden Files and was looking for more from him.
     
  5. Darth_Fred

    Darth_Fred Jedi Master star 5

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    Mar 1, 2004
    I really hadn't thought about him reverse engineering his plot developments. Interesting concept.

    I consider this series to be one of my favorites. Butcher has a knack for creating elaborate stories without relying on the tried and true fantasy tricks. At least, not all the time. His books read very quickly for me, and I particularly enjoy the brand of humor he brings to all his writing.

     
  6. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jan 12, 2000
    I'll be starting this series shortly on the recommendations of multiple friends... glad to see people on here seem to like it as well :)

    (That was one motive for unlocking this thread, the other was to bring it up for discussion, since said friends who recommended it are registered here :p)
     
  7. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Im reading book 6 right now. This is a really great series. Nice visuals when you read.
     
  8. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jan 12, 2000
    So far I've read the first two and am enjoying the series immensely.

    I was right one hidden identity so far ([hl=black]Fade=Araris Valerian[/hl]) and have one more that I suspect but isn't confirmed yet... [face_thinking] Granted, my logic for the second isn't exactly watertight, so I could be building a house out of cards... but I guess I'll find out sooner or later :p
     
  9. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Finished book 6 the other day and I must say I am very sad to see this series close. I hope we get some more.

    Great stuff, although I must say I was a little bored with book 6 for the first half it just didn't have the umph that the previous ones do. The last half though OMG, that was brilliant.
     
  10. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Feb 12, 2002
    RJ I figured you would have added something in here since you finished....


    Go Saints!!!!!
     
  11. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Huh, I thought I had. Must have just been in the other thread, I guess.

    Anyway, I loved the series, even if Octavian's name annoyed me a bit. Like every time I saw it :p
     
  12. DarthConus

    DarthConus Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2009
    And it did pop up quite a bit hehe.

    But yeah, I LOVED the series! I really enjoy both political intrigue and intense action scenes, and this series was filled to the brim with both. I especially liked how random things early on became extremely significant later, such as [hl=black] the random wasp-like creature awakened in Furies of Calderon becoming the uber-powerful primary antagonist of the entire series.[/hl]

    EDIT: fixing your spoiler markup ;)
     
  13. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    That bit you refer to flowed particularly well when reading the entire series together :)
     
  14. DarthConus

    DarthConus Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Yeah, I'm really gonna have to reread it all at once now (of course, I've got quite a list of books to go though before I start going back to the ones I've already read:D )
     
  15. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Feb 12, 2002
    I was a bit disappointed in that the [hl=black]Icemen[/hl] didn't participate in the last battle. They only helped Tavi to [hl=black]travel the wall[/hl].



    Also I would say we have not read the last of Alera Imperia's world.
     
  16. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Is there anything solid about future books?

    [hl=black]Also, you have to admit what the Icemen did in helping Tavi and company travel was pretty dang impressive.[/hl]
     
  17. JEDI-SOLO

    JEDI-SOLO Jedi Grand Master star 6

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    Feb 12, 2002
    Nothing in concrete yet about it no.


    What they did was [hl=black]extremely cool indeed. Tavi and his legion would never have been able to get there in time without them. I would have liked for them to take a part in the fighting though so we could see what they have, afterall the Cane and the Marat joined the fight. It would just have been nice to include them in the skrimsh.[/hl]
     
  18. Rogue...Jedi

    Rogue...Jedi Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jan 12, 2000
    [hl=black]Perhaps, but the relationship between the Icemen and the Alerans is a lot more tenuous than the relationships between the Alerans and Canim/Marat. Not that the latter are precisely great relations, either, mind you.[/hl]
     
  19. whateveritis12

    whateveritis12 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 29, 2008
    First two books were good, middle two were great/amazing, last two were unimpressive.

    [hl=black]My complaints about the last two were they hinged on the next big battle and pretty much every single part of the books were last stand type fights that involved rear guard actions when running away. That's all the last two books were for the Aleran side.

    Tavi's weren't all that impressive either. His greatest moments are when he comes up with a crazy plan and somehow he pulls things through. Like when he challenged Sar or whatever the canim's name was in the third book, then when he circumvented everything in the 4th and announced himself as Octavian. That was the greatest moment of the whole series, his little speech to the corrupt Senator. It seemed like he was doing something wow worthy every time we had his point of view in the middle books. In the last 2 his only real plan that stood up to what he did in the previous two were his confrontation with the canim queen, his idea to get back to Alera from Canim, and how to get across the continent.

    Other than that the highlight of the last two books were the interaction of the Vord Queen with Lady Aquitaine. The end battle also wasn't impressive. Felt like a big budget movie sure, but used things that seemed to make it look even better and bigger than staying in the rules that he had set.[/hl]
     
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