First Lord’s Fury
Ace Books (784 pp, $9.99, paperback November 2010)
Reviewed by Chris Braak
Despite the phenomenal success of his better known Dresden Files, the steady-hand and breakneck pace of First Lord’s Fury suggests that maybe Jim Butcher’s heart lies in epic fantasy.
First Lord’s Fury is the sixth, and presumably final, book in Butcher’s Codex Alera series. It brings to conclusion the long war that the Alerans and their sometimes-enemies, sometimes-allies, the Canim, have been fighting against the Vord. As in previous novels, the action is split: first between Tavi’s family who, along with the survivors of Alera Imperia (which was destroyed when a volcano erupted under it) fight a holding action across what remains of Alera, pursued to its edge by the relentless insectoid Vord. Meanwhile, Tavi – Gaius Octavian himself, the new First Lord of Alera – his band of merry men, and his new army of gigantic lycanthropes, struggle to develop increasingly improbable means to cross an entire continent in time to save the last remnants of his civilization.