First Lord’s Fury: Here ends a fun fantasy epic!

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsFirst Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher

fantasy book reviews Jim Butcher Codex Alera 6. The First Lord's FuryGrab your helms, shields and swords, fantasy fans. In First Lord’s Fury, Jim Butcher is taking you to war! In the 6th and final book in the CODEX ALERA series, Butcher not only takes you to war, but makes you laugh and cry along the way. First Lord’s Fury is a very suitable ending to what I found to be a most enjoyable fantasy series. The CODEX ALERA series takes place several thousand years after a lost Roman legion found its way to another world and rebuilt a society. The novels’ setting, the realm of Alera, is therefore loosely based on ancient Roman culture. The story follows a young man named Tavi through his eventful life and First Lord’s Fury is the ultimate conclusion of Tavi’s story. In the previous books, Tavi finds himself in impossible situations and relies upon his wit and support from loved ones to win the day. First Lord’s Fury is no different in that respect. Where this book differs is that the weight that’s been placed upon Tavi has grown significantly. A feeling of utter desperation takes root in all the characters. People die, families are torn asunder, the realm is in total chaos, and everything depends on Tavi.

Jim Butcher does a fine job of making the reader understand the strain his characters are under, but without letting us lose hope. This book is the antithesis to the new, darker, tragic-for-the-sake-of-tragedy fantasy that authors like Joe Abercrombie and George R.R. Martin have popularized. In the CODEX ALERA series, it’s never a matter of “will they get out of the mess,” but rather how will they get out, and at what cost? The characters’ strengths are hope, love, and loyalty and they are infinitely likeable. No character is beyond the reader’s compassion, for the antagonists are developed as deeply as the heroes are.

First Lord’s Fury is not perfect. Some may find the story trite and somewhat predictable. Those who failed to jive with the series after book 2 or 3 will not find any redemption here. The narrative is not complex; it’s rather straightforward. After reading First Lord’s Fury, you are not going to sit and contemplate man’s inhumanity to man, or stew over great moral quandaries. It’s a simple tale of adventure, war, and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds. The message I got from First Lord’s Fury (and CODEX ALERA in general) is that no matter the problem, no matter the hardship, there is hope, and with self-sacrifice and support from loved ones any obstacle can be overcome. And that it doesn’t matter who you were, or where you came from. It only matters who you become.

~Justin Blazier


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThis whole series was pretty standard epic fantasy. If you’ve enjoyed it so far, you’ll definitely want to read this ending which is pretty exciting but predictable at the same time.

~Kat Hooper


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JUSTIN BLAZIER (on FanLit's staff September 2009 – September 2012) Like many fantasy enthusiasts, Justin cut his teeth on Tolkien. Due to lack of space, his small public library would often give him their donated SFF books. Justin lives in a small home near the river with his wife, their baby daughter, and Norman, a mildly smelly dog. He doesn't have much time for reviewing anymore, but he still shows up here occasionally to let us know how he feels about stuff.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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