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The Codex Alera
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DarkWind



Joined: 18 Jun 2011
Posts: 947

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: The Codex Alera Reply with quote

Steph-Le-Fou-de-Paris wrote:
Did anyone read the "Codex Alera" series by James Butcher?

I haven't - yet - but I'm curious about it.

I read the Dresden Files. We have to wait until at least the end of the year for the next book to come out. So I thought I'd try the other series while waiting. If anyone else have read them, I'd like to know what they think about it, how it compares.

It's actually very different. Pure fantasy, set in a fictional land (whereas Dresden is in Chicago, with a few forays into the Never-never). The hero, a teenaged boy named Tavi, isn't wisecracking, though he does bear some resemblance to young Harry Dresden. Lots of witchcraft, different from Dresden's magic. Lots of "non-traditional" monsters and supernatural beings (as opposed to your run-of-the-mill trolls, faeries, goblins, vampires, etc.) called the "furies", plus the occasional herdsbane or windmane, not to mention the Marat, the Canim, the Icemen and the dreaded Vord. The direwolves may have been a nod to George RR Martin's SoIaF.

A lot of influence from Roman times in a medieval setting (à la Song of Ice and Fire). Similarities include strong female characters and Butcher's signature "one thing or three" which is cute the first couple of times but gets old in a hurry, especially if you've already come across it a gazillion times in the Dresden Files.

Very entertaining, though. I recommend the series, I think you'll like it. Though the "big revelation" of Tavi's birth came as no surprise to me, I saw it coming from about the middle of the first book. satisfied content
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 6572
Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Jim Butcher's other works Reply with quote

DarkWind wrote:
Though the "big revelation" of Tavi's birth came as no surprise to me, I saw it coming from about the middle of the first book. satisfied content

Half-way through the first book I could already guess whose son Tavi really is. All those significant looks and hesitations between Bernard and Isana about whether to "burden Tavi with the truth" or not. Rolling Eyes

Plus, the titles of the books in the rest of the series. It's a dead give-away. Once, at the end of "Furies of Calderon", you learn that Tavi is going to study at the academy, and you see that the second book is "Academ's Fury", it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the books will follow the stages of Tavi's life and career. By the same token, the last two books' titles tell us who he is. Elementary, my dear Watson! bleh

Still, it's an enjoyable read. You can relax with the suspense and cliff-hangers because you know he'll get out of any tight spot he might find himself in. Very unlike George RR Martin's books, where nobody is bullet-proof, with Jim Butcher we know that both Tavi and Harry Dresden are totally bullet-proof. Literally so in Harry's case, even if one of the books is called "Ghost Story" and supposedly "stars" Harry's ghost. Very Happy
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Xuân Phong



Joined: 05 Mar 2005
Posts: 882
Location: All over the place

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Jim Butcher's other works Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
Very unlike George RR Martin's books, where nobody is bullet-proof, with Jim Butcher we know that both Tavi and Harry Dresden are totally bullet-proof.

True, and that's a relief. No matter how hairy a situation they find themselves in, you know that they'll survive.

One common thing with Dresden that annoys me a bit is how both Dresden and Tavi agonize over killing someone. They do it readily enough, then they spend pages and pages feeling guilty, even when it was in self-defence or totally justified. Rolling Eyes

One big surprise to me was the slave Fade's real identity. And the number of times the character incongruously named "Fidelias" (Butcher's private joke, I guess) switches allegiances.
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ZeroG



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 767
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject: The Codex Alera Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
Plus, the titles of the books in the rest of the series. It's a dead give-away. Once, at the end of "Furies of Calderon", you learn that Tavi is going to study at the academy, and you see that the second book is "Academ's Fury", it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the books will follow the stages of Tavi's life and career. By the same token, the last two books' titles tell us who he is. Elementary, my dear Watson! bleh

Aaaaargh!!! Eek Can't you keep from putting out spoilers like that??? Very Mad

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You can relax with the suspense and cliff-hangers because you know he'll get out of any tight spot he might find himself in.

That's true for the main characters, but what about the secondary ones? I like the two Antillus brothers, for example, Maximus and Crassus, and keep wondering whether they'll make it to the end of the series, considering that two evil High Ladies want them dead. Sure they also want Tavi dead, but we know that Tavi will survive anything, even the lightning strikes from the Canim because he just coincidentally happens to have the right protection device on him. Quite by chance of course. Rolling Eyes
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Winter_vs_Summer



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 676
Location: Where it's warm

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 12:59 pm    Post subject: The Codex Alera Reply with quote

Wildflower wrote:
Very unlike George RR Martin's books, where nobody is bullet-proof, with Jim Butcher we know that both Tavi and Harry Dresden are totally bullet-proof.

Actually, I sometimes wish some of the main characters were NOT bullet-proof, they're so annoying. Isana and Amara get on my nervous system something fierce, I'd like to shake them till their teeth rattle. Twisted Evil I had a false joy when Lady Aquitaine got hit by a poisoned arrow but I (and Fidelias) were disappointed. Pale sigh
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ZeroG



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 767
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: The Codex Alera Reply with quote

Winter_vs_Summer wrote:
Actually, I sometimes wish some of the main characters were NOT bullet-proof, they're so annoying. Isana and Amara get on my nervous system something fierce, I'd like to shake them till their teeth rattle. Twisted Evil I had a false joy when Lady Aquitaine got hit by a poisoned arrow but I (and Fidelias) were disappointed. Pale sigh

I must say Isana grew on me a bit. Amara stays annoying in her self-righteousness, like when she throws her Cursor's symbol at poor old Gaius. Invidia Aquitaine is so bad she's good. Especially when she's with the Vord Queen. Twisted Evil
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Emmanuel



Joined: 22 Dec 2009
Posts: 552
Location: usa

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 10:16 pm    Post subject: Fidelias Reply with quote

Xuân Phong wrote:
... And the number of times the character incongruously named "Fidelias" (Butcher's private joke, I guess) switches allegiances.

Fidelias is a fascinating character. He betrays his masters and his vows for the most selfless of reasons, for what he thinks of as the greater good of the Realm. He seeks no personal gain, he gives of himself, risks his life, makes decisions that turn out to be terrible, kills or saves lives, and accepts the consequences of all the above.

His last scene with Tavi is very moving.
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Winter_vs_Summer



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
Posts: 676
Location: Where it's warm

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 11:00 pm    Post subject: Brothers Reply with quote

Did you notice that brothers or half-brothers are big with Jim Butcher? In the Dresden Files, we have Harry Dresden and Thomas Raith, half-brothers through their mother, one of them illegitimate. In the Codex Alera we have Antillar Maximus and Antillus Crassius, half-brothers through their father, one of them illegitimate. Both pairs of brothers banter and fight with each other but basically love and look out for each other. They may squabble with each other, but when push comes to shove, they fight together against a common enemy.

Quote:
His (Fidelias) last scene with Tavi is very moving.

I also like the scene where Tavi, after condemning Fidelias to death, lets him live after Kitai makes him realize that he shouldn't "waste his death". That, instead of executing him, he should let Fidelias die fighting for King (or in this case First Lord) and Country. I like Fidelias' response when Tavi asks him "How do you want to be remembered?" That response defines his character perfectly.
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Kitai Alera



Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Alera Imperia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Hello! Reply with quote

Thought I'd join the discussion on this. I'm Kitai of Alera, Tavi's chalah and love. Very Happy

I want to see if this picture is too big to serve as a signature.

Testing...

ETA:
Hmm... Looks ok. Now to find an appropriate avatar for the future First Lady of Alera!
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Kitai Alera



Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 21
Location: Alera Imperia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Avatar for Kitai Reply with quote

Since Kitai wanted a horse as a chalah (totem) but ended up bonded with Tavi instead, I finally chose a horse for an avatar. Hope it's ok? Very Happy
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