Furies of Calderon
by Jim Butcher
4 stars - how cool was that?
ALR Green - some beasts and flying monsters and whatnot
Here, my friends, is a fine example of why I still prefer a good book to a movie or television show. Because unlike watching somebody else's visualization, I get to see everything exactly how I think it should be.
Furies of Calderon is about an attempted coup in the Calderon Valley. Now, there is some description of who is in charge and why and which parties want to conquer whom and their plots to do so, but, mercifully, I didn't have to really keep track of all that too closely. Mainly, after a few introductory pages, this book is about 500 pages of total non-stop wicked awesome what next action.
At the heart of the matter are the people of Calderon and their furies (add an "r" and it would have been a dog book). Furies are elemental forces that people can conjure up. Water furies can drown people on dry land, fire furies ignite them, wind furies allow for air travel, etc. I know, cool, right?
Then there's Tavi, a teen aged boy who, unfortunately is devoid of any furies of his own. Poor kid has to live by his wits. No matter. He manages well enough. He's out collecting his flock of sheep when he discovers that there are evil forces afoot. Like savage marats with flying beasts that will rip your head off. Uh oh.
Meanwhile, Amara, a graduate of the academy of what I'm not sure is doing some sort of final exam with her mentor, Fidelias, only to be taken prisoner and discover that not all was ever as it seemed.
The author bounces around between several stories, but it was easy to keep track of the characters. Everybody is racing to either take over the world or stop people from taking over the world. Along the way there are battles extraordinaire, encounters with scary giant spider monsters, fury crafting, and tons of other fun stuff.
Mr. Butcher does an outstanding job ratcheting up the excitement and, as with any good adventure story, just when you think you know what's next, there's a surprise and, uh oh, more action. Woo hoo!
Historically, I'm not a fan of these sorts of books, but I totally loved this one and will read the sequel. The characters are great and men and women are given equal treatment. Not much time wasted on any mushy stuff, either. Perfect.