Let me start this review by saying that I am a Jim Butcher fan. I love the Dresden files. I like the Codex Alera series. On to the review.
Princep’s Fury is a good book.
However if you’re expecting the witty, grit of the Dresden files, and the surprising outcomes Dresden has to offer then you may be disappointed. This series so far did have a couple twists but at this point, Princep’s Fury is a straight forward all out action, war, magic with some wartime strategy added that takes you along for a fast ride.
The Plot: The Vord are about to crush Alera unbeknownst to Tavi who has ventured off to the Canim lands as an ambassador. Tavi must find a way to deal with the Canim while the issue of him being the First Lord’s heir is up for debate in Alera. In Canea, they find out just to what extent the Vord incursion has expanded while at the same time having to deal with the ever aggressive, warlike Canim. In Alera, the First Lord sends Isana to seek the help of Antillus from the Shield Wall and broker peace with the Icemen after hundreds of years of war. A daunting task indeed. Amara and Bernard are given their own covert task which can make or break First Lord Gaius’ defense. Thrown in between is Aquitane’s move to finally consolidate power to himself. This simply all leads to war. And I loved it.
Scenes and Style When it comes to laying out the world, its creatures, his magic, the strategy used incorporating both the land itself and the furies, Butcher does an excellent job that at times makes me go “WoW!”. I simply love the furies, but then I’m a fan of almost all elemental magic.
The style of writing though at times left something to be desired. In the space of a couple pages, he must have used “he said quietly or she said quietly” about 6 or 7 times. This happened all throughout the book and sometimes the repetitions like this grated me. There were just too many examples for me not to notice.
Characters The meat and potatoes of the book. Combined with the scenes, the action, the magic and at times the plot is why I gave this book four stars. Seeing Tavi grow from having no magical power to what he is now, seeing him learn to lead men, learn to solve problems both small and large and seeing him strategize is an absolute pleasure. Of ocurse there’s his relationship with Kitai and seeing that grow gives us a few laughs, but also helps to establish Tavi even more. Reading Amara and Bernard and seeing them work as one shows the bond they’ve developed and touches me in many ways. Isana is as concerned as ever for her son, her peoples and others she doesn’t quite understand but does not arbitrarily throw them under the bus. Fidelias is as slick as ever, hiding what he truly is. The comparative differences between Marcus and Crassus are a nice touch. Of course watching the Vord Queen and the Canim as a whole are like individual characters and I find myself engrossed in both their worlds and trying to understand them. You will too.
Overall There’s not much more to say here. If not for the tendency to be repetitive during some parts of the dialogue and at times the constant attachment of adverbs to dialogue tags and repeating those, I may have given the book a 4 and a half. As it stands, everything else makes up for that hiccup and Princep’s Fury makes for an engrossing read that leaves you breathless from its neck breaking pace and had me wanting to read First Lord’s Fury. Which of course, I did. Pick up the series if you haven’t read it yet. It’s worth it.