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27. Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher...

January 26, 2009
Title: Princeps' Fury
Author: Jim Butcher
ISBN-10: 0-441-01638-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-441-01638-9
Hardcover: 386 pages
Publisher: Ace, 2008

Princeps' Fury is book number 5 in the Codex Alera series. Tavi has been recognized by his grandfather as the Crown Prince, and leaves to guide the Canim home, along with the Free Alerans. More for his own safety than anything, really. Seems the Alerans might have a problem with a Crown Prince without any furies.

What he finds when they reach the Canim mainland confirms his worst fears. The Vord have laid waste to the Canim lands, and only one holdout warrior-state remains. Tavi and Varg must convince the leader of that state to let them help him fight the Vord. Not an easy task when the Canim warrior-states are usually at each others' throats.

This book has lots of the same for Tavi - growth, angst, cleverness, and last-minute-hold-your-breath-are-they-going-to-survive suspense. The interactions between the new Canim, and Tavi & the "old" Canim (i.e. the ones who came back from Alera), are sometimes humorous, seeing as how Tavi, Varg, and Nasaug have all gone through the motions.

And while Tavi's away, his grandfather is slowly losing his health, and has to fight the Vord on Alera as well. Isana is sent to the north to negotiate a truce with the Icemen so that the legions there can head south to assist against the Vord. And I have to admit, I skimmed past a lot of the storyline involving Amara and the Count. Because you just know that they're going to do the right thing. Every. Single. Time. Regardless of personal sacrifice and hardship, yada yada yada... Like they're bloody Paladins or something. Ok, gripe over. But c'mon! It's like they're thrown into the book to save their country/people/livestock/whatever, just to fill pages. Because there's no question that they'll do it. And win.

I felt like this book is kind of a throwaway, except for two things. One, Tavi had to be out of the way for political reasons. And two, he had to bring help back to fight the Vord in Alera. So send him & the Canim away, and come back with more of 'em. Oh, and three - there needed to be a Princeps book, to follow the naming scheme of these books. Hopefully the next one's the last. It'll be interesting to see how Tavi adjusts from having no furies to having the most powerful fury in the lands. Will he still trust his instincts and use his brains to solve problems, or will he resort to using brawn, as most are wont to do if it's available?


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