Academ’s Fury by Jim Butcher is the sequel to Furies of Calderon and book two in the Codex Alera series. It takes place a couple of years after the first book, following Tavi’s adventures in the Academy where he’s training to be a Cursor.
This book was pretty fun – there were a lot of interesting characters, shifting allegiances and political maneuvering, villains redeemed, a complex plot and lots of action. Tavi is growing into an actual personality rather than being just a brave kid, and that’s awesome. We also get the first inklings that there might be something magical to Tavi after all. I also like the Tavi-Kitai story, although a bit predictable, it’s going slow enough that it seems plausible. I also really like the dynamic of Tavi not having any magic – I kept wanting his furies to manifest whenever he was in thorny situations, but was always even more proud of him of getting out of them without magic.
This installment definitely gave me the worldbuilding I was looking for in the last book – the history of the furies in Alera sounds like a fascinating topic and it was great to see explore both the Aleran capital city and the steadholts. The Vord are an interesting enemy, and I liked the unresolved questions at the end so I can look forward to them in the next books.
My main complaint with this book is similar to the one I had with Furies of Calderon – the book takes place in too short of a time span. I wanted to see Tavi arriving at the academy and getting used to it, his transition from steadholt life, etc. – this is clearly a series of coming of age novels, and I want it to go a bit slower. Instead, we just get a few really exciting days in Tavi’s life, which happens to coincide with him being at the Academy.
A couple of minor complaints – the Amara/Barnard romance was way too saccharine. The Marat headman talks too much like the Alerans to seem truly of an alien culture.
Overall, a good book, and I’m looking forward to Cursor’s Fury.
- “The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie
- “Kushiel’s Dart” by Jacqeline Carey