Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) – Jim Butcher

furies of calderon

four stars black
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Pages: 504
Release Date: October 5, 2004

For a thousand years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the furies – elementals of earth, air, fire, water, and metal.

But now, Gaius Sextus, First Lord of Alera, grows old and lacks an heir. Ambitious High Lords plot and maneuver to place their Houses in positions of power, and a war of succession looms on the horizon.

Far from city politics in the Calderon Valley, the boy Tavi struggles with his lack of furycrafting. At fifteen, he has no wind fury to help him fly, no fire fury to light his lamps. Yet as the Alerans’ most savage enemy – the Marat – return to the Valley, he will discover that his destiny is much greater than he could ever imagine.

Caught in a storm of deadly wind furies, Tavi saves the life of a runaway slave named Amara. But she is actually a spy for Gaius Sextus, sent to the Valley to gather intelligence on traitors to the Crown, who may be in league with the barbaric Marat horde. And when the Valley erupts in chaos – when rebels war with loyalists and furies clash with furies – Amara will find Tavi’s courage and resourcefulness to be a power greater than any fury – one that could turn the tides of war.


After finishing Furies of Calderon, I wasn’t sure whether to rate the novel three or four stars. I kept waffling between the two ratings because of the issues I had with the magic system.

The magic system piqued my interest as soon as it was introduced. The intriguing magic system coupled with the opening chapters had me almost salivating because I was in love with what Butcher was seemingly setting up. However, as the novel progressed, the magic system isn’t explained as well as I would have liked it to be. I found myself confused most of the time about the details, its origin, and the ins and outs of the furies.

The characters are well developed and the reason I ended up rating the novel four stars instead of three. Tavi and Amara are by far my favorite of the bunch. I’m especially excited to see more of Tavi in Academ’s Fury based solely on the synopsis.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Isana and Odiana’s plotline as much as I did. Butcher humanizes Odiana in a way that made her actions later in the novel believable while also allowing me to empathize with her on a level I was not anticipating.

Overall, Furies of Calderon is a solid set up for a great fantasy series. I’m excited to jump into the sequel because, based on the synopsis, it seems as if the sequel’s plot could have been book one.


Have you read Furies of Calderon? What did you think?

11 thoughts on “Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera #1) – Jim Butcher

  1. I have not read Furies of Calderon, although I did read Storm Front which is the start of his other series (Dresden Files I think) and I waffles between 3 and 4 stars too. Have you read Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series? I hear that’s a great magic system.

    1. SANDERSON!!!!!!! I AM OBSESSED WITH EVERYTHING HE WRITES. Mistborn is easily one of the best magic systems I’ve ever read. I definitely recommend it. Anything by Sanderson really, but Mistborn is a great place to start.

      I’m hoping the sequel is better. It’s synopsis sounds great. so fingers crossed!

      1. I said the same thing about Dresden Files- people keep assuring me it gets better as it goes.. but I’m over here like, okay but how many books do I have to read before it gets good? Because reading a bunch of 3 Star books to get to the 4+5 Star ones sort of sounds like a drag. Lol

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