Captain's Fury takes the ‘Alera at war’ feel of Cursor's Fury and really turns it up a notch. Tavi has done the impossible and fought a war against the Canim for two years now, holding them in place and building the trust of his followers to impressive levels. But now a new foe is coming for him–a foe far more terrifying than the Canim, or even than the Vord (who are much less interesting when you don’t see them on screen for a book or two)… politicians.
Characterwise, Tavi remains among the best part of these books:
“And you’ve got that look on your face again.”
“I can’t help it, “Ehren said. “You’re about to walk to breakfast, arn’t you, regardless of who is in the way?”
“Yes,” Tavi said.
Ehren sighed. “Let’s hear it.”
Tavi told him the plan.
“That’s insane,” Ehren said.
“It could work.”
“You aren’t going to have anyone come along to bail you out this time,” Ehren pointed out.
Tavi grinned. “Are you with me?”
“The plan is insane,” Ehren said. “You are insane.” He looked around inside the tent. “I’ll need some pants.”
Although to be fair, the characters surrounding him are well done as well. Kitai is just different enough to be interesting and Max/Ehren/Crassus shine in both Legion and Cursor scenes. You want to root for Amara and Bernard, pushed through as much as they are, even when things go sidewise–although that hike across what feels like most of Alera could certainly have been shorter. The Senator earns the hate coming his way.
There aren’t huge strides in world building in this book, mostly filling in the cracks. But one thing… do you remember how in Cursor's Fury , I commented on how awe inspiring it was to see a High Lady let loose? Well. Now you get the First Lord himself. Oy. We’ll leave it at that.
Overall, this is probably the weakest book of the series since the first, but only because there has to be a weakest book. It’s still a wonderful read and I couldn’t put down my headphones through long parts of it. The parts towards the end where Gaius sets off a volcano just as Tavi proclaims himself Gauis Octavian . That’s writing.
It’s a pity there are only two more to go…