Magic Bleeds

I can’t give you the white picket fence, and if I did, you’d set it on fire.

Oh Kate.


Cursor's Fury

Were Furies of Calderon introduced us to the world and the Marat and Academ's Fury gave us a taste of the politics of Alera along with the threat of the Vord, it’s Cursor's Fury where we really shift to the military focus that defines the rest of the series.

A civil war in Alera plus an invasion by the Canim? Oy.


Magic Strikes

Norse and Hindu mythology (on top of what all we’ve had before)! Magical gladiator fights TO THE DEATH! Giant fight scenes! ACTUALLY LEARNING WHAT’S UP WITH KATE’S BACKSTORY!

That’s quite a book.


Magic Burns

β€œThe vampire stared at me, his mouth slack as Ghastek assessed his options. I took a couple of forms from my desk, put them into the vamp’s mouth, and pulled them up by their edges.

“What are you doing?” Ghastek asked.

“My hole puncher broke.”

“You have no respect for the undead.”


Academ's Fury

Furies of Calderon felt like fairly standard high fantasy. It had a Roman theme rather than the more common (in what I’ve read) Medieval European and elemental spirits for a magical theme, but it still had a fairly standard ‘farmboy saves the day through strength of character and good triumphs over evil’ sort of theme. There were hints of a wider world, but for the most part, it was a fairly self contained book.

Academ's Fury takes all that and really starts to dig into the world building and expand the scope of the conflict. Where we only had the hints of ‘weird’ in the Wax Forest, now we have a fully developed and quite frankly terrifying threat in the Vord. While it’s not the most original concept (the Borg among many many others), it’s well done here. You really get a sense for how alien the Vord are and–worst–how smart. They learn and they won’t stop until everything is Vord. Also, the Canim. Warrior wolf people. Pretty cool.


Magic Bites

On one hand, Magic Bites was pretty much what I expected. Urban Fantasy with a strong female lead (this time a mostly stock standard human mercenary albeit with some sort of so far unspecified magical bloodline) finds some trouble, things go badly, things get better, lead saves the day.

On the other hand, Kate Daniels is a solid character to read. Despite not knowing whatever it is that gives her a bit of extra oomph, it doesn’t really matter. She has a cool sword, a lot of training, and can handle herself even in the presence of some big bads. That’s more than enough for me.


2019 Reading List

Another year, another reading list.

This time around, I’m aiming for 120 books. 10 per month. One every 3 days. It’s more than I’ve ever done. Probably won’t make it. But it’s worth trying, no?


A Darkling Plain

And so it ends. I’ve had some issues with this series (mostly with some of the relationship drama present throughout), but I’m glad I finished it.

Characterwise, I’m not sure I liked what happened to either Tom or Hester. Tom is entirely too naive. Pennyroyal literally shot him–and this is likely to kill him one day. He enslaved Tom’s daughter. And he doesn’t seem to care. He’s good to a fault and it just doesn’t seem real. Hester… is crazy and violent and full of a desire for vengeance and it’s only worse this time around. This time it doesn’t feel unreal–what does that say about me?–but it’s still sad that she ended up this way. Wren and Theo I liked a lot more. I wish they would have spent less time separated nearly missing one another again and again, but it works out.


Furies of Calderon

Apparently I last read Furies of Calderon before I started writing reviews. That was actually the second time I read it–the first time I didn’t even finish the book, putting it down. It’s something of a slow book and a bit strange. But the second time and especially once I got into the sequels, I loved it, it’s among my favorite series. This time around, I listened to it and it’s even better as an audiobook (since it just keeps right on going through the boring parts).

If you haven’t heard, the story is that Codex Alera arose out of a bar bet. Take some random topic and write a story about it. In this case, the Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon. Sounds crazy, but it kind of works. From the Roman half, you end up with essentially a Roman empire with holds and legions that have fought to tear out a land for themselves from a variety of enemies all around. From the Pokemon, you have Furies, elemental spirits of the land, sea, and air which all of the Alerans[^Tavi] have some ability to control for various tasks: the strength of an earth fury, healing with water furies, flying with air. Pretty cool.