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Captain's Fury: Book Four of the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
Cover Artist: Steve Stone
Review by Beth Slater
Ace Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441015276
Date: 04 December 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

As indicated in the title, this is the fourth installment in the life and times of Tavi of Calderon, or Rufus Scipio, depending on how you know him. Tavi, a child in the first book of the Codex Alera, has matured into quite the impressive young man but hasn't lost his true self or sense of humor amongst all the goings-on. In Captain's Fury, the First Aleran has been at war for two years, holding the front line but not managing to defeat or advance the Canim forces. Captain Scipio, Tavi's undercover position, is being called to report to the Senatorial Board for his actions over the past battles. His identity comes as a surprise to many, including himself shortly after the meeting concludes. Tavi's entire world is tilted shortly before he is to enter into combat and his mind is racing to piece the puzzle together while trying to protect his life, those closest to him, and a village of innocent Alerans.

Tavi has come to realize that the Canim were not simply invading Alera, they were fleeing their homeland. Examining past events Tavi realizes that the Vord – the horrid, voracious spider-like creatures that are able to mutate – have moved to Cane. He outlines a plan to end the massacre of both races, but is captured and labeled a traitor before he is able to put his plan into action.

Here the story seems to split into the different battles being fought around the country. We follow Amara and the First Lord on a secretive mission to oust Kalare before anyone else falls victim to his evil plans through rain, sleet, snow, and …oh, I mean lots of horrible things. But the Alerans Tavi had been trying to save are still in danger and his men are still working on plans to save them without breaking the laws of the land – so we get to follow Crassus and Max's actions parallel to Tavi's. We can't forget Isana, Kitai, or Araris amongst all the other characters, either. The plotline comes together, although it seems time in the book is longer than it actually seems reading the story, but the reader is drawn in to how all the stories work and fit to fill in details. We see much of Tavi's circle involved and also of Tavi's enemies.

I couldn't put this one down. I am not usually one for long battle sagas, preferring fantasy, but I am hooked. Butcher answers many questions in each volume, but at the same time manages to raise several more which draws the reader to keep on going. I think this could be read as a stand-alone – but it makes much, much more sense to read them in order. Great work, and I look forward to more from Butcher.

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