Author: Jim Butcher
In Academ’s Fury, Butcher made some more additions to the world of Alera. Some were fairly major additions. One was the introduction of the Canim, giant wolf people that have been enemies of Alera for hundreds of years. These guys were really interesting, they seemed honor-bound but in a totally different way from human honor, it is hard to describe. The main Canim, Ambassador Varg, managed to be both an enemy of Tavi and the First Lord’s and show respect for them at the same. Other Canim were not so nice; Sarl is definitely part of something major and seems like a conniving little twit. I liked that Butcher both introduced a new enemy race and showed that they had factions and disagreements among each other. It made it more realistic (well, as realistic as giant wolf people can be).
We also got a lot more information on the bug creatures from the Wax Forest. Doroga shows up at Garrison after a great many of his people have been slaughtered by them, he calls them the vord and says they have been mortal enemies of the Marat for time immemorial. If these guys were scary in the Wax Forest, they have outdone themselves outside of it. Amara and Bernard’s story follows them and fights against them, and while their story was easily the duller of the two main storylines in this book, it was not the fault of the vord. They are definitely going to be a much bigger problem later on, I think.
As for our characters at Alera Imperia, Tavi did some growing in this book. In Furies of Calderon, he lead sheep. In Academ’s Fury he tries his hand at leading people, albeit only a handful, and I think he does so remarkably. By the end of the story, it is pretty obvious who his parents are and knowing that, it is not a far cry to imagine what he could be using these leadership skills for in the future.
As I have already read this series several times, it is hard for me to really get into this installment because I am so excited for book 3, Cursor’s Fury. That said, this is still a great book in it’s own right, but it is written to build up to a lot more that slowly comes into play over the next books in the series.
Where Furies of Cauldron could have been a standalone book, Academ’s Fury , while it builds off of the first book, you can tell it is just a push onto the rest of the series. You see that with a lot of second books, and it is done very well here. The new races, Vord and Canim, are very cool and SOOO interesting that I am excited for the rest of the series. Butcher knocks it out of the park while also saying, “Oh you haven’t seen anything yet.”