Author: Jim Butcher
Unlike the rest of the series up to date, there is not a 2 year break between Captain’s Fury and Princep’s Fury. The ships have been built to carry the Canim back to their homeland and Tavi and Co. have set sail. At book 5 out of 6 in the series, we finally get to explore areas in the world other than Alera. Canea, homeland of the Canim, and the Shield Wall both are major settings here.
After 3 books dealing with the Canim, it was great to finally see their homeland and get more of a feel for their culture, although that homeland has been nearly consumed by the Vord. There were some small details about Canim ettiquette, some that were mentioned in past books but others were not, such as Tavi taking care not to show his teeth when smiling as the showing of teeth has a more aggressive meaning to Cane. We have seen a lot in the past books that Canim take their honor very seriously. Here we got to see how they maneuver when it is necessary to do or say something that would compromise their honor. Varg wants to let Tavi know that his territory in Canea will not harm him but he cannot say that for other territories.
“Why tell me here?” Marcus asked. “Why not send a messenger to the ship.”
All three Hunters stared at Marcus with unreadable expressions. “Because you are the enemy, Valiar Marcus. Varg is of the warrior caste. His honor will no more permit him to give aide and warning to the enemy than to grow fresh fangs.”
Marcus frowned. “Ah, I think I see. Varge cannot do it, but you can.”
Sha flicked his ears in affirmation. “Our honor lies in obedience and success, regardless of methods and means. We serve. We obey.”
In past books, Isana has not played a major roll apart from saving Fade in Cursor’s Fury. Here she is sent on a diplomatic mission to the Icemen to try and make peace so that Lord Antillus can deploy his Legions to aide the fight against the Vord. As Tavi has come out as Gaius Octavian, she is now recognized as the First Lady of Alera and she takes up the responsibility and command very well. Like her son, she grew up on a steadholt but now spends a lot of time in this book putting High Lords and Ladies in their place.
The Icemen have been “off screen” for the whole series up to date. We still did not get as much about them as we know about the Canim but it was interesting hearing Isana’s theory as to why they have been at war for 300 years. It was great to finally learn something about them after only having heard them mentioned in passing before.
As for Amara and Bernard, they finally got more interesting in this book. Sextus sends them on a mission to discover how the Vord are using furycrafting. In their investigation, we find out about a particular character that went missing at the end of Captain’s Fury. They got very close to the Vord during their mission and discovered the betrayal of other Alerans assisting the Vord.
While previous books have been about saving a particular region or Alera alone, this book takes on a more total apocalyptic tone. Cane is basically taken over by the Vord. The Vord have finally found a foothold in Alera and are making their move which, if successful, would wipe out all life.
Like Captain’s Fury this book feels like a setup for the final showdown, Vord against the rest of the world. There is not really a satisfying ending to this one as there has been in the past. The world has gone to hell and even the victories are bittersweet.
This has been discussed in our reviews in previous books but I wanted to bring it up again. We learn a small detail about High Lord Aquitaine that adds to the feeling that he is not truly a bad guy. He seeks power and uses less than honorable means of achieving it but is not sadistic like Kord or Kalare and, given the chance to rule, may not actually be a bad choice.
I really enjoyed this book! Most series that I have read can get stale after the 3rd or 4th book. Princep’s Fury, ramps up the story and action and just builds on the already amazing characters. One cool thing I loved is when Varg started calling Tavi, Tavar, and a tavar is a wolf like creature native to Canea that even the Canim are afraid of. This book got me drooling for what is coming in the finale.