This is the fifth book in Butcher’s Codex Alera, where a nation of elementalists is struggling through war, infighting, and a difficult succession. In this installment, Tavi is across the sea helping his new allies deal with some problems of their own, while things actually go from bad to catastrophic back home. The First Lord fights a losing battle against the Vord, while others uncover some secrets about what started the whole problematic succession in the first place.
As much as I enjoyed the earlier books, this one rose to the challenge and raised the bar even further. Tavi, who grew up as a poor child without any command of the elements (aka the “furies”), has spent a lifetime learning to adapt. Instead of overpowering his enemies, he has had to outthink them. His talents shone here more than ever before as he faced down the implacable Vord. Even the First Lord Gaius Sextus – the most powerful man in the world — found himself wishing for Tavi’s insight back home.
The ending, while resolving things for the moment, was also an excellent cliffhanger. It would seem that all the cards are now on the table. All the last-ditch heroics have been done. It’s all down to Tavi to rise to the occasion and… well… save the world is not exaggerating. I will be diving into First Lord’s Fury very soon.