This is the fifth book in the Codex Alera series by Jim Butcher. The series is 6 books in length, the last book is “First Lord’s Fury”. It was not as good as the previous book, but still a very good read.
Tavi is heading off to the Canim’s homeland with the First Aleran. There he hopes to return the Canim to their homeland without incident, unfortunately a big sea storm devastates the fleets of ships and plans change. What Tavi and the Canim find upon reaching the shore is horrible and unexpected. Back in Alera the First Lord (Gauis) is dealing with a crisis of his own. As Gauis’s health continues to deteriorate he is left dealing with an attack from the Vord. The Vord are an insect-like race that was fought in the first few books in this series. The First Lord calls on Amara and Bernard to, once again, take on a dangerous mission to figure out how the Vord have learned Fury-craft. The last storyline deals with Isana, now the First Lady. Gauis sends Isana to the north in an effort to make peace with the Ice-men there; in hopes that the Aleran forces in the North can leave the fighting on the northern Shieldwall and lend their assistance to fighting the Vord in the south.
As you can tell from above there is a lot of fighting in this book. There is less character development than in previous books, but still a lot of great action scenes. This book was more about Butcher moving the characters around to where they need to be for the final book than anything else. It is very much a transition novel.
That is not to say that a lot of things don’t happen, a lot of things do happen. The characters’ situation is worse than ever before and there are no great victories in this book. Our heroes continue to pull off feats of imaginable strength and daring; the enemies continue to horrify us. The Vord are definitely a horrible enemy,
Like in the last book, Tavi pulls off one crazy scheme after another and makes it through unscathed…this is a bit unrealistic and irritating. The other down point of this book is that Butcher uses too many words to describe everything. There was just a lot of description that we didn’t need to know and at times this slowed down the relentless pace of the story a bit too much.
Nothing is resolved in this book, but all the players are moved into position for a powerful and awesome conclusion in the next book. I would recommend buying the last book with this one so that you don’t have to wait to read it. Also you do need to read the previous books in this series to follow what is going on in this book.
All in all it is a great story, with a complicated plot, great action scenes, and wonderful characters. It is just not as great of a story as the last book. I have high hopes for the concluding novel though and am excited to read the next book.