Jim Butcher – Captain’s fury

Book 4 of the Codex Alera, Captain’s Fury (2007), by Jim Butcher, will be the last of the series, for now, which I will review. The simple reason is that I don’t have the next volume yet. In the previous reviews I have been quite critical of the books, but I do want to remind you that the Fantasy genre in general does not focus on the quality but on the story and entertainment. The Codex Alera certainly does not lack on those points. The series is well written and nowhere boring or dreary. In essence I enjoyed them. The reason why I have been critical is because the first book was of good quality and as such I compared the following books to it. Alas they have been just average, but I’m OK with that. I’ve read fantasy novels which were really cliche and average, so that should not stop anyone from reading this series as well. If you like his other works, this is a nice bonus, but don’t expect too much.

Captain’s Fury starts 2 years after the previous book, just like the previous novels. The jumps in time allow some skipping of standard events, which in a way is not bad to do, but standard elements also help in establishing structure for the story and the reader. As Butcher avoids this, such structure is not there. We only got to work with the story itself which in essence is enough to go by. In those two years not much has actually happened besides a partial round-up of the events at the end of the previous book. There has been no closure yet, and this book is all about bringing closure to the two storylines of Cursor’s Fury.

Captain’s Fury is overall on par with Cursor’s Fury as the situation has not changed. The mood and the style is thus the same, although there is now a clearer path to where Butcher is taking us. The question is only how and luckily this is entertaining enough. There is actually less to criticise as simply no things take place that give room for criticism. Everything has been well established in the previous book, so there is no need to go into details.

The only criticism that I have, and I mentioned it in a previous review, is that Butcher has plenty opportunity for interesting confrontations and dialogues that can spark, but he actually avoids is mostly. He follows a different path, which in a sense avoids cliche’s, but it is an overall weakness in the series. No more talking than necessary, stick to the action. Don’t seek for heavy drama here.

The book gives hardly any new insights into the world of the book. One can almost see it as part 2 of book 3 as everything seems to evolve in a similar way, even if the storylines are different from those of book 2. The war theme is of lesser importance, but the quests of the characters is what drives the book instead. This way Butcher manages to give each book a different feeling while keeping familiar elements.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.