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First Lord's Fury: Book Six of the Codex Alera

Jim Butcher, Author . Ace $25.95 (465p) ISBN 978-0-441-01769-0

The creativity Butcher displays in his Dresden Files series is less apparent in the derivative sixth fantasy yarn set in quasi-Roman Alera (after 2008's Princeps' Fury ). New readers are tossed into a complex plot without any explanation of the considerable backstory, making it hard to connect with the characters or action. The book centers around yet another world-shaking battle between good, represented by Alera, and evil, represented by the vord queen and her legions of scorpionlike followers. A major character is falsely believed dead; there's a traitor in the ranks of the good guys; there's also heroic sacrifice, combat against overwhelming odds, etc. Banter in moments of extreme crisis is absurdly common but never convincing, and neither characters nor story develop anything resembling depth. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/26/2009
Release date: 11/01/2009
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