Today's book review is Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher.
This is book three in the Codex Alera series. To know who the characters are and why they're in the positions they're in, you need to start from the beginning of the series.
If I wanted to dislike this book, there are a lot of things I could complain about. Important plot points are so predictable that I could see them coming, and when I'm engrossed in a book, I seldom realize that stuff was obvious until after it's happened. The heroes are so excessively heroic that they border on trite. The battles where first one side and then the other is described as too powerful to possibly stand up to leave the reader wondering which descriptions we weren't supposed to believe. Despite all that, the book grabbed me by the throat and just wouldn't let go of me. The battle scenes -- which the book is stuffed with -- are tense and exciting despite the inevitability. The violence manages to skate along the edge of being too gory for me to enjoy it without ever quite falling into the pit. Major developments in the overall story arc make it seem clear where we're ultimately heading, though it will still be exciting to get there. Since there is a big ongoing story arc, and this isn't the last book in the series, there are of course things hanging fire, but we have reached a reasonable place for a pause. Still, I'm frustrated that I'll have to wait at least until I get to a bookstore for the next one.
9 out of 10.
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