First Lord's Fury, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


The aging First Lord of Alera has fallen in battle.

Yet his people must continue to resist an invading inhuman army.

Desperate Alerans even pledge fealty to the Vord Queen to survive, turning the incredible power of Aleran furies back on their own people. And despite all efforts, the Alerans are being ground into dust and pushed to the farthest reaches of their own realm. However, Tavi has returned with vital insights from the Canim Blood Lands.

He knows how to counter the Vord and, more importantly, believes human ingenuity can equal fury-born powers.

Now events are rushing towards a last stand, where Tavi and the last Aleran legions must formulate a dangerous new strategy, together.

For a civilisation is on the brink of extinction.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781841498515

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Review by

End of the road for this series. In many ways that's sad because like all the others it's a good read and although quite a bit longer than the first book in the series it's still gripping and fast to read.Tavi must work out how to kill the Vord, reclaim his throne and as becomes apparent throughout the book do so in a way that won't destroy the Alerans nor any of their alliances.It's pulled off with some lovely touches and more of the lateral thinking that made this story so entertaining from book one.

Review by

This book – and the series as a whole – rates five stars for being not merely engaging but almost <i>compelling</i>. Jim Butcher tells a fantasy story with imagination, pace, heart, humour, courage and imbues it all with deep excitement. Tavi’s final steps in the journey from shepherd’s apprentice to First Lord, and his quest to end the invasion of the Vord on Alera, forging alliances and outthinking foes at every step, was as close to the definition of ‘unputdownable’ as I’ve encountered in a book. Not that it’s perfect; it doesn’t get the five stars for being flawless, but for being so enjoyable. Gaius ‘Tavi’ Octavian brings the remaining Canim warriors, the Free Aleran forces and the First Aleran legions back to Alera - a country under siege, almost engulfed by the forces of the Vord queen - and, with most of the remains of the Citizenry making a last stand in his home valley, Calderon, brings his every resource – leadership combined with field experience, fury-crafting combined with the intelligence borne of not having the talent at his disposal for most of his life – to the task of getting within striking distance of the Vord queen, a creature without compunction, mercy, or weakness. This book stands apart from the others in cohesion… where, in the other books, various characters worked to different ends, dividing the focus and blunting some of the energy, for the most part here each point of view works together; Count Bernard with the Aleran surviving forces, freemen and Citizenry, at the forefront of the Vord’s attack, Tavi racing to their aid from the rear, with the captured Isana and Araris in the Vord queen’s lair between the two, but still focused on the one event; the battle for Alera. With the three viewpoints interlocked, Butcher’s storytelling becomes devastatingly powerful. For a young adult read, Butcher doesn’t pull punches when it comes to notching up the terrifying situations; the defending forces don’t get through things lightly, some minor ‘good’ characters die, and the author has more than enough character-writing ability to make the reader care about this, and deeply. You can tell it’s a young-adult read, though, because most of the major players survive and the truly morally degenerate (who haven’t become allies over the course of the series, or have heart-rending back-stories to explain their actions) meet their ends. That said, while you’re reading, you don’t notice this ethical restraint, because Butcher is so busy piling on the frenetic peril. One irritating leftover; <b>[spoiler warning]</b> I am wondering what happened to the two ‘great furies’ that Tavi awakened to help destroy the Vord queen; did they, after all the build-up, just quiet down? Did Tavi claim them? Did Alera help? Did I miss a paragraph in which all this happened? I think using the time between the ending and the epilogue to sweep away something [previously described as] having catastrophic consequence would be a bit lazy, but scanning those passages again, I simply cannot see where unleashing two such powerful entities suddenly became anything less than another huge problem. The oversight, if that’s what it was, is not a massive flaw, but it is indicative of Butcher’s sometimes casual approach to plotting over the course of the series. <b>[spoiler warning ending]</b>Otherwise, in my opinion, Butcher takes his place next to David Gemmell for battle-craftsmanship. I really hope he revisits this world again, perhaps to expand on the speculative-fiction aspects of having included Rome as part of the history of Alera.

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Also in the The Codex Alera series