|Once again, we enter the world of Tavi of Calderon in this,
the fifth book in the Codex Alera. Having achieved an accommodation with the Canim, Tavi
decides it is time to declare his birthright, which is the grandson and heir of Gaius
Sextus, First Lord of Alera. Unfortunately, this will also put himself in the way of
potential assassins. Due to some decisions he made as Captain of the First Aleran, while
morally proper and appropriate to the situation, are not entirely legal, Tavi decides that
the sensible thing to do is go into exile with the Canim as they return to their homeland.
But the Vord, a threat he thought he had eliminated in an earlier adventure, are carving
great swathes through the Canim homeland. And Tavi and the returning Canim are not
welcomed with open arms. To make matters worse, the Vord are also invading Alera. Thus,
Tavis Uncle Bernard and his wife Amara, as well as mum Isana are having a hard time
of it too.
This book follows the formula of the others in the series: a seemingly
invincible enemy, impossible odds and a hero who uses his brain to solve problems. Regular
heroes and villains pop up, but not too frequently; Tavi is on another continent, after
all. Butcher weaves the various strands together well, and leaves one wanting more. It is
just as well the final part has been released, or I may not have coped with waiting to
find out what happens next.
I recommend the book (and the series) to anyone who enjoys intelligently written
fantasy. I thank Hachette New Zealand for supplying me with the review copy.