I always hate writing booklog entries for single, isolated books late in serieseses, because the only useful thing there ever is to say about a late series book is how it compares to earlier entries in the series. But in the case of Jim Butcher’s Princeps’ Fury and Turn Coat , I don’t actually remember with any accuracy how they compared. But I’ll take a stab at it anyway.

So, Princeps’ Fury is the latest Codex Alera book, and continues to be compellingly readable fantasy. However, I think there was a major problem with the plotting in this book. Specifically, certain events required one of the protagonists to be “off camera” for a long period of time. You can’t just ignore a major character for a whole book, so Butcher gave him a side plot to deal with.

Which is fine, as far as it goes, except that the sideplot feels both too major (in that, objectively speaking, it’s far more important than the main plot), but also not nearly major enough (in that it doesn’t affect a single character or place we give a damn about), and the end result is very odd. Imagine if The Two Towers saw Merry and Pippin sail off to the west, kill all the Valar in a bloody civil war, and then pop back to Gondor. It’s like that, a weird distraction from less important events.

Still, the book is good, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Turn Coat, well, what’s there to say about it? It’s a Dresden book. The larger story advances in interesting ways, and it’s all full of Dresdeny goodness. I want more, now.


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