This is book four on the Codex Alera. The main plot in this volume it the opposition to the Canim invasion but running through the story is the continuing sub-plot of a rebellion and those who oppose it. Tavi, a young man without any "crafting" in a society that is characterized by "crafting" or the manipulation of materials through an immaterial method, ie wizardry or sorcery is coming into his own. He has grown both in size and in talent.
Butcher does a lot of "for the greater good" philosophizing. The all powerful First Lord is forced to balance "for the greater good" with the realities of maintaining the loyalty of his minions
The Cane are formidable foes with a predator's sense of ethics. Keep one's enemies closest as they are more predictable characterizes the Cane. The Marat and the Cane are confused by the excesses perpetuated by the Alerans in their insatiable desire for power. The contrast of the "barbarian" behavior and the "civilized" Alerans is glaring.
As said in my previous two reviews, Butcher's characters are his stories strength. His villains are more believable due to their pragmatic nature. He gives back story on his villains so they are far more than just the embodiment of evil that seems to be prevalent in most fantasies. The motivation behind the villainy provides succulent content to the story.
I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
I highly recommend the book.
Web Site: http://www.jim-butcher.com/
This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.