In the final novel in #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s acclaimed Codex Alera series, the people of Alera—who use their unique bond with the elementals of earth, air, fire, water, wood, and metal for protection—must face the ultimate conflict…
For Gaius Octavian, life has been one long struggle. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, he became a legendary man of war and leader of men—and the rightful First Lord of Alera.
Now, the end of all he fought for is close at hand. The brutal, dreaded Vord are on the march, using fear and chaos to turn the Alerans against one another, and forcing those who will not submit to flee to the outer reaches of the realm.
Perhaps for the final time, Gaius Octavian and his legions must stand against the enemies of his people. And it will take all his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness…
“Life,” Tavi reflected, “seldom makes a gift of what one expects or plans for.”
I wanted to like this so much, but I just really didn’t. The more I think about what happened, the less I realise actually happened. I knew I disliked the actual end of the book, the end of the series. It was too easy, too perfect for this kind of story. Yet, I didn’t realise how much I was bored by the middle until I went to write this review and realised how little actually happened.
Most of what happened was Tavi being “clever”. I hate when authors create characters where “clever” is their main trait, because it leads to books like this. It was really just an excuse to come up with really neat ideas that, while they work, I guess, they’re just so ridiculously over complicated they’d never actually work when commanding thousands.
Even worse, so many of his plans resolve around the new superpowered Tavi. He is so unbelievably overpowered it is ridiculous. He has gotten some training from a source that is already overpowered to begin with. He is now the most powerful person in all of Alera, except maybe the Vord Queen. Plus he is “clever” with it. As everyone tells us a hundred times.
I really dislike clever characters.
This is mostly Tavi’s really long trek across the sea then the country followed by a big battle at the end. I seriously thought there would be more to this than that. Hoped, I guess, instead. Just like I had hoped Tavi made it back to Alera before the start of the book. So much wasted time. Pretty much everything in this book could be told within the last hour of my reading this book, and that is pretty sad.
Isana went back to being useless. Amara was better but only because we got to see the Princep that is holding the fort for Tavi. The weird thing about it was that through some of the perspectives we see the Vord Queen, and she is trying to be human. It is utterly bizarre and makes no sense. Then again nothing about the Vord make sense.
As an aside, the whole Kitai demanding proper mating rituals thing was hysterical. Even though it was incredibly inappropriate for the time and place.
For a series I wasn’t entirely liking already, I’m more disappointed in this ending than I should be. I just found so many problems with it that I didn’t even want to find. It is unfortunate.
Spoiler #1: I really dislike the way the Vord Queen was handled in the end. All this fighting, back and forth. Finally, after she is trapped and can seemingly go no further she just..gives up. What in the hell is that all about? I just don’t get it. I expected her to go down fighting.
Spoiler #2: Baby ever after? Really. Gods I would respect authors so much more if they didn’t actually include it. I liked Kitai’s if I’m being honest, I’m just angry I don’t get to see more. (Then again, I’m 100% certain the First Lord said in an earlier book that they could watercraft in a birth control on themselves or maybe others. Tavi is more than powerful enough to do this now, as is Kitai. How the fuck did she end up pregnant in the first place?) The part I hated was that Amara was pregnant, too. Seriously? After she finally came to terms with everything? Ridiculous. Have some backbone!
Spoiler #3: Seriously what is the deal with Alera. How is she so utterly human? She is a POWER! She is more human than the Vord Queen who is trying to figure out how humans work. Even if Alera has been around them more often, she should not be so human. I just do not understand this choice. Kitai is less human than Alera is.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Codex Alera series page!