In the province of Calderon in the land of Aleron, there are furies. Furies are magical beings with the power to control air, fire, earth, or water. Every person in Aleron can control at least one of these elements and at least one fury.
Everyone except Tavi.
Tavi is an orphan shepherd boy who lacks the basic powers of every other citizen of the realm. But it is Tavi who is thrust into the center of a battle for dominion of the realm.
Rebels led by Aldrick ex Gladius and assisted by the traitor Fidelias launch an attack against the reign of First Lord Gaius Sextus. Tavi, his uncle Bernard, and those loyal to the First Lord must fight off the invading usurpers
At the same time, warlike Marat are also invading and attacking and the sadistic rival landowner Kord is attempting to crush Bernard's family and enslave those around him.
The story builds to a climax as multiple factions clash during a siege that lasts for days. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell who is fighting whom and where alliances lie.
Jim Butcher builds a world and weaves an adventure that keeps the story constantly moving forward. He drew me in with his characters and he kept me going with the action.
This is the first novel in Butcher's 6-volume Codex Alera series and he does an excellent job of creating a tangible universe. The story stands on its own; but, in the end, not every villain is defeated and not every question is answered. One still wonders about the true identity of Tavi and a few others. I'm looking forward to the sequels.