Furies of Calderon
Furies of Calderon is the first in a substantially long series (6 books) by Jim Butcher; being the first of Butcher's work that I've read, I recently found out that he also wrote The Dresden Files, a series starring a Mage-cum-Detective named Harry Dresden, who works with the police department in modern day Chicago. If you love fantasy as I do, then you'll not be disappointed in this collection nor in The Dresden Files either. Butcher creates a world view that consists of amazing men and women who can use the powers of the earth be they wind, water, earth or fire, to wreak havoc or create beauty. His characterizations are strong and deep; his world building complete. Once I began Furies of Calderon, I couldn't put it down; what happens to Tavi, our hero, who supposedly has none of the powers of family or friends, but whose intelligence, sensitivity, passion and incredible cunning, make for a powerful young man despite his inexperience, keeps you turning page after page. As Tavi matures so do the challenges he faces, and the friends he makes though sometimes bizarre, are always funny, witty, and endearing, and they are legion. That's the other part of these novels that I like: much of the world order that Tavi must learn to accept and finally join, consists of "Roman military hierarchies" that make his world seem even more real because they are historical and familiar. If you like complexity, strong, individualized characters, and a world order that consistently surprises and intrigues you, then you too will love Furies of Calderon.
Family of Lies
By Monroe, Mary
The ever-popular Mary Monroe (God Don't Like Ugly, 2000) is back with a tale of family deceit and gold-digging drama. Having gone from rags to riches, Vera Lomax is not about to lose her husband's fortune ... not to his hush-hush mistresses and certainly not to their children. Hold on to your seat as Vera schemes and gambles to get what she wants.