A martial arts enthusiast whose resume includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives with his wife, his son and a ferocious guard dog.
Turn out the lights, light a few candles, summon up a nice thunderstorm; you're in for an enthralling performance as James Marsters once again guides us through the dangerous streets of Chicago. This time there's even more difficulty than a wizard named Dresden can handle--how did he know that the Small Favor he agreed to do for Mab, Queen of the Winter Sidhe, could lead to so much trouble? Although Butcher had originally planned to write more of the "Swords and Horses" stories he grew up loving, somewhere along the way he met Harry Dresden, and these magical tales have netted a galaxy of fans. Just published in hardcover and already a best seller, Small Favor shot to the number two slot on the New York Times best sellers list, and number one on the Publishers Weekly list; it also made it to number one at Borders and Barnes & Noble. Captain's Fury is the fourth book in the "Codex Alera" series, which chronicles the life of a young man named Tavi, now captain of the First Aleran Legion. His job is to forge an alliance between invading Canim warriors and the people of Alera. With "Codex Alera," Butcher made a successful crossover from mass market to hardcover; this made it to number 17 on the New York Times extended best sellers list. Although literally worlds apart, these two series show the talent a gifted author has in creating believable and entertaining characters. For the Dresden fans, it was lucky that Butcher met Harry first, as there's always a need for someone to take care of those things that go bump in the night. Kate Reading does not succeed in trying to do the deep voice thing on the Captain's Fury audio, for this is a sword and sorcery tale, where most of the characters are men. Nevertheless, both series are highly recommended for all public libraries--but if there's only room for one, you just can't beat the great performance that Marsters lends to the Dresden Files.--Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.