Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
Codex Alera is Jim Butcher's straight-out traditional fantasy series, as compared to his urban fantasy "Harry Dresden" series, set in a slightly different Chicago, or his "Cinder Spires" series (only the first book of which is out, that being The Aeronaut's Windlass), which has a more steampunk vibe.
This series is principally the story of Tavi, who is a shepherd boy of 15 in the first book, and unusually for an Aleran child of that age, one who has no "fury," or guardian spirit. This bothers him, but his Uncle Bernard tells him that he'll just have to use his wits more than other people, and think his way out of his problems.
We also follow throughout the series Tavi's Uncle Bernard and Aunt Isana (brother and sister), who are raising him in the isolated Calderon valley, home of violent storms, as well as the cursor (government agent) Amara, and her mentor, Fidelias. And in the background, the ruler of the land of Alera, Gaius Sextus, an aging and childless king.
The novels are filled with strange creatures, both friend and foe - the nomadic Marat, the Icemen of the north, the Canim (residents of the continent Canea, and a tall, canine race), and the Vord, who are malevolent, highly adaptive, spider-like people. It's also filled with political intrigue, and the machinations of great lords, who see possible advantages for themselves, in having an aging king with no heir.
It was a tremendous lot of fun to read.