Codex Alera series: Furies of Calderon, Academ's Fury, Cursor's Fury, Captain's Fury, Princeps' Fury
Anyone who likes fantasy *must* read these books! In a society where all the citizens are able to harness the magical powers of elemental Furies, Tavi is mysteriously without this abilty -- which means he has to use his wits instead! This series is action-fantasy at its very best, with lots of cool special effects *and* a group of central characters you'll really care about...plus a great sense of humor. Read the books in order -- Butcher (thankfully) avoids cliffhanger endings, but his gradual revelations of his characters' hidden pasts are a real highly of the series.