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Posted July 15, 2009
The previous book in the series, Grave Peril, was the kind of book a fan reads just to find out what's happening next with the characters, so it was with some caution that I picked up my copy of Summer Knight. I was, honestly, afraid that the momentum and pure fun Butcher whipped up in the first two Harry Dresden books was destined to only make for a slow, disappointing slide.
And I was very wrong, thankfully.
In Summer Knight Butcher hits that perfect stride between adventure, mystery, a touch of romance and plenty of humor that was off in Grave Peril. It opens with Dresden, nearly mad and driven to his own destruction over the tragedy that befell his girlfriend Susan in the last book, investigating a literal rain of toads at a Chicago park. While there Dresden barely escapes a hit, aided by a werewolf buddy, and returns home to meet a would-be client. Only the client turns out to be none other than the Winter Queen of the Fairies, who has bought his debt to his fairie godmother and in return wants three favors from him.
The first, which he is told he has full permission to decline, is to seek out the true killer of the knight of the Summer court, clearing the Winter Queen's name. But while still considering whether he'll take the task or not Dresden meets with the White Council, part of which is trying to blame him for starting the war between wizards and the Red Court of vampires. The Winter Queen, the Council finds, is willing to give the wizards aid in their fight against the vampires, if Dresden completes a task for them. Conveniently enough the White Council, less friendly than Harry would like to admit to, demands that he fulfill the Winter Queen's task as he never did have a proper quest to become a full wizard in the first place. The quest will kill two birds with one stone, if it doesn't kill Harry first.
Only the quest isn't as simple as find the killer, something neither the White Council nor the Winter Queen (or even the Summer Queen) realize is going on, and Harry, the only one who can find the truth, is facing a full on Fairie War as well as a magical imbalance of the seasons that could rip the mortal world apart.
As always Dresden is in over his head, but is stubborn, sarcastic and determined to do what is right by the people around him, the people who depend on him one way or the other.
Summer Knight comes together with smoothness and wholeness that Grave Peril lacked. The stakes are just as high, the losses potentially just as bad, but the parts all fit together in a way that makes this addition to the Dresden Files an incredibly satisfying read.
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Posted June 7, 2010
The leaves of Summer, the snow of Winter. Two seasons at odds with each other. Butcher develops this belief of the Fae to an unbelievably vicious and raw battle. From the introduction of the most creative characters to the development of plots that the only wizard in the yellow pages could handle. From beginning to end it is captivating, tantalizing and holds you white knuckled to the very end. Thanks again Jim, you just need to get them out faster!!!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 12, 2010
I Also Recommend:
My future hubby suggested I take 'Storm Front', the first in the series on a long weekend trip. Well, I haven't stopped yet! In fact I have gotten so into this series that I have passed the future hubby in the series.
That aside of the four and a half Dresden books I have read 'Summer Knight' in by far my favorite. The characters are fantastic and the plot just keeps you turning pages into the night! Just when you think Dresden can't possibly get himself into anymore trouble the Winter Queen comes into his office with a job for him. As usual this one won't be any easier than his past assignments.
I don't want to give any more away but this, you just might believe in Fairies once you finish this book in the series!
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Posted March 9, 2010
The Harry Dresden series does what very few series manage-surviving the plot hooks that were placed in the original volume being resolved. Describing too much of these items would be spoiler territory, but suffice it to say that there are blatant references in book 1 that are central to the character of Harry's personality that come to a head in this volume, yet the story is continuing to grow, rather than collapsing in on itself, as many do at this point.
Harry's personality continues to amuse, and inspire. Despite the fact that the character constantly harps on his own flaws (and they are legitimate), one is still left wishing that they could be more like Harry. Inventive, resourceful, clever, and yes, at times a true gentleman, Harry is one of the most believeable supernatural protaganists I have ever run across. Despite his power, and quick-wittedness, he fails as much as he succeeds, making him feel like the "everyman" of wizardry.
Another thing that often lacks in novels of this type is a cohesive feel to the supernatural. Too often, a series of this type seems to say, "Hey, we should add Bog Witches to the next one!", without knowing how to fit something into their cosmology, or in many cases researching what the accepted lore is. The Dresden series manages to create a overarching feel to the supernatural elements, making it feel like there is a set of rules that one can figure out.
There are flaws, as with any gem. This book in particular did start to lose me to confusion near the climax a little. I attribute this to the naming of characters in this one (8 main characters with two names each, one of which is a variation off of the other character's), although the sheer weight of characters is getting impressive at this point, which can also be looked at as a benefit.
All in all, this is an exciting series, and one where I blow through the newest book in short order when I get it. Fun and quick to read, an excellent author.
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Posted June 6, 2014
SUMMER KNIGHT seemed a little slower in the beginning than its predecessor, but it certainly built up to a heart-pounding end! There were a lot of side characters, and it was hard to decide who to trust: a combination that was both confusing and exciting. I loved the re-appearence of Billy and the werewolf "Alphas" and there were some great surprises and more glimpses into Dresden's past. Over all, I didn't love SUMMER KNIGHT as much as GRAVE PERIL, but it's still an excellent read, especially when things start to come together near the end!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2014
Posted May 18, 2014
Posted April 2, 2014
Audio review ~ Harry is still a hit in this household
*Book source ~ Purchased at Audible
Harry Dresden, Wizard Extraordinaire and Private Investigator is in the dumps because his girlfriend has left town to deal with the after effects of being bitten by a Red Court vampire. He needs to get his act together because he needs money for rent and everyday living, but instead the Winter Queen walks into his office and offers him a job he can’t refuse. He has to find the real killer of the Summer Queen’s Summer Knight and clear her name or the two Faerie Courts will go to war. In exchange for doing this one little (yeah, right) thing for her she will grant the White Council passage through her realm while they fight their own war with the Red Court. Oh, and she has taken over his debt to his godmother which means he now owes Mab the debt. Harry has to find a killer, prevent a war that would destroy most of mankind, win safe passage for the White Council and pay off his new debt with the Winter Queen. All in a days work for Chicago’s only wizard.
A: my 16-yr-old daughter
T: my 14-yr-old son
K: my 13-yr-old son
This series continues to entertain the kids (and me). We all love Harry. The humor is a big hit still, the magic is always interesting and the mystery keeps us guessing.
Many favorite characters are back such as Bob, Murphy, the Alphas, Thomas, Michael and Toot-Toot. In addition to meeting many of the Fae and some Changelings we met Elaine, Harry’s very first love and who he thought was dead. Surprise! We also got to meet many of the White Council and more importantly the wizards of the Senior Council including Ebenezer McCoy who took Harry in when he was a teenager and was his mentor.
Everyone liked the battle with the troll and the Chlorofiend at Walmart and it was unanimous that the big battle at the end was awesome. Everyone enjoyed all of the information pertaining to the Faerie Courts. They did not like many of the Fae, but then who does? The loved meeting the Senior Council. They were very surprised at who killed the Summer Knight.
Favorite quote: “I stretched out my hand, adrenaline and pain giving me plenty of fuel for the magic, and called, 'Ventas servitas!' Wind leapt out in a sudden spurt, seizing the Unraveling and tearing it from Aurora's fingers, sending it spinning through the air toward me. I caught it, stuck my tongue out at Aurora, yelled, 'Meep, meep!' and ran like hell.”
Narration: Marsters is improving as the series goes along. He’s done a much better job in this one than in previous ones though his pronunciations sometimes aren’t quite right.
Posted March 24, 2013
Still good, but I think I liked the last one a bit more. I can't point at anything and say "this was bad". I think it's just a matter of personal taste.
We keep the Dresden working with back up element that elevated the last book. This time though, Butcher brings back characters from the first two novels to fill the role. It works better for some more than others here. My opinion of Murphy was definitely raised, which was something that needed to happen before the next time she showed up to ask for Dresden's help on a case. Billy and the Alphas, while not bad, didn't really live up to the high point set by Michael.
As has been the norm for the series so far, we get a really big expansion of the universe the book is set in. Maybe a little too big this time. We get a lot of introductions to things that exist, but not all that much in the way of details about what they can do. Which makes it hard to narrow down a suspect list, or to make sure that someone isn't written off the list because that person isn't really given an opportunity to show you what they're capable of.
Posted March 1, 2013
highly recommend this series, the main character is witty and entertaining. the book just pulls you along thru the story until surprisingly you are at the end before you realize it and want more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 16, 2013
Posted February 4, 2013
Posted January 2, 2013
Posted December 30, 2012
Posted December 17, 2012
Butcher's closest competitors are Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong and Patricia Briggs, in a neck and neck cluster about 100 yards behind him .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 27, 2012
Posted October 22, 2012
I've read 5 of the Dresden Files series books. This was one of the ones that was a little confusing. It's a battle between Winter and Summer and it was tough to keep the characters figured out (who was on which side). The ending was fabulous though. Getting there was a struggle for me.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 15, 2012
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is my very favorite wizard/private eye ever. In Summer Knight, Harry is mourning Susan and having a rough time of it. He's also got other things to deal with, faeries namely. It seems that Harry just cannot catch a break. He has some people on his side, though, like the werewolves who I have grown to love, and Murphy who I also love, but ultimately it comes down to him.
What I really love about this book (and the series in general) is the emotional and personal development we see in Harry. Harry is just a great guy, and Butcher did an excellent job of making his character a real person for us. I also love the worlds Butcher creates. How does he come up with this stuff? Each supernatural creature has its own world and set of rules. It is completely complicated but yet drawn together to make all the pieces fit so wonderfully and completely together.
Another thing I love about this series is that the plot is constantly evolving and growing. Of course, with 14+ books in the series you have to keep changing things up to keep it fresh, but Butcher is great at throwing in surprises. He ties up the storyline from the current book but leaves you with enough questions that there is no question whether or not you are going to read the next one. I know I've said this in previous reviews, but this is officially one of my favorite series, and I am dreading coming to the end. Luckily, I am only on book #5!
Posted October 14, 2012
I really love the Dresden series, but the only thing that frustrates me is that he is so mealy mouthed. Always so forelorn and unkept. I guess that's the way Jim Butcher wants to portray Harry, but I get so frustrated with his unkept appearance and his negetive self image that I can't stand it. Why not have this extrodinary character have more of a positive self image and a cooler look??Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 30, 2012
Another good entry in the Dresden series. A nice mix detective noire and fantasy. There was the annoyance the NOOK version of having any italicized word running onto the next word.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.