Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the "everyday" world is full of strange and magical things—and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in. Since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry's been down and out. He can't pay his rent. He's alienating his friends. He can't recall his last shower. Then when things are at their worst, the Winter Queen of Faerie saunters in with an offer Harry can't refuse. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Knight, the Summer Queen's right-hand man, and clear the Winter Queen's name. It seems simple, but Faerie politics seldom work out that way. Then Harry discovers the fate of the entire world rests on this case. So no pressure…Magic—it can get a guy killed.
About the Author
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.
Read an Excerpt
It rained toads the day the White Council came to town.
I got out of the Blue Beetle, my beat-up old Volkswagen bug, and squinted against the midsummer sunlight. Lake Meadow Park lies a bit south of Chicago's Loop, a long sprint from Lake Michigan's shores. Even in heat like we'd had lately, the park would normally be crowded with people. Today it was deserted but for an old lady with a shopping cart and a long coat, tottering around the park. It wasn't yet noon, and my sweats and T-shirt were too hot for the weather.
I squinted around the park for a moment, took a couple of steps onto the grass, and got hit on the head by something damp and squishy.
I flinched and slapped at my hair. Something small fell past my face and onto the ground at my feet. A toad. Not a big one, as toads goit could easily have sat in the palm of my hand. It wobbled for a few moments upon hitting the ground, then let out a bleary croak and started hopping drunkenly away.
I looked around me and saw other toads on the ground. A lot of them. The sound of their croaking grew louder as I walked further into the park. Even as I watched, several more amphibians plopped out of the sky, as though the Almighty had dropped them down a laundry chute. Toads hopped around everywhere. They didn't carpet the ground, but you couldn't possibly miss them. Every moment or so, you would hear the thump of another one landing. Their croaking sounded vaguely like the speech-chatter of a crowded room.
&'grave;Weird, huh?'' said an eager voice. I looked up to see a short young man with broad shoulders and a confident walk coming toward me. Billy the Werewolf wore sweatpants and a plain dark T-shirt. A year or two ago the outfit would have concealed the forty or fifty extra pounds he'd been carrying. Now they concealed all the muscle he'd traded it in for. He stuck out his hand, smiling. &'grave;What did I tell you, Harry?''
&'grave;Billy,'' I responded. He crunched down hard as I shook his hand. Or maybe he was just that much stronger. &'grave;How's the werewolf biz?''
&'grave;Getting interesting,'' he said. &'grave;We've run into a lot of odd things lately when we've been out patrolling. Like this.'' He gestured at the park. Another toad fell from the sky several feet away. &'grave;That's why we called the wizard.''
Patrolling. Holy vigilantes, Batman. &'grave;Any of the normals been here?''
&'grave;No, except for some meteorological guys from the university. They said that they were having tornadoes in Louisiana or something, that the storms must have thrown the toads here.''
I snorted. &'grave;You'd think 'it's magic' would be easier to swallow than that.''
Billy grinned. &'grave;Don't worry. I'm sure someone will come along and declare it a hoax before long.''
&'grave;Uh-huh.'' I turned back to the Beetle and popped the hood to rummage in the forward storage compartment. I came out with a nylon backpack and dragged a couple of small cloth sacks out of it. I threw one to Billy. &'grave;Grab a couple of toads and pitch them in there for me.''
He caught the bag and frowned. &'grave;Why?''
&'grave;So I can make sure they're real.''
Billy lifted his eyebrows. &'grave;You think they're not?''
I squinted at him. &'grave;Look, Billy, just do it. I haven't slept, I can't remember the last time I ate a hot meal, and I've got a lot to do before tonight.''
&'grave;But why wouldn't they be real? They look real.''
I blew out a breath and tried to keep my temper. It had been short lately. &'grave;They could look real and feel real, but it's possible that they're just constructs. Made out of the material of the Nevernever and animated by magic. I hope they are.''
&'grave;Because all that would mean is that some faerie got bored and played a trick. They do that sometimes.''
&'grave;Okay. But if they're real?''
&'grave;If they're real, then it means something is out of whack.''
&'grave;What kind of out of whack?''
&'grave;The serious kind. Holes in the fabric of reality.''
&'grave;And that would be bad?''
I eyed him. &'grave;Yeah, Billy. That would be bad. It would mean something big was going down.''
&'grave;But what if''
My temper flared. &'grave;I don't have the time or inclination to teach a class today. Shut the hell up.''
He lifted a hand in a pacifying gesture. &'grave;Okay, man. Whatever.'' He fell into step beside me and started picking up toads as we walked across the park. &'grave;So, uh, it's good to see you, Harry. Me and the gang were wondering if you wanted to come by this weekend, do some socializing.''
I scooped up a toad of my own and eyed him dubiously. &'grave;Doing what?''
He grinned at me. &'grave;Playing Arcanos, man. The campaign is getting really fun.''
Role-playing games. I made a monosyllabic sound. The old lady with the shopping cart wandered past us, the wheels of the cart squeaking and wobbling.
&'grave;Seriously, it's great,'' he insisted. &'grave;We're storming the fortress of Lord Malocchio, except we have to do it in disguise in the dead of night, so that the Council of Truth won't know who the vigilantes who brought him down were. There's spells and demons and dragons and everything. Interested?''
&'grave;Sounds too much like work.''
Billy let out a snort. &'grave;Harry, look, I know this whole vampire war thing has you jumpy. And grouchy. But you've been lurking in your basement way too much lately.''
&'grave;What vampire war?''
Billy rolled his eyes. &'grave;Word gets around, Harry. I know that the Red Court of the vampires declared war on the wizards after you burned down Bianca's place last fall. I know that they've tried to kill you a couple of times since then. I even know that the wizards' White Council is coming to town sometime soon to figure out what to do.''
I glowered at him. &'grave;What White Council?''
He sighed. &'grave;It's not a good time for you to be turning into a hermit, Harry. I mean, look at you. When was the last time you shaved? Had a shower? A haircut? Got out to do your laundry?''
I lifted a hand and scratched at the wiry growth of beard on my face. &'grave;I've been out. I've been out plenty of times.''
Billy snagged another toad. &'grave;Like when?''
&'grave;I went to that football game with you and the Alphas.''
He snorted. &'grave;Yeah. In January, Dresden. It's June.'' Billy glanced up at my face and frowned. &'grave;People are worried about you. I mean, I know you've been working on some project or something. But this whole unwashed wild man look just isn't you.''
I stooped and grabbed a toad. &'grave;You don't know what you're talking about.''
&'grave;I know better than you think,'' he said. &'grave;It's about Susan, right? Something happened to her last fall. Something you're trying to undo. Maybe something the vampires did. That's why she left town.''
I closed my eyes and tried not to crush the toad in my hand. &'grave;Drop the subject.''
Billy planted his feet and thrust his chin out at me. &'grave;No, Harry. Dammit, you vanish from the face of the earth, you're hardly showing up at your office, won't answer your phone, don't often answer your door. We're your friends, and we're worried about you.''
&'grave;I'm fine,'' I said.
&'grave;You're a lousy liar. Word is that the Reds are bringing more muscle into town. That they're offering their groupies full vampirehood if one of them brings you down.''
&'grave;Hell's bells,'' I muttered. My head started to ache.
&'grave;It isn't a good time for you to be outside by yourself. Even during daylight.''
&'grave;I don't need a baby-sitter, Billy.''
&'grave;Harry, I know you better than most. I know you can do stuff that other people can'tbut that doesn't make you Superman. Everyone needs help sometimes.''
&'grave;Not me. Not now.'' I stuffed the toad into my sack and picked up another. &'grave;I don't have time for it.''
&'grave;Oh, that reminds me.'' Billy drew a folded piece of paper out of the pocket of his sweats and read it. &'grave;You've got an appointment with a client at three.''
I blinked at him. &'grave;What?''
&'grave;I dropped by your office and checked your messages. A Ms. Sommerset was trying to reach you, so I called her and set up the appointment for you.''
I felt my temper rising again. &'grave;You did what?''
His expression turned annoyed. &'grave;I checked your mail, too. The landlord for the office dropped off your eviction notice. If you don't have him paid off in a week, he's booting you out.''
&'grave;What the hell gives you the right to go poking around in my office, Billy? Or calling my clients?''
He took a step in front of me, glaring. I had to focus on his nose to avoid the risk of looking at his eyes. &'grave;Get off the high horse, Harry. I'm your freaking friend. You've been spending all your time hiding in your apartment. You should be happy I'm helping you save your business.''
&'grave;You're damned right it's my business,'' I spat. The shopping cart lady circled past in my peripheral vision, cart wheels squeaking as she walked behind me. &'grave;Mine. As in none of yours.''
He thrust out his jaw. &'grave;Fine. How about you just crawl back into your cave until they evict you from that, too?'' He spread his hands. &'grave;Good God, man. I don't need to be a wizard to see when someone's in a downward spiral. You're hurting. You need help.''
I jabbed a finger into his chest. &'grave;No, Billy. I don't need more help. I don't need to be baby-sitting a bunch of kids who think that because they've learned one trick they're ready to be the Lone Ranger with fangs and a tail. I don't need to be worrying about the vamps targeting the people around me when they can't get to me. I don't need to be second-guessing myself, wondering who else is going to get hurt because I dropped the ball.'' I reached down and snatched up a toad, jerking the cloth bag from Billy's hands on the way back up. &'grave;I don't need you.''
Naturally, the hit went down right then.
It wasn't subtle, as attempted assassinations go. An engine roared and a black compact pickup truck jumped the curb into the park fifty yards away. It jounced and slewed to one side, tires digging up furrows in the sunbaked grass. A pair of men clung to a roll bar in the back of the truck. They were dressed all in black, complete with black sunglasses over black ski masks, and their guns matchedautomatic weapons in the mini-Uzi tradition.
&'grave;Get back!'' I shouted. With my right hand, I grabbed at Billy and shoved him behind me. With my left, I shook out the bracelet on my wrist, hung with a row of tiny, medieval-style shields. I lifted my left hand toward the truck and drew in my will, focusing it with the bracelet into a sudden, transparent, shimmering half-globe that spread out between me and the oncoming truck.
The truck ground to a halt. The two gunmen didn't wait for it to settle. With all the fire discipline of an action-movie extra, they pointed their guns more or less at me and emptied their clips in one roaring burst.
Sparks flew from the shield in front of me, and bullets whined and hissed in every direction as they ricocheted. My bracelet grew uncomfortably warm within a second or two, the energy of the shield taxing the focus to its limit. I tried to angle the shield to deflect the shots up into the air as much as possible. God only knew where all those bullets were goingI just hoped that they wouldn't bounce through a nearby car or some other passerby.
The guns clicked empty. With jerky, unprofessional motions, both gunmen began to reload.
&'grave;Harry!'' Billy shouted.
I lowered the shield and lifted my right handthe side that projects energy. The silver ring I wore on my index finger had been enchanted to save back a little kinetic energy whenever my arm moved. I hadn't used the ring in months, and it had a whale of a kick to itone I hardly dared to use on the gunmen. That much force could kill one of them, and that would be basically the same as letting them fill me full of bullets. It would just take a little longer to set in. The White Council did not take kindly to anyone violating the First Law of Magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. I'd slipped it once on a technicality, but it wouldn't happen again.
I gritted my teeth, focused my shot just to one side of the gunmen, and triggered the ring. Raw force, unseen but tangible, lashed through the air and caught the first gunman with a glancing blow across his upper body. His automatic slammed against his chest, and the impact tore the sunglasses off his head and shredded bits of his clothes even as it flung him back and out of the pickup, to land somewhere on the ground on the other side.
The second gunman got less of the blast. What did hit him struck against his shoulder and head. He held on to his gun but lost the sunglasses, and they took the ski mask with them, revealing him to be a plain-looking boy who couldn't have been old enough to vote. He blinked against the sudden light and then resumed his fumbling reload.
&'grave;Kids,'' I snarled, lifting my shield again. &'grave;They're sending kids after me. Hell's bells.''
And then something made the hairs on the back of my neck try to lift me off the ground. As the kid with the gun started shooting again, I glanced back over my shoulder.
The old lady with her shopping basket had stopped maybe fifteen feet behind me. I saw now that she wasn't as old as I had thought. I caught a flicker of cool, dark eyes beneath age makeup. Her hands were young and smooth. From the depths of the shopping basket she pulled out a sawed-off shotgun, and swung it toward me.
Bullets from the chattering automatic slammed against my shield, and it was all I could do to hold it in place. If I brought any magic to bear against the third attacker, I would lose my concentration and the shield with itand inexpert or not, the gunman on the truck was spraying around enough lead that sooner or later he wouldn't miss.
On the other hand, if the disguised assassin got a chance to fire that shotgun from five yards away, no one would bother taking me to the hospital. I'd go straight to the morgue.
Bullets hammered into my shield, and I couldn't do anything but watch the third attacker bring the shotgun to bear. I was screwed, and probably Billy was along with me.
Billy moved. He had already gotten out of his T√shirt, and he had enough muscle to rippleflat, hard muscle, athlete's muscle, not the carefully sculpted build of weight lifters. He dove forward, toward the woman with the shotgun, and stripped out of his sweatpants on the fly. He was naked beneath.
I felt the surge of magic that Billy used thensharp, precise, focused. There was no sense of ritual in what he did, no slow gathering of power building to release. He blurred as he moved, and between one breath and the next, Billy-the-Naked was gone and Billy-the-Wolf slammed into the assailant, a dark-furred beast the size of a Great Dane, fangs slashing at the hand that gripped the forward stock of the shotgun.
The woman cried out, jerking her hand back, scarlet blood on her fingers, and swept the gun at Billy like a club. He twisted and caught the blow on his shoulders, a snarl exploding from him. He went after the woman's other hand, faster than I could easily see, and the shotgun tumbled to the ground.
The woman screamed again and drew back her hand.
She wasn't human.
Her hands distended, lengthening, as did her shoulders and her jaw. Her nails became ugly, ragged talons, and she raked them down at Billy, striking him across the jaw, this time eliciting a pained yelp mixed with a snarl. He rolled to one side and came up on his feet, circling in order to force the woman-thing's back to me.
The gunman in the truck clicked on empty again. I dropped the shield and hurled myself forward, diving to grip the shotgun. I came up with it and shouted, &'grave;Billy, move!''
The wolf darted to one side, and the woman whipped around to face me, her distorted features furious, mouth drooling around tusklike fangs.
I pointed the gun at her belly and pulled the trigger.
The gun roared and bucked, slamming hard against my shoulder. Ten-gauge, maybe, or slug rounds. The woman doubled over, letting out a shriek, and stumbled backward and to the ground. She wasn't down long. She almost bounced back to her feet, scarlet splashed all over her rag of a dress, her face wholly inhuman now. She sprinted past me to the truck and leapt up into the back. The gunman hauled his partner back into the truck with him, and the driver gunned the engine. The truck threw out some turf before it dug in, jounced back onto the street, and whipped away into traffic.
I stared after it for a second, panting. I lowered the shotgun, realizing as I did that I had somehow managed to keep hold of the toad I had picked up in my left hand. It wriggled and struggled in a fashion that suggested I had been close to crushing it, and I tried to ease up on my grip without losing it.
I turned to look for Billy. The wolf paced back over to his discarded sweatpants, shimmered for a second, and became once more the naked young man. There were two long cuts on his face, parallel with his jaw. Blood ran down over his throat in a fine sheet. He carried himself tensely, but it was the only indication he gave of the pain.
&'grave;You all right?'' I asked him.
He nodded and jerked on his pants, his shirt. &'grave;Yeah. What the hell was that?''
&'grave;Ghoul,'' I told him. &'grave;Probably one of the LaChaise clan. They're working with the Red Court, and they don't much like me.''
&'grave;Why don't they like you?''
&'grave;I've given them headaches a few times.''
Billy lifted a corner of his shirt to hold against the cuts on his face. &'grave;I didn't expect the claws.''
&'grave;They're sneaky that way.''
&'grave;Ghoul, huh. Is it dead?''
I shook my head. &'grave;They're like cockroaches. They recover from just about anything. Can you walk?''
&'grave;Good. Let's get out of here.'' We headed toward the Beetle. I picked up the cloth sack of toads on the way and started shaking them back out onto the ground. I put the toad I'd nearly squished down with them, then wiped my hand off on the grass.
Billy squinted at me. &'grave;Why are you letting them go?''
&'grave;Because they're real.''
&'grave;How do you know?''
&'grave;The one I was holding crapped on my hand.''
I let Billy into the Blue Beetle and got in the other side. I fetched the first aid kit from under my seat and passed it over to him. Billy pressed a cloth against his face, looking out at the toads. &'grave;So that means things are in a bad way?''
&'grave;Yeah,'' I confirmed, &'grave;things are in a bad way.'' I was silent for a minute, then said, &'grave;You saved my life.''
He shrugged. He didn't look at me.
&'grave;So you set up the appointment for three o'clock, right? What was the name? Sommerset?''
He glanced at me and kept the smile from his mouthbut not from his eyes. &'grave;Yeah.''
I scratched at my beard and nodded. &'grave;I've been distracted lately. Maybe I should clean up first.''
&'grave;Might be good,'' Billy agreed.
I sighed. &'grave;I'm an ass sometimes.''
Billy laughed. &'grave;Sometimes. You're human like the rest of us.''
I started up the Beetle. It wheezed a little, but I coaxed it to life.
Just then something hit my hood with a hard, heavy thump. Then again. Another heavy blow, on the roof.
A feeling of dizziness swept over me, a nausea that came so suddenly and violently that I clutched the steering wheel in a simple effort not to collapse. Distantly, I could hear Billy asking me if I was all right. I wasn't. Power moved and stirred in the air outsidehectic disruption, the forces of magic, usually moving in smooth and quiet patterns, suddenly cast into tumult, disruptive, maddening chaos.
I tried to push the sensations away from me, and labored to open my eyes. Toads were raining down. Not occasionally plopping, but raining down so thick and hard that they darkened the sky. No gentle laundry-chute drop for these poor things, either. They fell like hailstones, splattering on concrete, on the hood of the Beetle. One of them fell hard enough to send a spiderweb of cracks through my windshield, and I dropped into gear and scooted down the street. After a few hundred yards we got away from the otherworldly rain.
Both of us were breathing too fast. Billy had been right. The rain of toads meant something serious was going on, magically speaking. The White Council was coming to town tonight to discuss the war. I had a client to meet, and the vampires had evidently upped the stakes (no pun intended), striking at me more openly than they had dared to before.
I flipped on the windshield wipers. Amphibian blood left scarlet streaks on the cracked glass.
&'grave;Good Lord,'' Billy breathed.
&'grave;Yeah.'' I said. &'grave;It never rains, it pours.''
Reprinted from Summer Knight by Jim Butcher by permission of Roc, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © 2002, Jim Butcher. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Excerpted from "Summer Knight"
Copyright © 2002 Jim Butcher.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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. Guest Reviewers: 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.
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!!!
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.
Great take of Harry Dresden -wizard. Dresden falls afoul of the Winter Queen.
What more can I say ?
Absolutely the best of the series so far, the writing style has settled and the continuity with the past is good - though I wish he's decide whether is was a brass or copper circle, more or less the same colour, very different metals - a minor gripe. The plot is lsightly less convoluted, which makes the story flow better for the reader. Harry is in his darkest days, beset by his responsability to Susan he abandons work, and hygine, searching for a cure, hence he's hardly in the best of states when the White Council deem him responsible for the vampire war. Can he win the aid of the faeries? Ever the sucker for a damsel in distress he does his best. A great take on A Midsummer Night's Dream set in Chicargo with clever twists and loyalty to friends.After re-read:Oh yeah, the vampires still aren't happy with him personally, his faery godmother has sold his debt to her, and Murphy is becoming afraid of the dark - because of him.We learn lots more about Harry's past, and the Council, I love the slow leaking of backstory into the novels which provides a realy sense of depth oterwise lacking in these light but entertaining tales.
This series is like M&Ms. You start reading and think, just a little more. I like the noir-ish voice of the main character, along with the sense of the ridiculous that makes the horror aspects of the novel not so dark that I won't read it. The continuing thread of the series is beginning to get deeper and more interesting as the main character becomes more important to the "unreal" world and discovers more about himself.
For the past couple of months or so, I have been indulging myself with The Dresden Files Series. It is pretty much a thriller with a twist. Featuring Harry Dresden, a private detective, who also happened to be the only um... "known" wizard in the mortal world. He also works as a consultant for SI (Special Investigations), which specialised in unsolved cases. He has a ghost who inhabited a skull, named Bob, and a pet cat (that's pretty much abnormal as size), and they live in a basement somewhere in Chicago. The series pretty much pulling me into the story from one book to another and I can't seem to stop! The series, currently, is at it's 11th book in publication. It also has it's own TV Series, if anybody is interested. So about Summer Knight. The story just continues off from the last book 'Grave Peril', and yes you have to read from the first book cause it would just confuse you if you start reading from middle of nowhere. Harry Dresden faced the White Council for what he did in the last book and is also in the middle of a beginning of a breakdown. (sort of). The Seasons are running havoc, his werewolves friends are his sidekicks, and of course there's a girl involved to make things interesting. To make him more busy, he has to look for a missing girl so he could pay for his rent!Things I've enjoyed: How the events just won't slow down and fast pace for read. Danger after danger and complication after complication. It's not too much but it's good enough to get through you as a reader and not put it down. Plus Harry just have a good sense of weird humor here and there.Things I didn¿t enjoy: Well.. nothing so far.Reason for reading: I love it! I would like to finish the series hope Jim Butcher won't end it any soon.Rating: Pretty high. Recommending it to Pre-Us up.Recommends to: Harry Potter, Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff fans would love this.
Dresden is starting to grow on me immensely. I think Butcher has a pretty good formula on his hands here.
Summer Knight by Jim ButcherHarry Dresden is a wizard for hire, the only one in Chicago¿s Yellow Pages. His latest client is Mab, the Winter Queen of Faerie. She makes Harry an offer he literally can¿t refuse. Harry has to find out who killed the Summer Knight or die trying. Butcher does an exceptional job making wizardry seem normal. His characters are quirky and surprisingly believable. I enjoy his plots, I have yet to figure out before hand who did what. Harry has ethics and a strong moral compass. He is an eminently likeable protagonist. I highly recommend the entire series. You will be seeing more as I have finally purchased all the ones that have currently been printed.
Faeries and politicking. Who knew it could be so much fun to watch Harry Dresden squirm! Oh wait, that is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this wonderful series. In this fourth installment of how-will-Harry-be-royally(literally)-screwed, he has the White Council with the Sword of Damocles (or Morgan with his axe to grind) on one side, Queen Mab of the icy britches Winter Court on another, and a gang load of hired thugs and nasty types elsewhere trying to off him. Oh, and his dead flame who tried to kill him is back too. What choice a poor wizard to make for his demise? Even with this doom and gloom storm cloud brewing with a little Faerie magic on a big stone table, Harry battles the good battle, plays the heroic man with a big staff, wears his spiffy coat, and keeps a snarky head above the insanity, even while said head is spinning none too slowly over his unlucky fate. I sort of really wanted to hug Mr. Butcher after finishing this novel.
Another good Harry book. I really liked the fae storyline, and I LOVED that we only had to suffer through Harry's self-hatred in the beginning of the book. And I also loved how Harry finally filled in Murphy so she can be more of a friend & partner to him rather than a damsel in distress whom Harry feels he must protect. Baby steps, Harry.
Eversince his girlfriend Susan left town to deal with her newly acquired Vampire taste for blood, HARRY DRESDEN has been down on his luck. Depressed, brok, can't pay his rent and he's resisting help from his friends. And when was the last time he took a shower? A shave? A haircut? Our Hero is depressed and has hit rock bottom. And along comes the Winter Queen of Faerie, with an offer Harry just can't refuse. She promises to free him of the hold his Faerie Godmother has over him and end his run of bad luck. But before he knows it, he is caught up in the middle of a Faerie War for power and if he is not careful, he won't need that haircut...he could lose his HEAD! This is another terrific addition to the series. Fast paced, gritty and funny as hell. And now to BOOK 5....
The 4th book in the Dresden files series sees Harry recovering from what happened with the Vampire's last fall. He is not taking care of himself and blaming himself for what happened to Susan. Queen Mab then comes to Harry and makes him an offer. Harry is to find out who killed the Summer Court's Knight as the Shide are thinking Mab may have done it. The White Council of Wizards decides this is a good test to determine if Harry should keep his status as a Wizard of the White Council or not. Some of the Council want to turn Harry over to the Red Vampire court for starting the war. A decent book to the series. Jim's plot lines and mysteries have gotten more complex. And he is bringing in more characters and adding depth to the established ones. After rereading this for probably the 5th or 6th time one thing that stood out to me at the end was Harry never got to see the results of the White Council on his job being done. It seems like that would have been important enough to include in the book. Or if Harry wouldn't have been well enough to go to the council Ebenazer would have shown up at Harry's apt. and let him know the outcome. But this is still one of my favorite series out there. I recomend it to any and all who are fans or wizards, mysteries, urban fantasy, or just looking for a well written book.
I found book four of the Dresden Files the best so far. It was explosive and had some pretty cool plot lines with things like old friends coming back into a storyline and people thought to be dead or trusted, proving to not be so. The series just gets better with each bookAlso, I think there may have been a few typos, but less so than previous books. There was also a new look and different paper quality to the series starting with book four. Hopefully that means less errors that were missed by editors previously.I can't get enough of this series and look forward to reading book five next. Definitely a 5/5 book.
I¿ve really enjoyed the prior books in this series, but this one was pretty flat for me. Harry is even more of a mess than usual, and the faerie politics were just a little too complicated. There are a few decent spots of action, and the climactic final faerie battle is written well enough that I could picture it in my mind, but overall I was left wanting more. It may be that there just wasn¿t enough of Harry¿s supporting cast here¿ Murphy only plays a small part, and Bob, one of my favorite characters, is only in one scene. I do plan on finishing this series, so I hope they pick back up!
Jim Butcher delivers another grand escapade in his Harry Dresden, wizard detective series. With Dresden, there's fun for everyone: lover's of fantasy or mystery need not worry. In this installment the wizards and vampires are at war, the summer and winter faeries are at war and its causing all kinds of trouble in mortal Chicago. With Dresden feeling sorry for himself and looking even worse, he must save the wizards, the faeries, Chicago and himself.Watch for box knives and .357 Magnums as Dresden makes the reader laugh and want to stomp somebody's face in. This is definitely an adventure worth reading. I'm looking forward to the next one.
"Summer Knight", the fourth Harry Dreseden novel from Jim Butcher, kicks things up a notch for Chicago's favorite (and only) Wizard P.I. This battle isnt' just about Harry living through it, but its about saving all of Chicago and possibly the world. Harry is about as depressed and rundown as could be after the events in "Grave Peril". He is haunted by his failure to save Susan and his obsession with trying to find a 'cure' to remedy that sitution. The vampiress are gunning for him and his own magical "White Council" is about to cast him out or hand him over to the vamps unless he proves his worth. Then his 'godmother' sells his contract to the Summer Queen and what she demands of him makes all the other stuff look like a vacation. This was a great installment in the series. I read through it like I was eating chocolate. The story seemed more cohesive than previous volumes. Dreseden and the wolves were witty and fun. The scene in the Wal-Mart is my favorite of all the Dresden action scenes. That is not to say that this was a perfect book. I was sympathetic the first four or five times Harry sobbed, but after that it felt redundant. I felt for him, really, but it was overkill for this PI to cry so frequently. Also, Bob wasn't in the story enough for my liking! The story could have been a little bit clearer on certain points as well. A few times I got confused over how Dresend put something together and I had to read through it again. Overall this is probably the best in the series thus far and I look forward to my future visists with Harry as I run across him in my TBR stack.
Harry Dresden becomes embroiled in the world of faerie and faerie politics. This isn't good, for anyone involved.Harry is busy keeping himself alive, some of the decisions he's making are very complicated.Interesting and involved Harry is quite an interesting character and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Maybe Harry Dresden is finally coming around. I was worried that the small weaknesses of the earlier Dresden books would accumulate as the series progressed. Harry was in danger of becoming a one-man idiot plot generator, due to his apparent inability to communicate and trust others.In Summer Knight, Harry appears to have learned when to ask for help and, as a result, the sequence of plot events feels more natural than in previous volumes. The number of characters and encyclopedic scope of Butcher's world-building are rich, but occasionally befuddling. I struggled at times to keep track of the names of the various Fairy Queens and the changelings. It's not helping that I'm not reading directly though the series, in order to keep a fresh perspective.Finally, kudos go to Butcher for developing Karryn Murphy's character more in Summer Knight. She's coping with the psychic damage from book three and seems to snap out of it when the situation gets dire at the Battle of Wal-Mart, which I'm sure will prove to be a pivotal turning point for Dresden and Murphy's partnership.
Really liked this one. Harry is hired by Mab, Queen of the Winter Faeries to prove she didn't kill the Summer Knight. At the same time, he has to prove to the White Council that he is worthy of being a wizard - by getting Mab to agree to safe passage through the Nevernever. We delve more into Harry's past and he runs into interesting situations.