, January 21, 2015
(view all comments by Cora)
Okay, Summer Knight sealed it for me. I’m in for the series. If you read my other reviews of the Dresden books, you’ll discover that after book two I wasn’t sure if I would continue the series, but because I bought them, I decided to read Grave Peril(#3) and Summer Knight(#4).
Book four is the best so far. Pretty much everything gets a better in Summer Knight. Harry Dresden’s world is more developed. He gets honest and up-front with Murphy, his cop friend, which I wanted him to do much earlier.
Spoilers ahead: if you don’t like spoilers, skip the Brief Summary.
Okay, here we go. At the end of the last book, Susan, Dresden’s girlfriend, has become a vampire and left town. Summer Knight opens with Dresden depressed and as low as low can be. He’s been trying to find a cure for Susan.
He’s desperate for rent money, so he agrees to meet a client, but the client turns out to be Winter’s Queen Mab. His fairy godmother sold his contract to Mab, who hires him to find out who killed the Summer Knight, the Summer Queen’s knight.
Things are pretty much a mess. Dresden is now contracted to Mab. As bad as his fairy godmother is, she’s preferable to Mab, who is far more devious and dangerous. With the Summer Knight dead, there’s an impending war among the fairies, which has already started to upset the balance of nature and could lead to the destruction of the world. The Red Court of the vampires is on the war path, a conflict from Grave Peril��"they want Dresden delivered to them. Most of the White Council wants to strip Harry of his wizard title and turn him over to the Red Court. Someone’s put a hit out on his life.
If things could get worse, I’m not sure how, but of course, they do get worse.
As you might imagine, Harry’s in deep, deep dodo and all hell breaks lose. There are lots of fights, werewolves, fairies, an evil unicorn, vampires, and sundry creatures. The White Council of Wizards continued to be pedantic, dangerous nincompoops. Enemies might be preferable to the White Council.
It’s a fun, sometimes frightening ride, and Harry comes to terms with some of his past. And, no I’m not going to tell you who killed Summer Knight.
What I Liked
1) The story is fast paced and complex.
2) World building: things are getting fleshed out. We learn a lot more about the faeries, which probably isn’t exactly what people into faeries would expect or like. I liked the faeries. They are dangerous, unpredictable, and zany. Zany matters.
3) The puzzle is coming together. I could be wrong, but I think we’ve got the major puzzle pieces of the series in place: the wizards’ White Council, the vampire’s Red court, an archenemy lurking in the background, the Faerie Courts (winter and summer), the Never-never, and the werewolves.
4) Butcher does an excellent job of linking all these groups and creating complex characters.
5) As I said above, I like that Dresden is finally opening up to Murphy and the werewolves. For the most part, the White Council members are jerks, and keeping Murphy in the Dark was causing more harm than good.
6) The plot is tightly woven and fast paced.
Either I’ve gotten used to his sexism or it was toned down in this one. I think it was toned down a bit, but he does have a knight in shining armor complex, poor man. Let’s hope that Harry keeps growing up into a man instead of staying a thirteen-year-old boy. Since I’ve mentioned this about each book, this is going to be my last hurrah about Harry’s sexism. I think he’s probably going to continue to be an ass, but I’m hoping for better.
For the most part, I became so engrossed in the story that I didn’t get too picky, which is always good.