Review: “Summer Knight,” Jim Butcher

Pros: dark, fascinating
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Wizard Harry Dresden is in bad shape after the events of Grave Peril. He’s poured every ounce of energy he has into the search for a cure for his girlfriend, Susan. He’s about to be evicted from his home, so he’s forced to take on a case. Unfortunately it’s the faerie Winter Queen, Mab, who shows up on his doorstep. The Summer Knight was killed, and Mab needs to prove it wasn’t her doing. That’s where Dresden comes in. She bought his contract from his godmother and now Harry has little choice but to serve as Mab’s emissary.

Summer Knight: The Dresden Files sees Harry venture farther into the world and politics of faeries than he’s ever gone before. The balance of power between the two Queens is about to be skewed, something that would have terrible repercussions for everyone. One of the members of the wizards’ Council is nearly rabid in his desire to get rid of Harry, permanently.

I love the faeries of Butcher’s milieu. They range from tiny things that can be baited with pizza to the powerful and inhuman Sidhe. Their bargains color all that they do, and it’s easy to end up on the wrong end of a deal with a faerie.

There’s plenty of danger and adventure in this installment. Murphy is shown taking a larger and more explicit role in helping Harry through a couple of close calls. I do love the scene where she picks up a chainsaw and goes to town on a plant monster. Huge amounts of power are being tossed around, and Harry’s having the worst time of trying to figure out whodunit as a key to stopping the upcoming fae war. It’s fascinating to see what happens when Harry’s at the end of his rope, and how the friends he’s been picking up come to his rescue, or vice versa. I’m wholly enjoying catching up with the Dresden Files!

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