By Jim Butcher
Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Roc, 2002
Genres: Fantasy, contemporary fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, mystery, paranormal mystery, paranormal
Series: The Dresden Files; 4
Intended audience: Adult
Number of pages: 371
Setting: Chicago, IL & where it meets Faerie
Time period: Contemporary
Plot summary: Harry Dresden has been feeling guilt ridden and depressed ever since his girlfriend Susan left town. Instead of working on paying cases, he’s been devoting his time to wallowing in misery while seeking to rectify Susan’s situation and falling behind in rent payments. He’s also had to dodge a few assignation attempts. The Red Court still wants Harry dead. Unfortunately, many of the wizards of the White Council would be willing to give Harry to the Red Court to stop the war between the Red Court and the White Council. These aren’t the worst of Harry’s problems, though. Those come with the Winter Faerie Queen, Mab, who wants Harry to do a job for her – find out who killed the Summer Knight. Harry knows better than to deal with Faeries, especially Sidhe queens, but it turns out that he really has no choice in the matter.
Pacing: Fast paced, but slower in the beginning as Harry’s predicament is established and new characters are introduced.
Characterization: Told in first person through Harry. Familiar characters, such as Bob the Skull and Murphy, have much smaller roles in this story and new characters are introduced to the series.
Frame: Ominous, dark, foreboding, and weird. “It rained toads the day the White Council came to town,” (p. 1)is the opener for this story, which immediately launches into a violent action scene to be followed by a round of wizard politics.
Story line: An action packed story filled with faerie intrigue. Harry must rely upon the help of both old and new friends to survive this story.
Fantasy fiction, American.
Wizards — Illinois — Chicago — Fiction.
Similar authors: : Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Rob Thurman, Charlie Huston, Charlaine Harris
Personal notes: I enjoyed this book, but not as much as previous books. Maybe Harry’s funk rubbed off on me as I was reading it. I hope Harry’s humor returns in the next book. I discovered a while back that Jim Butcher is going to be guest of honor at the next TusCon. And I am very excited to go this year because of it. I want to be a little further along in the series before then.
Other (diversity, themes, websites): Diversity – wizards, werewolves, female detective, faeries, sidhe, spirits, changelings, trolls, knights, queens, ghoul, chlorofiend (plant monster)