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Friday, June 27, 2008

cover of 'Summer Knight'

The fairy godmother that dogged Harry's footsteps in Grave Peril was forced to trade the debt-- Harry now owes a debt to Queen Mab of Faerie, and she is requesting him to look into the murder of one of the knights of the Summer Court of Faerie-- a person of great power, whom it would be difficult to kill, which may mean that it is one of the other Queens of Faerie. Mab wants Harry to prove that it wasn't her, in order to avert a war between the two courts of Faerie. There's also some wizard politics going on, fallout from encounters with the vampires in previous books, that forces Harry's hand and makes him accept Mab's offer even though he knows he should avoid entanglements with fairies at all costs. Harry begins the difficult task of investigating the other six Queens of Faerie (three for each of the Summer and Winter courts), and does his usual bang-up job of alienating people along the way. And, naturally, someone doesn't want him to succeed in his investigations and keeps sending warriors and beasts to try to stop him.

There are some clever, fun parts to this story. I liked the way Butcher worked in all the known names of the Queens of Fairies by giving the Summer and Winter courts each three queens-- sort of a past, present, and future queen, in a sense. I also liked the continuity from the other books-- the Alphas from Fool Moon are around, keeping an eye on Harry and helping him out of trouble, and eventually helping him out in the final showdown.

That final showdown is pretty exciting. There is a war going on in the heavens-- the beginning of a full on Faerie battle that, if left unchecked, could destroy the human world. Dresden and his allies climb up into turmoil and dark clouds over Lake Michigan in order to fight their way into the center of the battle and stop the unraveling that was caused on purpose, to upset the balance of the Winter and Summer courts of Faerie.

Title:Summer Knight
Author:Jim Butcher
Date published:2002
Series:Dresden Files book 4
Number of pages:371
Notes:borrowed from Garvey


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