Book Report: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

NOTE: if I’m writing about a book I’ve read, assume there will be spoilers.

 

I’ve been reading The Dresden Files recently and, unsurprisingly, thoroughly enjoy it. Harry Dresden has that exact right mixture of salty wit, Indiana Jones-like incompetent competence, soft heart, and thoroughly frustrating tendency to do the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time that makes for fast reading (the books are reasonably short by my standards as an Epic Fantasy Devourer as well).

Summer Knight is my favorite of the series so far for a number of reasons. Butcher gets to drop a Narnia reference (Stone Table!!), Toot-Toot and his Army of the Pizza Lord, Harry makes some friends, finally, and Butcher gets to uncork a battle scene, which you just KNOW felt like the moment he’d been waiting his whole life to write.

Also, I like that we see a little more nuance out of the Nevernever denizens. To this point, everyone hates Harry and wants to kill him, except maybe Tera the wolf. In this book we get to see that there are some people on his side in the White Council, Lea isn’t an automaton, but rather complex and doing things for her own reasons. The Summer Court appears one way and acts another, but rather than it being an exercise in cynicism (which, to be honest, the previous books in the series felt too much like) we get surprises both unpleasant and pleasant.

We also get some of the fun worldbuilding type of stuff that I like in the form of magical explanations/correlations for natural phenomena. I enjoy seeing that the Nevernever isn’t completely hostile and inimical to human life, rather they co-exist and sometimes get in each others way. If the Nevernever was completely evil and out to get humans, you’d think that over the last few million years they’d have succeeded in slaughtering or enslaving everyone, so a demonstration of the realm being massive, concurrent, and also to some extent intertwined with the real world eases my mind quite a bit.

Also the wolves got Harry to dice with them.

 

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