Review – Summer Knight (The Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher

summer knight

Summer Knight can almost make me forgive book three.  Almost.

From Goodreads: “Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower.

The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.

And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him–and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.

It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything…”

From the start I’ve said this series is a lot of fun.  My frustrations (especially with book three) were due to some of the characterization – not the writing itself.  So, in fairness, I’ve decided to remind you of the issues I had with Grave Peril and talk about how they were improved (or not) in SK.

 #1 – Grave Peril included characters and story lines that weren’t introduced in earlier books which made the first 25-50% very frustrating to read.  For the most part, Summer Knight stuck with the characters and overall story that we knew from the series.  Any introductions made sense and seemed organic.  The only caveat is Michael.  He played a major role in GP but is basically non-existent here.  If he and Harry worked together so much then I would have expected some interaction in this story.  Grade: A-

#2 – I didn’t feel the story made as much sense in Grave Peril. Why were the bad guys after Harry, etc.?  The story is much improved in SK.  Faes playing games with those around them, the threat of war, the powers that be not appreciating those that work for and with them.  This all worked as Urban Fantasy.  Grade: A

#3 – Misogyny, chauvanism, whatever you want to call it but at the end of the day Grave Peril was offensive to women.  I have to give Butcher some credit here.  He did make improvements in this area and Harry is starting to treat the women around him with more respect.  Listen, he still likes legs and breasts (and hair and pink lips and, I could go on) but that’s okay.  What I don’t want is for him to act like he is supposed to save the women around him because they aren’t able to save themselves.  I think he’s starting to get it.  Grade: B

Overall, a very enjoyable and improved installment in the Dresden Files.  4/5 stars.

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