“The noise was deafening, and no one could have heard me anyway as I let out my own battle cry, which I figured was worth a shot. What the hell.
Author: Jim Butcher
Release Date: September 3rd, 2002
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Mystery
Series: The Dresden Files, #4
Sequel to: Grave Peril (review)
Followed by: Death Mask

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…

“I slammed the doors open a little harder than I needed to, stalked out to the Blue Beetle, and drove away with all the raging power the ancient four-cylinder engine should muster. Behold the angry wizard puttputt-putting away.”

Harry Dresden is depressed: not only has he lost his girfriend because of one of his exploits, he’s also (partly) responsible for the threat of war between The Red Court and the White Council (for non-Dresden readers, evil vampires and wizards).
But there’s not really time to wallow. Not if your name’s Harry Dresden and one of your middle names that are not inspired by famous magicians is Trouble-Magnet.

The Red Court wants him dead.
The White Council wants him dead.
Even a few of the Faeries want him dead.
He’s in real trouble. Like always!
And, like always, people want him to fix things.So, get your head outta your ass and do your Chicago-distructing thing, man!

He does, but not entirely of his own free will. Because, how does it go? No rest for the wicked
Okay, Harry is definitely not one of the wicked, but he goes looking for it!
For starters: pull your name off the Yellow Pages, pal. You are not just asking for it, you are!

As things go, someone turns up dead. Thing is, this dead someone is not just anybody – nope! – it’s the Summer Knight, a mortal at the service of the Faerie Queen of Summer. Yep, the Summer Queen, also known as Titania. We all know her! She’s a character of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Not good. Not good at all, since Harry is (forcibly) hired by the Winter Queen – Mab – to solve the mystery.
Obviously, things are not so simple with the Faerie. They never are. And if you add Wizard Dresden’s involment things are bound to become somewhat…apocalyptic. We are talking world-distroying this time. Very serious business.

What happens next? Well, basically Harry discovers something that disrupts him Elaine is alive, he runs around a lot asking questions to the Faerie factions – and here we have some insight to Faerie politics – Winter and Summer each have not one, not two, but three Queens: the Queen-that-was, the Queen-that-is, and the Queen-that-will-be – and here I ask myself: where the heck are the Kings? I mean, where’s Oberon? How do the Queens *cof cof* procreate, since they are grandmother, mother and daughter? – makes a lot of enemies – duuh! – discovers who the culprit is, and saves the world and his ass… until the next adventure.

Chapeau, Harry, you did it again!
Oh, sorry! Wrong Harry.
Yep, that’s him, that pyromaniac.

As yet, Summer Knight is my favourite of the bunch, and I already liked the series a lot. I even find myself fan-girling over Harry – I did not even fan-girl over HP!

Harry Dresden is one of my most loved fictional characters. I like that he’s not this buff, unbeatable, tough character with no flaws. He’s just your everyday kinda guy, the guy next door… Someone you might meet on the street, as normal as you – well, magic and quests apart.

“For me chivalry isn’t dead; it’s an involuntary reflex.”

I really appreciated the fact that he repeatedly admitted to being afraid.
Well, it’s not really courageous doing things you are not afraid of, isn’t it?
Courage is all about conquering your fears, and whatever it is you can say about Harry Dresden, he always steps up and saves the day, fear be damned!

“All of those faeries and duels and mad queens and so on, and no one quoted old Billy Shakespeare. Not even once.”