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Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4) by Jim…

Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4) (edition 2002)

by Jim Butcher

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5,805137732 (4.16)227
Title:Summer Knight (Dresden Files, Book 4)
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
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Summer Knight by Jim Butcher



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As always, Harry Dresden is down on his luck. His girlfriend has left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood. Harry has spent all of his time trying to find a cure for her, to the extent of being anti social, not taking clients and not being able to pay his rent. The few friends he has left are worried about him. The Red Court is gunning for him for the trouble he caused several months back. The White Council blames Harry for starting a supernatural war and is in a lynching mood. And then it starts to rain frogs. Literally.

"Okay. But if they're real?"

"If they're real, then it means something is out of whack."

"What kind of out of whack?"

"The serious kind. Holes in the fabric of reality."

Summer Knight is the fourth book in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. Harry is back and this time he's taking on the Faerie realm. Harry's faerie Godmother has transferred his debt to the Winter Queen of Faerie. The Summer Knight has been murdered and the Winter Queen wants Harry to clear her of the crime. While it seems a fairly straight forward task, Harry knows that when dealing with Faeries there's always a catch. It doesn't take long for him to become stuck in the political squabble between the Courts.

At this point Butcher has the Harry Dresden formula down. First, establish your super powerful hero as an "ordinary" Joe. Second, beat the crap out of him. Third, keep beating the crap out of him right up to the very last minute. Fourth, end with an "all hell breaks loose" climax where the hero finds the strength he needs to save the world yet again. Poor Harry. He has to be one of the most beat down fantasy heroes I've read about. And still he always always rises to the the occasion with the belief that the world is worth saving even after all the suffering he's gone through. It is both endearing and frustrating. Endearing because who doesn't like a good underdog story and frustrating because Harry is pretty bad ass and should have a better control over his life than he seems to.

One of the things I liked most about this book is Harry finally opens up to Lieutenant Murphy. And it's about time!! He's had three books of holding her at arms length, with Murphy saving his ass and yet completely in the dark about what it is that she has been up against. This is a great stride forward and shows actual trust in their friendship, something Harry has been sorely lacking. Murphy gets one of the best scenes in the book when she takes out an evil animated tree with a chainsaw! It was awesome. Also still present throughout the book is Harry's dry wit. His quips continue to be both eye roll worthy and laugh out loud funny.

On the downside, I think I may have read this book at the wrong time. The political machinations between Faerie Courts reminded me a little too much of the political situation in the real world for me to enjoy those parts as much as I may have at another time. Still, it's a highly readable and mostly fun entry into the Dresden series. It also has one of the best battle cries I've read in a book in a long time:

"I don't believe in faeries!" ( )
  Narilka | Feb 16, 2017 |
My favorite of the series so far. Couldn't put it down! ( )
  bookandsword | Jan 9, 2017 |
I'm not sure how much Harry can take - just when it seems that he is way outclassed, he manages to pull off the impossible. I liked the closeup look at the Faerie world, but missed seeing much of Harry's interaction with Karen Murphy, his police contact. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Dec 21, 2016 |
Summer Knight
3.5 Stars

An definite improvement on Grave Peril.

The world building in this installment focuses on the Fae, and more specifically, on the conflict between the Summer and Winter courts. The political machinations and allegiances of the various Fae are complex and it is difficult at times to keep track of the different characters and the factions they belong to. Nevertheless, it all comes together at the end, and the climax and resolution are exciting and satisfying.

The plot revolving around the murder of the Summer Knight and the theft of his Mantle of Magic has potential but is poorly executed. There are numerous suspects, however, their motives are never quite clear and Harry's investigation is overshadowed by unrelated plot points, such as the return of an old girlfriend, his problems with the White Council, the wizards war with the vampires, etc.

Harry is an amalgamation of opposites. On the one hand, he is strong-willed, resourceful, has a good heart and good intentions. On the other, he is sardonic, self-absorbed and not a little chauvinistic. He is also a mediocre wizard despite indications that there is something special about him, and he barely manages to survive his encounters with the various villains and monsters in the book.

The secondary cast are wonderful and contribute to making this a fun read. Harry's friend and police contact, the sharp-witted and kick-ass Karrin Murphy, plays a slight larger role although she still doesn't get enough page time. Bob the Skull, Toot the Fairy and his warrior pixies, as well as Billy and the Alphas, all return to flesh out the character pool alongside some new additions, such as the Changelings and the Gatekeeper, a particularly intriguing wizard on the White Council.

Finally, James Marsters narration improves with each book and his voices for the minor characters are truly excellent. He also manages to convey Harry's sarcastic wit so well and there are many laugh-out-loud moments - so beware when listening in public. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
I really enjoyed my re-read of this book! I first read this book years ago and liked it then as well but I probably liked it a bit more this time around. This series is up to full speed by the time you get to this book and I just love Harry and the world he lives in. This book was fast paced and really exciting. I actually found myself wanting to listen to it for hours at a time which made it a really quick listen.

Harry starts the book out in a bad place. Things didn't end well for him in the last book and he has spent months locked away trying to find a solution. Then everything gets really interesting. He realizes that he needs to get back in the world and earn a little money just as he receives a visit from Mab, a Fae Queen. The White Council is in town trying to pin the current war on Harry so he has plenty of things to keep him busy.

I really liked seeing the growth of all of the characters. We have really got a chance to get to know most of the characters well by the time we make it to book four and they have been through a lot. And it shows. Harry wants to keep everyone safe and takes it personally if anyone experiences harm on his watch. Karin opens up to Harry a bit at the beginning of the story but it was really fun watching them fight together later in the story.

I loved the narration! This is a book that I think listening to the audio version is a completely different experience. James Marsters is the perfect choice for this series and really makes Harry come to life. The delivery is perfectly paced with the occasional insertion of a well placed sigh. I really almost felt like I was a part of the story as I listened.

I would recommend this book to others. This is the fourth book in the series and I do think that the series should be read in order since each installment builds on the previous books. I can't wait to start the next book as I work my way through this series for a second time. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Oct 27, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for big sisters everywhere who have enough patience not to strangle their little brothers - and particulary for my own sisters, who had more than most. I owe you both so much.
And for Mom, for reasons that are so obvious that they really don't need to be said - but I thought I would make special mention of candy cane cookies and that rocking chair that creaked me to sleep.
First words
It rained toads the day the White Council came to town.
Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of an entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that has seams tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears, and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies.

But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks.

The drinks, people.
The last thing the twenty-first century wants to admit is that it might not know everything.
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Book description
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 books 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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451458923, Mass Market Paperback)

Private detective/wizard-for-hire Harry Dresden is suckered into tangling in the affairs of Faerie, where the fate of the entire world-and his soul-are at stake.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:33 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Now that his girlfriend has left him, professional wizard Harry Dresden can't pay his rent and alienates his friends. He's soon approached by the Winter Queen of Faerie with an offer he can't refuse--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. Soon, Harry finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case.… (more)

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