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Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8) by…

Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8) (edition 2007)

by Jim Butcher

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4,393921,118 (4.29)117
Title:Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8)
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc (2007), Mass Market Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, nook book

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Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher



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Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Aww, Molly Carpenter, charming and clueless enters the scene, and Harry Dresden becomes so much more adorable! Now he has a very young and rebellious friend's daughter to deal with and save from trouble.The thing is Harry is not a loner, he is surrounded by more and more people he cares about, and this is exactly what makes him such an engaging and gorgeous character to feel for. Loved this book! ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


A year of so after the end of Dead Beat, Harry Dresden finds himself once again wrapped up in a number of mysteries that all happen to converge into an epic battle at the end of the book. Surprise, surprise.

This one begins with the execution of a young warlock, which sets Harry on edge because the Merlin (leader of the White Council) only invited Harry to use the execution as a warning. Because of course the most powerful wizard on Earth hates Harry Dresden. That’s how Harry rolls.

Anyway, Harry is given a sorta-kinda mission by his former teacher, Ebenezer McCoy: figure out what’s up with the fey. Because the Council, in its devastating war with the Red Court of Vampires, has been hoping at least one of the two faery courts would mobilize and attack the Red Court for past indiscretions in fey territory. Except neither one has.

At the same time, the Gatekeeper, another wizard, informs Harry that someone is using black magic in Chicago. Great, so now Harry has two jobs.

Of course they’re related.

After bumbling around at a horror movie convention trying to catch a bunch of fear-eating monsters, Harry ends up knocked unconscious and kidnapped by Madrigal Raith, a relative of his half-brother Thomas. Who attempts to sell Harry on ebay to Duchess Arianna of the Red Court. Who wants revenge against Harry for his role in killing her husband.

Yes, this is an actual subplot in the book.

Thankfully, with the help of the fallen angel in his head, Harry manages to escape from Madrigal, only for another of those fear-eating monsters to show up. A smack down that doesn’t go well for Harry ensues, but he escapes with Thomas’ help and lives to see another day.

Of course, when he uses a tracking spell to find the other fear-eating monsters, the spell leads him straight to the Carpenter household, and Harry realizes that, in addition to his earlier screw-ups at the horror movie convention, he inadvertently sent the other monsters after Molly Carpenter.


The rest of the story unfolds pretty quickly. Turns out Charity Carpenter had magic once upon a time, and her daughter inherited it big time. Molly, ignorant, broke the Fourth of Law Magic by inflicting fear on her friends to help break their drug addictions. This led to the evil fear-eating monsters, fetches, to latch onto her. When they broke into the Carpenter house, they snatched her and took her to the Nevernever, so now Harry has to go there and rescue her.

With Thomas, Murphy, and Charity in tow, Harry calls in a favor with Summer Lady Lily to open a way to the Nevernever. Specifically, to Queen Mab’s fortress — Arctis Tor. Thankfully, Mab doesn’t appear to be there. But there is an army of fetches.

The group fights their way inside Arctis Tor and rescue Molly after a long, dangerous battle that involves Summer fire and lots of injuries. Harry spots a few other people inside the prison before the gang retreats, notably Lloyd Slate, who’s been tortured by Mab for years since his betrayal in Summer Knight, and Lea, Harry’s godmother, who seems to be a little…off.

Harry leaves both of them there and escapes with Molly and the gang.

Unfortunately, there’s another hurdle to get over — since Molly broke the Fourth Law and used black magic, she now has to face the White Council, which has a terrible track record with beheading misguided children.

Harry manages to outmaneuver the Merlin using politics — impressive, Harry — but since the guy is a complete asshole, he tries to have Molly executed anyway, much to everyone’s horror. Thankfully, Harry has a contingency plan, and it shows up right on time: the rest of the senior council and a ton of wizards in training who escaped from a Red Court attack thanks to Michael Carpenter. With a bunch of kids, the rest of the senior council, and Molly’s father now part of the equation, the Merlin has no choice but to back down.

So Molly officially becomes Harry’s apprentice — and they’re both under the Doom of Damocles, which Harry is intimately familiar with.

Except Harry doesn’t quite believe it’s all over. He thinks there’s someone (or a number of someones) working behind the scenes, causing all the terrible events that have happened over the last several years. And whoever it is, they’re still out there.

The End.

Cue Sequel!


My Take

After a bit of hiatus from The Dresden Files, I found this book to be a little bit of a letdown. The plot didn’t seem as well organized to me as the ones from past books, and the stakes, while high, didn’t really surpass those of previous books. Proven Guilty, from my point of view, read more like a lead-in to another stage of the series — which isn’t necessarily bad. I do know what happens in the rest of the series -cough- so I can see how this book might fall into the equation perfectly. It just didn’t quite suit my tastes. Didn’t quite have what I wanted — there wasn’t enough “punch” to the plot.

It sets up a lot of important relationships though. And the characters, like usual, were all very well characterized. Their personalities were great, they developed, and I particularly liked the exploration of side characters like Charity Carpenter. Butcher seems to have put a lot of time and effort into making much of his cast well-rounded and complex. Which makes for a very enjoyable story overall. Watching characters and relationships develop is one of my favorite parts of reading.

I think what I liked most about Proven Guilty, though, was how much it hinted at. The reason I felt this book was a bit of a lull is because Butcher used it to foreshadow a lot. And I mean a lot. If you pay attention, the sheer number of things you catch that I know (because I cheat) become relevant later in the series is astounding. This was a book full of complex set-ups, the machinery behind major plot twists that occur in the succeeding installments. I thoroughly enjoyed finding them all. A bit of a fun reading challenge.

So, I mean, there was nothing especially “bad” about Proven Guilty. There’s plenty of action and snark; it builds on the previous books very well and sets the stage for what comes next. I just felt this one was a bit less polished and cohesive than Butcher’s usual work.


Nothing to report here. Same style as always. Although I did think there were times when Harry’s internal thoughts became a little redundant, which is part of the reason this book seemed less polished to me. A lot of Harry’s issues were rehashed repeatedly, several of them without resolution or advancement, and it felt kind of clunky to have to read about that stuff over and over.

But still, not bad.


Is It Worth Reading?

Oh, yeah. There’s no reason not to. I don’t think it’s quite as good as the previous couple books, but I mean, when your book series is fourteen books long (and about to be fifteen and going strong), I can’t imagine every book gets the gold. Some of them must be better than others, and this one strikes me as a bronze. (Sorry for the Olympics references.)



4/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Book #8 (of 15) in the Dresden Files series has been read/narrated (James Marsters, the narrator, continues to demonstrate hisf prowess as the series continues). No one is more amazed than I that my interest in this genre has continued - unabated!! Mouse was introduced in Book #6 (Blood Rites) and I've fallen more and more under his spell as the series unfolds! Adorable doesn't begin to describe Mouse and my heart (literally!) skipped a beat as Proven Guilty's plot unfolded and Mouse faced various and sundry beyond dangerous situations - as do all of the characters in this series! On to Book #9 - White Night - just put it on hold at my beloved library!! ( )
  idajo2 | Nov 3, 2015 |
6 Super-Quick, New-Year's-Eve-And-I-Have-To-Finish-This-Year's-Reading-Challenge Reasons I Finally Gave A Harry Dresden Novel Five Flippin' Stars

1. Harry eased way the heck up on the two things that always make me roll my eyes in Dresden File novels: the obligatory "People don't believe in the supernatural these days" speech (yeah, that happened), and the "Women are different from men and I'm a way nice guy for being extra-protective of women" scene.

2. I was genuinely spooked by one scene, and these books have never given me the chills before.

3. I said, "Whoa, I did NOT see that coming" at least twice for reasons of awesome.

4. Outstanding, borderline-egregious but still hy-larious use of movie quotes.

5. Terrific character development.

6. Expert placement of numerous Chekhov's guns (painted to blend into the scenery).

Let's hope this trend keeps up, shall we?

And happy New Year! ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
The series keeps getting better and better. This books brings some of the smaller characters to the front, while also expanding on some well knowns. Great book and great narration by James Marsters. ( )
  renbedell | May 28, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Blood leaves no stain on a Warden's grey cloak.
I don't care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching--they are your family.
Children are a precious gift, but they belong to no one but themselves. They are only lent us a little while.
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Book description
There's no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and hte white Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it's all in a day's work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob ...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451461037, Mass Market Paperback)

The White Council of Wizards has drafted Harry Dresden as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in Chicago. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in the Windy City, but it's all in a day's work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

There's no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City. As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend, all grown-up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it's all in a day's work for a wizard, his faithful, dog, and a talking skull named Bob.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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