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Blood Rites: A Novel of the Dresden Files by…

Blood Rites: A Novel of the Dresden Files (edition 2010)

by Jim Butcher

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4,758103987 (4.19)153
Title:Blood Rites: A Novel of the Dresden Files
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc Hardcover (2010), Edition: 1 Reissue, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:E-Books, Fantasy, Your library

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Blood Rites by Jim Butcher



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You know what I love in this book? Thomas! It's the beginning of long and beautiful friendship for Harry and Thomas. It's also one of the more vicious books in this series. I enjoyed the showdown in the end immensely. Fantastic instalment in an extraordinary urban fantasy series. Read it. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |

Cross-posted to Knite Writes


After escaping from some demonic, flame-poo flinging monkeys with a box of special puppies, Harry Dresden finds himself wrapped up in a case involving a porn director whose actresses have been dying increasingly weird deaths — i.e. getting stung to death by thousands of bees that magically appeared out of nowhere in the span of seconds in the trunk of car and getting killed by a runaway car…while water skiing. Convinced he’s been cursed, the director, Genosa, wants some help, so Thomas the White Court Vampire gets Harry to do it.

At the same time, the Black Court Vampire Mavra is back in town, so now Harry has a freaky entropy curse and the vampire-undead to worry about. Both problems briefly cross paths when Harry has to fight Mavra’s crew alongside Thomas’ sister, Lara, while the entropy curse targets Thomas’ other sister, Inari, at the same time.

Eventually, Harry discovers he’s been duped again — turns out the White Court basically owns the porn industry and Lord Raith, leader of the White Court and Thomas’ father, set up the entropy curse to get Genosa back under his influence after the man broke away form a White Court-owned studio. Being fairly intelligent, Lord Raith employed the help of Genosa’s three ex-wives to power the spell.

Unfortunately for him, at about this same time, Thomas finally reveals to Harry why he’s been helping out so much: Thomas is Harry’s older half brother. Turns out Harry’s mother ran with a pretty bad crew that included Lord Raith at one time. Well, then…

Once Lord Raith realizes that Harry and Thomas are both Margaret’s sons, he tries to sacrifice Thomas to kill Harry with the entropy curse in order to rid himself of Margaret’s death curse — which she threw at him after he killed her with the entropy curse while she was giving birth to Harry. But since he is protected from magical attacks by some mysterious being , the smart Margaret didn’t “hurt” him with her death curse; she made him unable to feed. So if he uses up his vampire energy, it’s gone for good.

Before Harry runs off to stop Raith, he takes a detour to take on Mavra in some homeless shelter, enlisting the help of Kincaid and Murphy. Being that Mavra is a good planner and a fairly dangerous magic practitioner, however, she gets Harry into a messy situation involving flamethrowers and homemade napalm. Harry’s poor left hand gets burned beyond use during the fight, but he, Kincaid, and Murphy rescue the innocent kidnapped victims and escape.

Thank to a long-standing rivalry between Kincaid and McCoy, the guy who took Harry in after the DuMorne incident, Harry discovers that McCoy (whom he called in to help) is actually the Blackstaff, a member of the White Council who is allowed to break all the laws…at will. The Council gave Harry to him so that he could kill Harry if Harry ever showed any signs of “rebelliousness.” Being that McCoy isn’t a cruel, heartless jerk, he obviously never followed through on that suggestion. But regardless, Harry feels betrayed because McCoy lied to him for so long, and he goes off to face Raith with a ruined hand and just Murphy to help him.

Of course, Murphy is a badass and helps Harry fend off Raith and save Thomas. He also exposes Raith’s weakness to Lara, who uses her own power to take control of her father — and thus, the entire House Raith.

In the end, Harry winds up with an exiled Thomas living on his couch, a crippled hand, and the funny feeling that something isn’t quite right with his magic. The unmarred sigil of Lasciel the Fallen on his burned palm may have something to do with that.

The end.

Cue sequel.


My Take

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Butcher’s plotting skills are spectacular. With such a rich world built at this point in the series, he could easily slip up and create some sloppy plots, but everything he writes makes perfect sense in its own right (as an individual story) and in the context of the overarching series plot line. Like usual, Butcher’s plot is a great mix of action, drama, and humor, and the stakes are, yet again, set one step higher than they were in the previous book — especially for Harry this time around. It’s always great to see a series that’s strength increases every book, and it doesn’t seem like Butcher is going to let his guard down any time soon.

And, of course, once more, Butcher’s characters were fantastic; he spent a great deal of time developing Harry’s relationships with some key recurring characters in this one while still introducing new excellent characters who are destined to have an impact on future plot lines. I appreciate that he took the time to do the former, especially given the harrowing and time-constrained sub-plots contained in this installment.

Basically, Blood Rites is yet another winner for The Dresden Files.



Nothing much has changed here since the previous books.


Is It Worth Reading?

Yet again: Yes! Absolutely. You can’t go wrong by reading this one. It’s got drama, action, and comedy all wrapped up into one neat little novel.



( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Dear Jim Butcher and Everyone Who Looks Like Jim Butcher:

So apparently if men like motorcycles (and a great many do), it's because motorcycles are awesome. If women like them, it's because women have a space between their legs that needs filling. Got it. Thanks.

The Bitter Redhead

As you can see, this book got four stars from me. That's how you know how good the dialogue, pacing, plotting, characterization, and world-building are. If Jim Butcher would stop doing stupid things with women, he'd be getting five stars from me consistently.

Instead, he does – well, the abovementioned motorcycle incident. ("You're right, Harry – it is like a vibrator!" a female cop cries after apparently climaxing on the vehicle in question.) And he has a female cop really enjoying it when, in the middle of an extremely tense rescue operation, a man she barely knows, and who pretended to be a big fat sexist pig when they first met, has to remove her blue jeans so she doesn't set off any alarms. ("It just felt so good to have a strong man touching me." Oh, PLEASE.)

But. Think about how righteously hacked off I sound, and then think about those four stars this book got anyway. And look at all the quotes I posted in my updates, especially the ones about the guy trying to pick out his porn-star name. And then go ahead and read this book.

Just don't read it first if you haven't started the Harry Dresden books yet. They are so much better if you read them in order.
( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Six-word review: New complications for Harry's hyperactive life.

Extended review:

Dresden Files episode number 6 introduces a lot of backstory, some of it answering questions previously raised and some delivering surprises.

Not that there's much time for quiet revelations in the accelerated pace of this sanguinary tale. The cinematic opening propels us straight into action, and fight scene after fight scene begins to tax my endurance. I yearn for a little quiet reflection and wish Harry would take up yoga or Zen just to give my respiration a break.

But I suppose I have the rest of my reading pile for that sort of thing. You don't read the Dresden Files for the philosophy.

The case on which Chicago's only consulting wizard is here engaged takes Harry Dresden into the world of X-rated movies. A producer's crew are being killed off by an evil-eye curse, and only Harry--aided by his cop friend Murphy and a couple of denizens of the magical world--can put a stop to it. In the process, Harry is entangled in several new or dramatically changed relationships that promise to figure in future installments.

Personally, I'm not so fond of vampire stories. It seems that we're in for more of them, what with family connections, not to mention a major war that stands to figure in the plot for a long while, just as the long-running civil war in medieval England kept Brother Cadfael's plotlines going. But I'm not complaining as long as Harry keeps doing what he does best.

I enjoy the little cultural tidbits that Butcher tosses in, usually offhandedly: allusions, for instance, to Bizet's opera Carmen and Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance. And--hey, Johnny Tremain? I remember exactly the scene he was talking about, the one where young Johnny puts his hand down in a pool of molten silver and cooks it. That was about as horrifying as a YA novel or a Disney movie could get in the forties and fifties. (But Jim, you should have checked the spelling: no e. If Harry didn't watch details like that, he'd be cooked.)

There's the usual quota of runs on words and other small gaffes: "swept" four times in four consecutive pages, "screaming" or "screamed" three times in eight lines, 36 instances of some form of the verb "snarl." Things like that. The latter, though, poses an additional problem, one that bothers me more than repetition. When a first-person narrator characterizes his own movements ("I stalked" or "I padded"--a certain kind of walk that is pretty much in the eye of the beholder, not the doer) and the sound of his voice ("I snarled") as if seen or heard by another, it takes us out of the story. We're suddenly no longer in his head but viewing him from the outside. It's a subtle shift but damaging to our immersion in the story. Butcher is far from the only author I've read who does this, but he does it with a high enough frequency that it bears noting.

I'll probably pause for a while now before I resume the series. If book 6 is any indication, the author will provide catch-up exposition for those who tuned in late or forgot some background. In fact, this book suffered a bit from a case of "as you know, Bob" information dumping at the beginning. It pleases me to know that there's still quite a lot of Harry Dresden to look forward to. ( )
1 vote Meredy | Aug 5, 2015 |
So far I've found the Dresden books very unbalanced. The huge space reserved for a usually sprawling finale often messed with the clever, heartfelt, carefully dosed, and, sometimes, funny and smart precedents. What has changed is yours truly. I have learned why Dresden, the book series, has garnered so many fans. Its irreverent take on the little problems of life, which laces and binds the opening chapters, has been something I didn't detect with the previous 5 books. But here, I know and acknowledge its value. Jim Butcher will never kill his main characters, will never stop writing overlong climaxes, will keep on making brilliant jokes, but as long as he is not jaded and not too drunk on his success, I'll be a distant follower, though not a genuine fan. Not yet.

Along with a new insight into the workings of the book, I think many of the problems, namely those of pacing and gravitas, were absent in book six. This is a book that a few people have expressed disappointment with, but personally I warmed up to the film noir vibe and the dated crime drama deja vu feeling it exuded. The author combined many ideas from Hong Kong movies to Agatha Christie to comic books to Buffy to craft Blood Rites. I found the treatment of the story's casualties decent enough. There were revelations galore which dog the vacuum that is the past of the hero, Harry Dresden. I prefer revelations to action fueled twists. Twists sometimes feel forced. Their lack certainly improved the feel of the plot, which moved incessantly forward, and there was not any filler. What I wanted to say was that Jim Butcher was inspired for this book.

But would someone tell me who was the first author to come up with the concept of Hunger, with a big letter H, in the vampire subgenre? It's irritating as hell and while at first the effect was theatrical and pretentious, now it's ridiculous, pejorative, and annoying. Hunger is just the appetite of the bloodthirsty. End of. Now I'm going to mention my favorite character of the series; step forward Karrin Murphy. She is both charismatic and elusive. By that I mean that here, I was okay with her playing a small role, and keep away from the climax. That has happened before and it was proof that Murphy was a versatile character. In this book, I would have been fine with seeing her last at her family reunion, exceptionally wearing a dress to please her mom, being herself. Yet I had no problem with her taking part in the action. I do, however, get tired of her shedding blood, and small things like the use of her limbs, in the line of what is not even duty. There has been enough debate about inflicting pain on fictional women in various media and I don't have any new thing to mention but I hope the next books in the series make Murphy take a back seat towards the climactic hijinks. By the way, I loved the Kinkaid character almost as much. All of these elements make me think that Jim Butcher is not making stuff as he goes along. He has a plan. He knows how everything hangs together. He knows how it will end. I want to know too. So yeah, I do. ( )
  Jiraiya | May 6, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Butcher, Jimprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, LeeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my nieces and nephews: Craig, Emily, Danny, Ellie, Gabriel, Lori, Anna, Mikey, Kaitlyn, Greta, Foster and Baby-To-Be-Named-Later. I hope you all grow up to find as much joy in reading as has your uncle.
First words
The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
"What about her death curse?"
I blinked.
"You'd thought of that, right?" he asked.
"What death curse?" I stammered.
"Use your head, boy," Ebenezar said. "If she's got a wizard's power, she might well be able to level a death curse at you when she goes down."
"Oh, come on," I muttered. "That's no fair. She's already dead."
She flipped to a second page and took a pen from behind one hair-bun. "Oh, what would you like on your vegetarian pizza?"
"Dead pigs and cows," I said.
She glanced up at me and wrinkled her nose.
"They're vegetarians," I said defensively.
"But what do you want on yours? I mean, I'm supposed to make everyone happy here."
"Kill me some animals, then," I said. "It's a protein thing."
"Oh, you should have said," Inari replied, smiling at me. We stopped in front of a door and she scribbled on her clipboard. "Some extra cheese, maybe some beans and corn. Or wait. Tofu. Protein. I'll fix you up."
Bean-curd pizza, good grief. I should raise my rates.
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Book description
For Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, there have been worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Like fleeing a burning building full of enraged demon monkeys, for instance. Or going to toe-to-leaf with a walking pant monster. Still, there's something more troubling than usual about the newest case. the film's producer believes he's the target of a sinister entropy curse, but it's the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.

Harry's doubly frustrated because he got involed with this bizarre mystery only as a favor to Thomas, his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can't quite figure out until his investigation leads him straight to Thomas' oversexed vampire family. Harry's about to discover that Thomas' family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry's life forever.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451459873, Mass Market Paperback)

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, takes on a case as a favor to his friend Thomas-a vampire of dubious integrity-only to become the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:21 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

While going undercover on the set of an adult film to investigate the mysterious deaths of several actresses, Chicago wizard Harry Desden unexpectedly learns the shocking truth about his vampire friend Thomas.

(summary from another edition)

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