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Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

Turn Coat

by Jim Butcher

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Dresden Files (11)

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3,3011091,653 (4.32)123



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Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Loved this one really more, because Morgan in distress was a thing f beauty. Karma is a b*tch! By the way, he is a very well made character. The ending has a very cool twist to it as well, a little sad, but cool. Totally puts a good spin on the whole series. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |

[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


An injured Donald Morgan turns up at Harry Dresden’s front door and promptly passes out.

Well, crap.

Once he wakes up, Harry gets a horrifying tale out of him: the traitor inside the White Council has framed Morgan for killing Senior Council member LaFortier, and now the man is on the run and requires Harry’s help to clear his name. While Harry loathes the idea of helping the man who spent years persecuting him, he can’t let that kind of injustice stand, so he he agrees to help.

Unfortunately, a number of supernatural creatures are now out to get Morgan in order to claim a substantial award, and Harry ends up getting boxed in on all sides. First off, a skinwalker, an ancient creature of evil, attacks Harry and kills Kirby, one of his long-time werewolf friends that he met way back in Fool Moon.

Then the White Court gets involved, and Madeline Wraith, a relative of Thomas and Lara’s, teams up with a summoner named Binder. Binder’s Nevernever-based minions lay siege to Harry’s secret hideout — a storage facility — where he’s holed Morgan up along with Molly and Mouse as protection. While Harry and Murphy manage to take down Binder, Thomas, who was outside the storage facility as extra protection, goes missing.

Harry is forced to bring Morgan back to his apartment, but not long after he does, Luccio shows up. She agrees to help Harry investigate the conspiracy instead of immediately turning Morgan in, and the pair head to the Wraith family home to confront Lara. Lara claims she has no idea what’s happened to Thomas, and before Luccio and Harry can coax answers out of her, the skinwalker attacks again.

Madeline Wraith manages to escape the Wraith mansion in the fray, and after the assault is over, an enraged Lara is now bent on taking the woman down for her treason. And getting her brother back, who, as it turns out, was kidnapped by the skinwalker and wants to trade Thomas for Morgan.

The sheer complexity of this case leads to an epic showdown: Harry decides the best way to find the real traitor is to call all four forces: the traitor, the White Council, the White Court, and the skinwalker to the island of Demonreach (from Small Favor), so that the inevitably ensuing fight will expose the traitor.

To manage this, Harry claims Demonreach as his sanctum, the genius loci spirit giving him intellectus of the island, so that he knows where everything and everyone is at any given time. Unfortunately, Harry doesn’t actually know what Demonreach is for, and the Gatekeeper warns Harry that by claiming Demonreach this way, he’s opened a whole new can of worms. But more on that in later books.

Harry lures the four forces to Demonreach, but he isn’t expecting such an overt attack from the traitor, whose minions, Madeline and Binder, summon a massive army to attack Lara and co. and the White Council members who have shown up. The White Court and Council enact a brief truce to fight off the attack, but while they’re in the middle of the battle, the skinwalker arrives on the island and heads straight for where Morgan and Molly are hiding.

Harry leaves the battle to confront the skinwalker, and while he manages to free a battered Thomas from its grasp, he inevitably loses the fight. Thankfully, Wizard Listens-to-Wind shows up to help him, and in one of the coolest battles ever, Listens-to-Win and the skinwalker have an epic shapeshifting duel that ends with the skinwalker fleeing the island.

When Harry comes to again after the fight, the Council members demand that Harry have Molly take down the shield protecting her and Morgan. Harry refuses, but Morgan tells Harry to let it go. The traitor escaped from the island without being caught, and without the real traitor in their hands, the Council members have no choice but to try Morgan for LaFortier’s death and inevitably execute him.

Harry is angry but lets Morgan surrender himself. Because, as we find out, the entire island battle was a ploy. Harry hired someone to take pictures of anyone entering Chicago from the Way to Edinburgh — and in so doing, he caught the traitor on camera.

Harry waits until Morgan’s trial is underway, at which point he reveals that Wizard Peabody, the super neat, organized, and seemingly harmless clerk of the Council has been the traitor all along and that he’s been using spelled ink to influence the minds of countless wizards.

Peabody unleashes a mordite monster on the Council and flees, and Harry pursues him into the Nevernever. After a struggle, Harry almost gets stabbed to death, but Morgan intervenes at the last second, earning a fatal wound and killing Peabody. Morgan dies before anyone can save him, and whoever Peabody was working with remains undiscovered.

In the aftermath, the Council releases a false, official story that says Peabody and Morgan were just two individuals working against the Council, but Harry knows the Black Council is getting stronger all the time, and his old mentor, McCoy, agrees. McCoy tells Harry that he’s forming the Gray Council, a small group of wizards and allies that will work secretly to discover and stop the Black Council.

Harry returns to Chicago battered and slightly angry, like usual, well aware that there are massive threats looming on the horizon.

The End.

Cue Sequel.


My Take

I really enjoyed this installment of the series.

Butcher brings together numerous supernatural forces from past books in this one, and they all collide in new, interesting, and complex ways that will inevitably reflect on later plot points in later books. I love how Butcher has been gradually increasing the number of forces involved in the plots since Book One instead of just having each book focused on one force at a time. This tactic allows Butcher to craft very unique plot lines that keep characters from past books relevant and developing throughout the series.

With this book, I like how the emphasis finally returned to the White Council. They’ve been in the background throughout a lot of the series, only coming to the forefront at certain times. This book delved into the inner workings of the Council in a way that none of the previous books have, and it gave a new dimension to Harry’s views on the Council, as well as the inevitability of certain events involving the Council in subsequent books.

I also enjoyed how Butcher changes the dynamics of character relationships in this one. There are major shifts in how certain characters interact in this book, and I like that Butcher doesn’t let any particular relationship stagnate. The characters’ personalities change and develop over time, and their relationships do as well. It’s a great way to prevent any particular character/relationship elements from becoming dull in such a long series.

Finally, like usual, I enjoyed the complex foreshadowing and setups for the sequels. Butcher has always included a level of foreshadowing that a lot of writers don’t, and in this book, the clues pointed toward world-changing events to come. This book did a great job setting up the impending conflicts between numerous major forces in the Dresden Verse, and I can’t wait to see how they all collide throughout the rest of the series.

Yet again, another great Dresden Files novel!



Same old, same old. First person past. Sarcastic narrator. Nothing special. Nothing wrong.


Is It Worth Reading?

Definitely. An excellent addition to the series.



4.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Not the best of the bunch; the plot felt stiff and contrived. But the nugget that came clear of the story was the advice that Harry gave Molly about her choices. At the end of a lifetime, which choices made all the difference? Need to get the print version so I can get the right quote. ( )
  2wonderY | Oct 14, 2015 |
Quickie tired review: It doesn't get more in medias res than this. He pretty much starts the book by saying, "Hey, guess what you didn't think would ever ever happen in a Dresden Files novel? THIS."

Awesome as always. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Great Harry Dresden story! Involves a lot of characters we haven't seen in a while and pushes the story line along quite nicely. Really enjoyed it! ( )
  renbedell | Jul 29, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simmons, JoieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Bob. Sleep well.
First words
The summer sun was busy broiling the asphalt from Chicago's streets, the agony in my head had kept me horizontal for half a day, and some idiot was pounding on my apartment door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Wizard Harry Dresden's life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council's war with the vampiric Red Court is easing up, no one's tried to kill him lately, and his eager apprentice is starting to learn real magic. For once, the future looks fairly bright.

But the past casts one hell of a long shadow.

Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, calls in an old favor from Harry. just one small favor he can't refuse - one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally and strain his skills and loyalties to their very limits.

And everything was going so well for once ...
When it comes to the wizard's White Council, Harry Dresden is thought of as either a black sheep or a sacrificial lamb. And no one holds him in more disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules. But now Morgan is in trouble. He's been accused of cold-blooded murder - a crime with only one final punishment.

He's on the run, wanting his name cleared, and he needs someone with knack for backing the underdog. So it's up to Harry to uncover a traitor within the Council, keep Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.
In the Dresden Files, New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher has built a world hailed as "dynamic and complex, and utterly fascinating."* Now Chicago's only professional wizard, Harry Dresden, is about to find that the one thing more dangerous than his mortal enemies may be his closest allies...

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry keeps his nose clean and his head down. For years, the Council has held a death mark over Harry's head. He's still thought of as a black sheep by some - and as a sacrificial lamb by others. But none regard him with more suspicion and disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules.

Like Harry.

So when Morgan turns up asking for help, Harry isn't exactly eager to leap into action. Morgan has been accused of treason against the White Council - and there's only one final punishment for that crime. He's on the run, he wants his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog.

Like Harry.

Now Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep less than agreeable Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.

Like Harry...

*Huntress Book Reviews
Haiku summary
Will Warden Dresden
really defy the Council
just to save Morgan?

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Harry must uncover a traitor within the Wizards of the White Council, keep a less-than-agreeable warden under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head--someone like Harry.

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