By: Jim Butcher
Release Date: April 6th, 2010
Publisher: Roc Books
Series: The Dresden Files
Twelve books in. If you’re this far then let’s be clear, this title, more than any other in the series so far, is very fitting. This is the first book in the series that I will not be calling a “Throwback” as, well it was published and 2010 so, technically within the last decade. (Weirdly enough, when I think ten years ago I think of the late 1990s/early 2000s…anyone else?)
Speaking of throwbacks and what some people feel is a very long time ago Harry gets a blast from the past. In the lovely form of Susan Rodriguez. Yes, you heard me, his former lover and the “one that got away” for Harry is back and she’s bringing some intense news. If you don’t want spoilers, just stop here. If you keep reading, don’t get mad at me.
So, what news does Susan bring? For the safety of the spoilers I’ll give you all one more paragraph to avert your eyes. Ready?
Harry is a father. Yep. You read that correctly ladies and gentlemen! Susan got pregnant the last time she and Harry saw each other (in Death Masks) and put their daughter, Margaret Angelica, into the hands of the care of a kind and loving foster family. However, when the foster family is slaughtered by Duchess Arianna Ortega (and Maggie is kidnapped) we see the grudge from the death of her husband has never faded. Her husband, Paolo Ortega, was killed by Ebenezar McCoy, Harry’s mentor and thus lessened Arianna’s grip on the Red Court. Also, there is info in this book about Ebenezar, Harry’s mother and a bunch of other unknown factors that I won’t spoil for you here.
What follows these important revelations (you know, that Harry is a dad, his daughter is missing, anyone in his bloodline is in danger of dying) leads to Harry making even more difficult decisions. How can he save his daughter and not lose anyone of his allies? How will the likes of Thomas, Molly, Susan, and Karrin survive the battle? If they do, will they be okay mentally and emotionally? Harry knows the chances are slim to none. And he knows that his life will never be the same after this clash with his enemies.
Other than character development that has been building over time (not only for Harry but for others) we also see maybe the most shocking plot twist you could expect from this series. And this spoiler I refuse to type here. Twelve books in you shouldn’t need me to tell you to keep reading. And, if you’re one of the people who felt their interest waning throughout the series, never fear. This book will bring you right back.
And, as with most of my reviews of books by Jim Butcher about Harry Dresden here is one of my favorite quotes from the book. This one comes from Sanya who, let’s face it, has some of the greatest one-liners ever.
“Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.”
Again, despite some of the vagueness of this review and a few juicy spoilers here (maybe more than I’ve ever revealed before?) this book is worth reading.