"Threads from other stories woven into another great tale"
In this, the fourth book in the Dresden series, the faeries
are preparing for war, the Red Court vampires want Harry
Dresden's head on a platter and the wizards' White Council
is still pissed at him for all his supposed past
transgressions. Despite all the trouble brewing around
him, Harry has buried himself in his basement lab for some
heavy research: he has to discover the cure for vampirism
in order to rescue his lady-love Susan from turning
completely vamp. While doing the research, Harry has let
everything else go - - his apartment rent is due, his
cupboards are bare, he looks like a homeless shelter
reject, and his status as a wizard could be yanked at will
by the White Council.
As usual in Butcher's books, the action begins on page one
and moves rapidly from there. Billy the Werewolf manages
to lure Harry out of his self-imposed imprisonment to
investigate a weird storm system moving through Chicago.
It's raining toads, real ones, which can only mean bad
things are coming to town. Of course, while investigating
the mysterious shower a ghoul hit man tries to take him
out. This is all Harry needs with the White Council due to
come to town. After all, they're meeting to deal with the
vampire war against the wizards which Harry had
inadvertently started (Book Three: Grave Peril). He just
knows they'll blame him for this also.
If that weren't enough trouble, Billy, thinking he's doing
Harry a favor, schedules a client meeting for the wizard-
private detective. Harry agrees to meet the mysterious Ms.
Sommerset, after all a wizard does need pizza money.
Unfortunately, the client is more trouble. Ms. Sommerset
is really Mab, the Winter Faerie Queen, and she wants Harry
to find out who killed the Summer Knight and framed the
Winter Court for it.
Of course, nothing is ever easy in Harry's world. The
midsummer solstice is just around the corner and if Harry
doesn't find out "who done it" before then, the mortal
world will devolve into eternal winter from the resulting
imbalance in the eternal power struggle between the two
courts. Harry always a sucker for saving the world and
damsels in distress takes the case although it could mean
certain death for him if he fails.
Summer Knight is an excellent, and in my opinion powerful,
chapter in the Dresden case files. Butcher has taken the
plot threads from his previous three entries (Storm Front,
Fool Moon and Grave Peril) and has woven them into another
strong story. Some of the threads he ties off, others
still lay loose ready to be woven into the next case file,
and new ones are brought in to foreshadow the future, but
all are handled with continued care to maintain the
internal logic of Harry's preternatural world. I, for one,
am eager for the next trip into Harry's world.
Reviewed by Moni Draper
Posted October 3, 2002
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 book 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...