Whew… here we are, kids. Finally. Part Three of my massive, hyper-obsessive, mad, mad, mad rhapsody about The Dresden Files. Want to know the crazy thing? I might have to make another one, or two(!), of these to catch up in another few years. Harry Dresden’s story is far from over, and is years from being complete.
The following books are when a larger picture in the overall plot really starts to take on a shape. Consequences and ramifications from some of the earliest books are being felt. And as Dresden gains more power and knowledge, so do his enemies. The caliber of foe and dangers are truly daunting.
Anyways, enough of this jibber jabber, let’s get to it!
A Warden has been accused of treason against the Wizards of the White Council-and there’s only one final punishment for that crime. They’re on the run, wants their name cleared, and needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. Like Harry Dresden. Now, Harry must uncover a traitor within the Council, keep a less-than-agreeable fugitive Warden under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake could cost Harry his head…
Its impressive what the author, Jim Butcher, can remember. Yes, it is his universe he made, but it has so many moving parts, and concepts, and rules that at Book 11, I wouldn’t be surprised for him to forget or simply not enforce. But forget he does not, and he remembers thing that are so well integrated into the story, its almost as if it was planned (which it was!).
Turn Coat does not fail to deliver on well-thought out character drama and emotional payoff. And the action is pretty damn amazing, to boot, with a great throw down between Harry and a crazy powerful opponent. And the ending… is classic noir to the bone.
Characters Introduced: Vincent Graver, Binder, and Madeline Raith.
Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden’s lover- events forced her out of his life. Now, she needs Harry’s help. Harry’s enemies have found the secret she has hidden for so long, and he will have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power.
The title for Book 12 does not lie. Changes changes pretty much everything. The entire status quo of the Harry Dresden’s world is flipped upside friggin’ down, and it is impressive, to say the least. This is in my Top 5 favorite Dresden books because all the stops are pulled out, familiar face after familiar face is called in, and the story’s climax has yet to be beat. Huge battle? Check. High emotional, mental, and physical stakes? Double check. The characters choosing which Lord of the Rings characters they are similar to? Triple check with a great joke. If after you finish the book. and you don’t stop and just take in, gob-smacked, the sheer grand scale of Changes, then you just don’t like great books. And I pity your silent, grey world.
Characters Introduced: Maggie, Donar Vadderung, and Arianna Ortega.
Trapped between life and death, Harry learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on—a feat which would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.
Now, the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic—or face an eternity as just another lost soul…
Ghost Story is in my Top 3, which many other Dresden Files fans don’t get. But I really, really, REALLY loved this book. It touched me in ways that I didn’t even see coming, and may not be able to quantify here for you to understand. And that’s fine. Sometimes, its just cool to love something so completely and mysteriously. This book is for the fan that loves these characters. And love them I do!
Characters Introduced: Captain Jack Murphy and Sir Stuart Winchester.
Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent an apocalypse, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound infinite powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own… His soul.
The first book to officially deal with the new status quo set up in Changes, Cold Days brings to focus the new problems, new advantages, and ultimately, the new more powerful dangers in Harry’s life. And then, of course in Dresden Files fashion, HEAP MORE PROBLEMS on top of those tribulations.
Characters Introduced: Sarissa, He Who Walks Before, and Cat Sith.
Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies—to break into the highest-security vault in town, so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever: The Vault of Hades.
It took three articles to get here: Skin Game, the 15th Book. This story is a giant heist, filled with double and triple crosses, and at the center of it is the Order of the Blackened Denarius. These are some bad news fallen angels, but this time around, they’re trying to be reasonable. Or, at least, betray Harry later.
This as an excellent read, with some minor quibbles. But those problems are easily set aside for a collection of some of the best moments a Dresden Files fan could hope for. And the moments in this book are setting up for some rather huge moments later in the series. While other moments set up books ago finally see fruition in Skin Game.
And I have no doubt that many, many more will soon follow.
Characters Introduced: Goodman Grey and Hannah Ascher.
As you can tell, if three articles didn’t over-inform you, I truly, with all my heart, love The Dresden Files. They are some of the most consistently amazing stories I’ve ever had the good fortune to start reading. And if this is the first time you’ve ever even heard of this series, but you’re gonna start reading them… then I envy you. There is so much that you get to read. So much to learn. And I promise, I did my absolute best to keep everything I wrote Spoiler Free.
So get a copy. Get all 15. And read one of the greatest series of books to ever see print. You’ll be happy you did!