Summer KnightSummer Knight
Year: 2002
Author: Jim Butcher
Length: 673 minutes / 11.22 hours

A piece of advice given to most writers is to make their characters suffer, then document how they grow. In Summer Knight, Jim Butcher puts Harry Dresden through the ringer. Not only is Dresden on the edge of being homeless and dead from starvation, but he finds himself tangled up in the politics of the wizards and faeries. As usual, the world-building in the Dresden Files is fantastic and multi-layered. Sure, there are still the problems that keep popping up in this series, but they seemed less when Dresden was focused on merely staying alive.

With each book in the Dresden Files, I find the deepening lore fascinating. In Summer Knight, we finally learn about the council of wizards and see how unique Harry is when compared to others from the organization. In learning about more of his past, it’s easy to see how Dresden has come to this impasse with the council. Furthermore, Grave Peril had mere hints of the faerie world and workings that Summer Knight fully expanded upon. While a lot of the world-building looks like mere politics, that it’s as well thought out as this shows to Butcher’s talent here.

While there are still bad examples of “men writing women” in this book (which is the case throughout the series), at least it seemed a bit toned down from the previous books. Dresden’s backstory made him a bit more likable in this book, as there were at least explanations why he is the way he is. I enjoy his somewhat unorthodox way of handling magic battles and can’t wait until he’s truly trained to be a more precise magic user to really see his talent emerge.

Some great world-building and main character exposition for the Dresden Files, I give Summer Knight 4.5 stars out of 5.

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