After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn’t about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill. Guess which Mab wants first? Of course, it won’t be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday. Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…His soul.
The worst thing about Cold Days is that finishing it means you will have to wait another year or so before you can read another new Harry Dresden book.
Besides that very sad fact, this book was amazing.
Cold Days starts out by introducing readers to Harry’s new life situation as the Winter Knight. Harry’s rehabilitation plan with Mab consists of everything from deadly fae trying to kill him, poisonous spiders, and pretty much every other dangerous and terrible fate thrown at him in a “if it doesn’t kill you it’ll make you stronger” sense. Of course once rehabilitated, the fun really starts, as Harry’s asked to do the impossible, kill an immortal.
The story moves on from there in a fashion somewhat similar to Butcher’s other books in the series. That said, while Cold Days does follow a similar pacing and formula for revealed points of information, there are some attributes that make this holy different. First, the entire book is seen through a dark and grave lens, making everything much more perilous and fewer moment of humor. This is reminiscent of the situations our heroes are facing, everyone has been damaged emotionally and physically by Harry’s passing and in the time afterwards. Further, readers will be shocked by the new secrets and alliances that are revealed in this installment of the series. The puppet master’s themselves are revealed for the first time, giving a brief glimpse into the Black Council, the cause of the infighting between summer and winter courts and the red and white courts, and the rise in power of the Fomor. Of course, with every question answered even more are raised.
That said, this in my opinion is one of the best things about the series. How Butcher builds these relationships and subplots over time, that even dedicated readers will be shocked by. Characters that barely had a mention five books prior are suddenly at the forefront. Everything can come back to haunt you. This constantly keeps readers on their toes, making the series utterly fantastic.
Each book in the series now, become a bestseller, and there’s good reason for it. It’s an amazing series, with fantastic characters that grow and change throughout the books, they are filled with action and adventure sure to keep readers guessing until the end. All in all, go buy Cold Days, but make sure to read the previous books in the series first, but don’t worry, it’ll be worth it.
Published: November 27, 2012