Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: Cold Days (The Dresden Files #14)

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 soul.

Cold Days, by Jim Butcher, is the fourteenth novel in the Dresden Files series. After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death in Ghost Story, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t so bad after all 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.

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. With little time to waste, Harry must gather his friends, prevent an apocalypse, and pull off the impossible before his newfound powers claim his own soul.

Harry Dresden returns! Sort of, but it's an improvement from the Harry Dresden the wandering spirit the last novel, Ghost Story. Harry is no longer a ghost and back in full (mortal) form. The trade-off is he is now the new Winter Knight for Mab, and he has a crazy mission that he doesn't want to follow. But he has no choice so he investigates the reason behind Mab's order. As usual, he is thrown into the thick of things all paranormal and must prevent another apocalyptic catastrophe.

Dresden awakens inside Faerie's Winter Court with new powers and new debts that must be paid. Summer Knight was the volume that made me love the series since it broadened the Dresden universe, and Cold Days explores the politics and inhabitants of Faerie deeper than ever before. We see Mab in all her crazy glory along with nearly every other important figures, including many unexpected personages of a magical persuasion. And when Harry is given a seemingly impossible task from Mab, of course, he gets drawn into even greater problems and old grudges back in the real world. Not to mention that with new powers come great responsibilities. Harry struggles to retain his posture and logic when the Winter Mantle desires bloodshed, war, and power. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and highly recommend this series. Ghost Story was a disappointment, but Cold Days resurrected the series to its typical Harry Dresden adventure.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Dresden Files series, Skin Game (Dresden Files)

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