Saturday, May 21, 2016

Review: Skin Game (Dresden Files #15)

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day ... Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it's something awful. He doesn't know the half of it ..."

Skin Games, by Jim Butcher, is the fifteenth installment in the Dresden Files series. Mab, Winter Queen of Air and Darkness, has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard and Winter Knight, never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful. He must help a group of supernatural villains—-led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone-—to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access to a vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover (literally) the Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world. There is one problem--the vault belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess-—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance...

Poor Harry. He certainly got himself in a jam as Mab's Winter Knight. He never knows what she is plotting and he usually has to go into survival mode when the missions turn ugly. Since Changes, the series has turned a rather dark, apocalyptic turn. Harry has changed and so have the people he cared for. As he has become a more experienced wizard, now he must face his deepest fears--things he didn't want to talk about but they got thrown into his face anyways. It is part of his personal development. It is the reason why he does what he does--helping others at little or no gain to himself--because he abused his power once. He is terrified of doing it again, and of the monster that he could very easily become, particularly as the Winter Knight. If Harry has a destiny to fulfill, he must conquer the darkness within himself. This is the overarching theme that I took away from Skin Game.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Dresden Files, Peace Talks.

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