Harry Dresden, wizard/private investigator of Chicago, has faced a lot in the last few years. He’s helped stop warlocks, necromancers, and a host of creatures from Faerie from destroying the world, multiple times. He’s fought, and trained, other wizards in a war against the Red Court of Vampires. He should have a little credibility with the White Council of Wizards, right?
The one member of the Wardens (police force) of the White Council who has always held a grudge against Harry shows up on his doorstep, wounded and hunted, accused of murder and treason. Will Harry risk everything he’s worked for, his friends and family, to prove Morgan is innocent? And what will be the price Harry has to pay?
Meanwhile, a large Native American shapeshifter supernatural being is hunting Harry and Morgan, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants, including taking Harry’s brother hostage. How does the shapeshifter tie in with the traitor, or traitors inside the Council, and who are their allies, wizard, vampire or otherworldly being?
Harry sees only one choice-call out all the players, to one spot, on one night, in a battle royal for the ages.
This eleventh book of the series features a Harry that is showing signs of character growth. He’s beginning to plan his responses instead of just rushing into danger impulsively. He actually devises his next several steps ahead in order to trip up the traitor/traitors in a way that will provide proof to the Council of what is really going on under their noses, not that he shares that information with the reader until after the fact.
While there are those who still do not trust him, he’s managed to impress several members of the High Council, including Listens-to-Wind, who offers to mentor him in higher magic’s. His future looks bright, at the same time his world is still in turmoil.
The White Council officially denies the existence of the Black Council, despite the evidence that their counter is working to undermine them. Thomas, in recovering from the torture the skin walker did to him, has “fallen off the wagon” and returned to feeding on the sexual energy of humans. And now Harry, with a select few believers, is planning their own little group to investigate the conspiracy and risk being labelled traitors themselves. Of course, all this is just par for the course for Harry Dresden.
This book is has a different feel to some of the earlier books of the series. No longer is Harry involved in relatively small plots against a few people or the citizens of Chicago, but the whole world is at stake. Meanwhile, a more grown up Harry still shows the sarcasm, humor, and concern for others that drew me in to the books in the first place, backed up by his constant need to deal with paranormal forces that exist unseen and unknown in the middle of a modern day city.
I award this book 4.5 stars, for shear energy and plot depth, as well as character development. The only thing I found at fault was the fate of several members of Harry’s friends and family, who were sacrificed as the stakes become ever higher in the conflicts erupting in the author’s universe.