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White Night: A Novel of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Paul Haggerty
Roc Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451461407
Date: 03 April, 2007 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Someone has taken it upon themselves to kill the various magical practitioners in Chicago. Of course they're picking on the magical underclass, people with enough power to have some effect, but without the kind of power to be of notice (and therefore under the active protection) of the White Council of Wizards. Many people have vanished and far too many are dead. But with the war with the vampires raging, the White Council is deaf and blind to their needs. Fortunately for the downtrodden, Harry Dresden, Wizard (he's in the yellow pages) is not one to let the innocent suffer. Working as discretely as he can with his allies in the police department, Harry begins picking up the clues as to both who is killing these people, and of equal importance, why? Unfortunately, the clues seem to have been left so that only a wizard can find them, which means that not only is it out of the hands of the mortal authorities, its being specifically aimed at the one magical detective in town. Someone is obviously luring Harry into a trap, and Harry's just angry enough to walk into it just to get to the truth.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher:
Storm Front
Fool Moon
Grave Peril
Summer Knight
Death Masks
Blood Rites
Dead Beat
Proven Guilty
White Knight is the ninth volume in The Dresden Files, and unlike most other series of this nature, Jim Butcher has managed to keep Harry human. He may be a little more experienced than when we first met him in Storm Front, he may have acquired a few new magical toys, but he's managed to avoid the "well, next book I guess I'll have to kill a god" syndrome. And the series shines because of it. In fact, if anything, Harry is the worse for the wear. He's still having to fight his darker impulses, still dealing with infirmity of having had his hand severely burned in a previous fight, his poor car is wrecked on a nearly daily basis, he now has an apprentice to teach and protect (and who thinks she's already ready for the big time), and a number of enemies, alive or undead, that want to rip him to shreds that is really starting to pile up.

White Knight can stand on its own, but you really need to have read the rest of the series to get the most out of it. There are a half dozen or so characters whose motivations only really make sense if you know their histories with Harry. Because you either like Harry, or you want to see him burn in hell for all eternity. He has that kind of effect on people. And the villains that want Harry dead have really good reasons; it's just that the thwarting(s) Harry gave them took place over the last couple of years and their revenge has been some time in the planning.

The war with the vampires, started in volume 3 Grave Peril, has really taken its toll on the resources of the White Council. So when Harry needs official representation, it's pretty much up to him to represent himself. Which is just as well when the evidence points to his half-brother Thomas, a vampire himself, formerly of the White Court (not to be confused with the White Council). And with people dying in apparent ecstasy, and blame being focused on Thomas, Harry's first, last, and only guess is that there's another power struggling going on within the White Court and that he and his brother are being targeted. And so with staff and blasting rod in hand and what few allies he has at his side, Harry is going to find out who's behind this and make sure they're stopped ... permanently. It's a pity that he's being outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. Not that he's ever let that stop him before.

Highly recommended.

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