Top positive review
Interesting discussions about necromancy and Fae lore
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
In this seventh installment of the Dresden Files series, the White Council is still at war with the Red Court vampires. Thomas, Harry's brother, is living with Harry in his dinky apartment after his sister disowned him. Mavra comes to Harry with a demand: Bring her the Word of Kemmler or she will hurt Murphy. As Harry begins to look for the Word of Kemmler and the book about the famous Erlking of the Fae, Die Lied de Erlking, he uncovers something that's going to go down on Samhain and meets several people who are Kemmler's followers... the same Kemmler who happened to own his very own friend Bob the skull. Harry is still dealing with the aftermath of burning the living daylights out of his hand, and he is having dreams of Lasciel, the demon whose coin he picked up and then buried. The shade of her is enough to impart a significant influence over him, and she is quite convincing as she tells him of her desire to help him survive all he has to deal with. He has a difficult time standing firm and resisting her.
Can Harry somehow find the Word of Kemmler, stop Kemmler's disciples, and get it to Mavra in time without the White Court finding out and summarily executing him?
A common theme in these books is Harry constantly taking a beating and being near death's door. This book was no different, but I'm really enjoying the Lasciel aspect. She is manipulative, of course, but also SO incredibly believable, and we are watching as Harry is slipping more and more into her grasp despite that he knows objectively that NO good can come from letting her have more power over him. This book almost makes the reader fall in love with her at the same time! She seems so sincere and gentle! I don't blame Harry one bit for his feelings toward her. He is becoming more and more conflicted. It will be interesting to see where that storyline goes.
One thing I really enjoy about these books is the thorough explanation/exploration of the supernatural aspects. The Erlking in particular is a well-known figure in Faerie lore, and it was interesting to see how he was dealt with in this book. Necromancy in general is explained in a fascinating way - such that it sort of makes sense. Really, Jim Butcher always does a good job of presenting supernatural things in a really logical way -- as in, they are just believable enough. I appreciate that, and it makes the books enjoyable to read. Harry's sarcasm is, as always, fun and entertaining, but is it just me or is he getting darker? Less fun? It's inevitable, but I kind of miss his casual playfulness and positivity. He is losing a little more of that in every book.
I am definitely looking forward to continuing on with the series.