I am 300 pages into Cold Days and I have a number of thoughts. Now, if you haven’t read any Harry Dresden, you probably would rather read this introductory post to him than the discussions of what’s going to be going on behind the cut… mostly because there are a *LOT* of really good stories that you’ll be wanting to get to reading.

Warning: books two and three are the weakest of the series… but things *REALLY* start rolling with four and now I’m one of those folks who would show up for midnight launches if I weren’t old. Anyway, if you’ve not read any of them, start here with the Boxed Set of the first three. If you are all caught up, however, see you after the cut! (Oh, I suppose I should also add this: the comments will be a spoiler-full zone and, as such, I don’t feel it absolutely positively necessary to include a rot13 link, but I would ask that you keep spoilers out of the first couple of sentences of your comment if only to protect folks from the sidebar. Or use the link that I didn’t think it was necessary to include.)

Okay. 300 pages into the book puts me right around the time that Lacuna removes her helmet… but I get ahead of myself.

Where we left off, at the end of Ghost Story, was Harry coming back into his own body and being tended to by The Queen Of Winter Herself and that Island Spirit Thing… and why is that? Well, he had agreed to become the Winter Knight in the book before *THAT*, in exchange for enough power to deal with the really big issue at the end of Changes… and then had himself assassinated in order to skip out of the deal.

So, after being jerked around for a book, we finally get to see what Harry Dresden as The Winter Knight Himself will be like.

And so, immediately, I had the question “will he be the Winter Knight by the end of the book?” I, of course, also had the questions “Justin is still alive, right? I wonder if he’ll finally show up. He’s the dude behind the Black Council, after all.” (When he goes to conventions, everybody who gets 15 seconds with Jim Butcher apparently asks “Justin is still alive, right?” and he always gives the answer (paraphrased) “Dude, Justin is dead. Dead dead. He’s never coming back.” but, seriously, you’d have to say that at a convention.) And, of course, whether this would be the book that tells us (though perhaps not in so many words) “dude, the next couple of books are going to be the last two”.

And, where I am in the book, I’ve just learned that the rabbit hole goes further than I thought insofar as the Black Council is just a tip of the iceberg of the conspiracy that is going on (and, of course, that Harry should not trust anybody) and that giving up the whole Winter Knight thing means giving up a hell of a lot, at this stage in his physical state.

So we’ve got the Outsiders, we’ve got the parasites, we’ve got the island going to blow up, and we’ve got the tension between whether Harry is going to pick Mab or Maeve (and why)… oh, and plus there’s that whole “the role defines you more than you define it” thing that is constantly creeping into his thoughts.

All in all, I’m riveted and the only thing that got me to put the book down was the fact that I’m sick (ungh…) and that I needed to get our Dresden post up.

Them of you who are reading… what’s up? It’s awesome, ain’t it?


Where I am right now, I can tell you this: the next couple of books ain’t the last two.


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. Odd, I thought the third book was one of the strongest of the series (and set up the plot for a lot of what happened between it and Changes, with the number of characters it introduced and the start of gur Erq Pbheg-Juvgr Pbhapvy jne). That’s pretty much the consensus among most of the people I’ve discussed the book online with too.

    I was really hoping you’d be done Cold Days, because there’s loads of stuff in it I want to talk about, but I’ll try restrict myself to the first 300 (aside from oblique hints) outside of rot13.

    This is definitely one of my favourite books in the series. It definitely confirms that Changes was the conclusion to the first arc of Dresden Files, Ghost Story was a breather, and this is the set-up for a new, much bigger arc. You’ve got a little ways further to go before you really know how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    I absolutely love the thing with the Well. It’s definitely going to come into future books, and it’s why I’m so glad I reread Turn Cloak before this one, because I hadn’t remembered everyone’s reactions of “You made a deal with that island?!…oh, what have you done?”, which now make perfect sense.

    The line about the parasite now has me confused…the general fandom opinion that I’ve come across so far was that the parasite had to be some remnant of Lash, but now we find that it’s a physical parasite, not a psychic one, so I’m completely lost as to how Harry could have ended up with one of those without knowing it. Someone refresh my memory – what’s the first book in which he has the headaches?

    Cold Days has a very heavy focus on characterization and on expanding the worldbuilding (though of course there are some great action sequences), which is a nice switch after Changes, which seemed to have a lot of action scenes that were just included to up the tension without really contributing to the plot (e.g, everything with the Ick). Harry’s reunion with Thomas is wonderfully well done. I’d like some more explanation about Molly, though, given how much she’s changed since the end of Ghost Story, particularly regarding what she did for the svartalves that’s earned such major rewards.

    Gur fprar jvgu gur Jnyy, jurer jr svaq bhg Jvagre’f gehr checbfr, vf jbaqreshy abg whfg sbe gur vzntrel (juvpu vf terng – gubhtu V jbaqre vs Ohgpure jnf vafcverq ol nabgure frevrf jvgu n tvnag jnyy bs vpr gung xrrcf bhg perrcl guvatf), ohg orpnhfr vg znxrf Uneel orvat gur Jvagre Xavtug znxrf frafr naq unir checbfr. Vg jbhyqa’g jbex jryy vs Uneel-nf-Jvagre-Xavtug ernyyl jnf whfg “Zno’f uvg zna”, ohg abj orvat Jvagre Xavtug znxrf uvz cneg bs n zhpu ynetre jne guna ur’f orra vaibyirq va. Vg nyfb rkcynvaf jul Zno jbhyq jnag uvz fb onqyl gb tb jvgubhg n Xavtug sbe fbzrguvat pybfr gb n qrpnqr va beqre gb trg uvz. Naq vg znxrf gur tvnag gjvfg ng gur raq bs gur obbx znetvanyyl zber cnyngnoyr.

    V ybir gung jr trg gb frr nyy fvk bs gur Snrevr Dhrraf ntnva (gubhtu gur ovg jvgu Gvgnavn dhvmmvat Uneel ba tnl crbcyr jnf n yvggyr bhg-bs-abjurer), gubhtu V erzrzore Zbgure Jvagre orvat n ybg yrff hacyrnfnag va Fhzzre Xavtug naq nz abg pyrne ba jung pnhfrq gur punatr.

    • Huh. I thought that the third one just *PLODDED*. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Michael. (He should show up more!)

      Now, the one thing that the book did establish (and did very well) is that it explained that Harry can, and will, go up levels… but compared to stuff like Summer Knight or Turn Coat or Dead Beat?

      • I’m so glad you like Michael! He’s definitely my favourite character in the books, and a big part of why I like Grave Peril so much.

        Also, the number of characters and plot threads introduced at Bianca’s party (Thomas, Mavra, the athame, Ferrovax [I want more about dragons!]) is impressive, and probably the most significant event in the books prior to Changes happened (Susan being turned into a vampire, and and the start of the Court-Council war). Also, it was the first Dresden Files book I read, which has an impact on my opinion of it.

        I actually found Summer Knight one of the less interesting books. Dead Beat is good, but its emotional connection isn’t as big as Grave Peril. Turn Coat is definitely one of my favourites, both because of the character interactions, the introduction of Harry’s partnership with the island, and Harry just generally getting smarter and managing to be a step ahead of everyone rather than a step behind.

        • The question is who is going to wield Amoracchius? My bet is on either Thomas or Harry.

          Thomas is son of the White King, and the effect of the sword of love will have on the inner demon seems interesting.

          Harry is a possible choice because Uriel told him that as long as he did what he did for love, he couldn’t go wrong and then in Cold Days,

          Fnagn fubjf gung ur ernyyl vf Bqva. v.r. Lbh pna fuvsg znagyrf. Uneel jvyy arrq gur Xavtug bs gur Pebff znagyr gb fuvsg bhg bs gur jvagre Xavtug Znagyr

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