Cold Days (The Dresden Files book 14) by Jim Butcher (book review).

Harry Dresden is back in Jim Butcher’s 2012 released book ‘Cold Days’. The long road to health is sort of aided by his new boss, Mab, the winter Queen of the Fae. Although her usual methods appear to include trying to kill him on a daily basis, it seems, despite this, she has need of her new Winter Knight. At some point, Harry Dresden, although not a bad jobbing wizard who could find your lost dog and maybe your husband, too, has become, by necessity, a servant of the dark side. Now he must take on the mantle of the champion and enter into his own home town of Chicago. It really is a hell of a town and never more so than on Halloween. Welcome back, Harry.


He’s got quite a job on his hands, not least convincing his erstwhile friends that he really is alive again as they talked to his ghost in the last book. Its funny Buffy didn’t seem to have such problem. I guess her friends were stupid. Harry’s apprentice, Molly, and also Karin (relationship to be determined) are sort of pleased to see him and soon it is business as usual as Harry takes on the world. Nothing is going to be straightforward for Harry but hey, look not dead, right? That has to be good.

We’ve long since moved on from simply wizardry. There is a lot going on here, not least a complex web of information about the fae and all that backstory. It’s enjoyable in its own right and I expect Harry will return again and again.

I’ve read a lot of the books about Harry Dresden now and I admit I prefer my wizardry books without the Fae underworld. I just like getting out there into the gritty streets solving crimes and think some of the Tinkerbell stuff gets in the way. It’s basically a whole new story with these additions and that’s ok because, when you are writing a series, you do have to go somewhere with it and open it up more than the original. Sometime you lose readers but I expect you can gain them, too. Looking over the whole novel, my favourite parts are when Harry is interacting with the humans rather than the Fae but, still overall, found it worth reading and I like the ending.

Sue Davies

January 2014

(pub: Orbit. 515 page small hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-356-50089-8)

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