Synopsis: When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago – and all he holds dear?
The artwork for the Dresden books is always pretty memorable in terms of it always features Harry posing with his staff. For ‘Peace Talks’ we see Harry wielding his staff in a bit of action poses as we see fragmented concrete coming apart in the background as Harry has just blasted through a wall. The image also happens to be one of the many action beats that are featured in the story.
Set a few months after his last adventure ‘Peace Talks’ sees Harry Dresden once again having to juggle his roles as Wizard of the White Council and his side job as Mab’s Winter Knight and a lot of stuff is going on. When Harry’s brother Thomas Raith who is an incubus attacks the Svartalf Embassy and attempts to assassinate their king Harry’s life becomes very complicated.
If Harry attempts to Rescue his brother it will worsen what is already a fragile situation between the various supernatural nations who are currently trying to broker peace with the Fomar who have a very powerful Ally. Thanks to a deal between Lara Raith the leader of the White Court of Vampires and Queen Mab the leader of the Winter Fae. Harry is given little choice in the matter and is tasked with helping Lara on a daring mission to rescue their brother while the peace talks are going on. It’s an undercover mission that could have huge ramifications for Harry if he is found out.
All the favorite characters return for this adventure and we even get a few new ones introduced as well. At the start of the story, Harry Dresden seems to be living a rather settled life with his young daughter Maggie in a small apartment within the Svartalf Embassy. We get a great sense of Harry’s domestic life with his daughter as well as the complicated relationships that he has with his half brother Thomas and their grandfather Ebenezar McCoy. The only problem is McCoy who is the most powerful Wizard on the White Council and Harry’s mentor doesn’t know about Thomas Raith’s familial connection, which is a problem given that McCoy hates vampires and hates the fact that Harry regularly has dealings with them.
As always the characters are really well described and the relationships between them remain very believable and complex. Karrin Murphy who is a former police detective and Harry’s girlfriend as well as his oldest ally gets a lot of good stuff in this as she pretty much helps keep Harry grounded.
I also love how the mantle of Winter Knight continues to be a character in its own right as Harry is forever having to battle with its primal urges.
‘Dresden Files: Peace Talks’ is pretty much the first part of a two-part story, but is written in such a way that it feels like a big television event. This first part of the story deals with Harry’s current standing within the White Council, which is as ever rather precarious. It also deals with the political situation of a rather tenuous alliance of all the supernatural nations against the deadly Fomar who have been waging a war that has cause much destruction. So Thomas’s attack on the Svartalf nation is a massive spanner in the works and somewhat of an unknown factor given that we never learn why Thomas attempted to murder the Svartalf King.
The rescue mission that Harry and Lara engage in is a lot of fun and makes up a fair-sized chunk of the second half of the book.
The way this first part ends is pretty awesome because we end the story with Harry and Lara being somewhat unsure of where they stand with each other, which is a very dangerous place to be when you are about to engage in the mother of all battles. A battle, which is likely going to lay waste to the city of Chicago. The odds are very much not in Harry Dresden’s favor as the pieces are set up for ‘Dresden Files: Battle Ground’, which will be out next month.
- Cover Art8.0