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Cold Days

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Cold Days is the fourteenth novel in the
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The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.

Release notes Edit

Jim Butcher announced the current name on April 4, 2011.[1] An earlier name was Winter Knight.[2] The release date was November 27th, 2012. A two chapter excerpt is included at the end of the paperback edition of Ghost Story.

Plot teaser Edit

After being murdered by a mystery assailant, navigating his way through the realm between life and death, and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn't all that bad. Because he is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard.

He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. After Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty, Mab wasn't about to let something as petty as death steal away the prize she had sought for so long. And now, her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter where she wants him to go, and no matter who she wants him to kill.

Guess which Mab wants first?

Of course, it won't be an ordinary, everyday assassination. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. No problem there, right? And to make matters worse, there exists a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could land Harry in the sort of trouble that will make death look like a holiday.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.

From the preview in Ghost Story paperbackEdit

Harry undergoes physical therapy while recovering in Arctis Tor which consists of Mab trying to kill him everyday and Harry trying to survive somehow. After regaining close to full physical strength, Harry meets Sith, the king of Malks who has been ordered by Mab to assist him in his duties as the Winter Knight. Then he is informed that he is to attend someone's Birthday Party.

SynopsisEdit

Awakening in Arctis Tor after the events in Ghost Story, Harry spends the next several months healing with the help of Sarissa, a woman indebted to Mab the Winter Queen. Mab engineers daily attempts to kill Harry, to build his combat and survival skills. She assigns Cat Sith, the huge feline king of the Malks, to reluctantly serve him. When he's recovered, Mab throws a surprise birthday party for Harry.

The Redcap, a murderous Winter noble loyal to Maeve, takes Sarissa hostage on the party's dance floor, and forces Harry into a no-magic duel, which by Mab's command must also not spill blood. During the bloodless duel, Sarissa frees herself enough to scratch an ogre with her iron hairpin, and the blow in return splits her lip, spilling blood on the Mab's floor. Mab nods, and Harry bloodlessly freezes and dices the ogre, and then lays down his own new rule: mortals are off-limits when he is around. Mab gives Harry his first order as the Winter Knight: Kill Maeve, her daughter, the Winter Lady.

Mab gives Harry no information on how or why to accomplish the hit, but instead helps him through Cat Sith, who takes Dresden back to Chicago and presents him with a car driven by Toot-toot and the Za-Lord's Guard. Harry needs advice, so he breaks into Butters' apartment to steal Bob the skull. (Asking politely would make Butters a target.) Andi the werewolf ambushes him, but allows him to escape after he explains his need for Bob's help. He asks Bob about the method of killing an immortal. Bob reluctantly tells Harry that Halloween is a time where all immortals are essentially mortal for a night.

At dawn, Harry is attacked in his car by a small army of Little Folk, not his own, and they're winning. He's rescued by Molly, who has prepared extensively to help him. She informs Dresden that Demonreach, his powerful island Sanctum, is about to explode with enough energy to level the Midwest.

He and Molly meet Thomas on the Water Beetle and sail out to the island where he privately meets Demonreach, the island's spirit. The ancient power reveals that the island is a maximum-security magical prison, designed by the Wizard Merlin, to contain the Old Gods, Outsiders, and other unspeakable horrors, the least of which are the Naagloshii. Oh, and by the way, Harry's now the prison's Warden.

Harry arranges to meet Lily, the Summer Lady. Lily and Maeve both appear and tell him that they think Mab is insane and untrustworthy. As he leaves, Harry is attacked by Ace, is the Redcap's Changeling son. He has Captain Hook and the enemy Wee Folk disable Harry with cold iron nails, then beats him senseless with a baseball bat. Harry is rescued eventually by Murphy who easily defeats both Ace and the Little Folk. The Redcap arrives with his "lickspittles" and they face off with Murphy, Harry, and Thomas. The Redcap is winning until Cat Sith intervenes. Harry is driven away unconscious, due to iron under his skin. Captain Hook is captured and brought back with him to Molly's.

Butters patches up Harry and Thomas, and it's confirmed that Harry is now vulnerable to cold iron. Harry's pain threshold has probably been raised by Mab. Murphy is pleased Harry's alive but her sense of reality is severely challenged by his death and return. She's also very worried that he's now Mab's creature or soon will be. She convinces him to give up Bob and the two Swords, since he can't really trust himself yet.

Harry is now suspicious of Mab and his mission, and can't tell if Mab is insane/corrupted, or perhaps Maeve and Lily are. He accepts Captain Hook's surrender and interrogates her but finds out little except that she's serving Ace. And that she's a cute female fairy that Toot-toot finds attractive. He sends his allies out to gather information on who might be plotting to attack Demonreach and where they are doing it.

Now alone, Harry summons the Summer Queen, Titania. She tells him very quietly of Nemesis, a kind of Outsider virus that turns people to the Outsiders' evil goals. It's aware, and may know when its name is spoken. She doesn't know which of the Queens may be infected, nor does she wish to help him further. Titania still hates Harry for killing her daughter Aurora, regardless of the necessity.

Dresden visits his own grave and summons Mother Winter. Insulted at being summoned, Mother Winter drags Harry down from his grave to her lair and attacks him with a cleaver. He survives using sheer will, precisely the test she was setting for him. Mother Summer then enters and what was originally thought to be a dark dingy lair turns out to be a cottage. To help answer his question about Nemesis, Mother Summer takes Harry on a trip to the very edge of faerie where Harry finds himself witnessing an epic battle. There are "Outsiders" attacking the crystalline gates of faerie and being held back by innumerable Winter troops. Mother Summer takes Harry near the gates where he sees Rashid, "The Gatekeeper", a Senior Council wizard whose job includes keeping a vigilant eye on the wall and making sure that none of the Outsiders enter. Mother Summer and Rashid inform Harry that Nemesis is near-impossible to detect reliably, and very dangerous to mention to anyone. Both call it The Adversary.

Harry returns to Chicago and finds Sarissa, sent by the Redcap to say he's kidnapped Butters, Andi, Justine, and Mac, with the threat if Dresden doesn't surrender to him before sundown, their bones will be fed to the Rawhead.

Harry retrieves Mouse and the newly repaired Munstermobile, and uses a tracking spell to locate Butters, Justine, Andi and Mac, at a warehouse on the lakeshore. He and Molly and Mouse rescue his friends but the Redcap has set him up for a hawthorne dart attack. Dresden now has a continuously-bleeding leg wound, which makes him very easy to magically track.

As they reach the lakeshore, a horn heralds the arrival of the wild hunt. Dresden also discovers that the continuous bleeding of his wound is leaving a trail that the wild hunt could easily follow. Dresden and Murphy are able to outrun the wild hunt briefly, and Dresden is able to become the leader of the wild hunt by wounding the Erlking and defeating Kringle (Santa Claus).

They lead the wild hunt to the island and see that it is being attacked by hundreds of outsiders, however demonreach is holding them off for now. The island is being attacked by 3 barges and due to the fact that most likely they have a ritual platform on all 3 of them, they plan to split into three groups. They attack the first barge, but Dresden and Murphy are psychically attacked by Sharkface, the outsider who attacked Dresden earlier. He manages to fend off the assault and discover that the outsider is known as He Who Walks Before.

After destroying the boat pulling the barge, Dresden boards to deal with anyone on the barge. He is attacked by Cat Sith, who has been infected by the adversary. Harry manages to throw the malk into Lake Michigan and he and the hunt attack the remaining barges.

Harry and Murphy are forced to split up when their motorcycle, which temporarily had become able to travel across water by the wild hunt, crashes into the island. Harry fends off the original barge they damaged, which was being pushed by outsiders.

Demonreach is unable to sense part of the island on top of the hill in the center, so Dresden, Molly, Thomas, and Sarissa reach the top of the hill, evading a number of traps due to Harry's bond with Demonreach. A circle atop the hill has been enclosed with a spell built into the island's architecture, preventing anything not part of the island from passing through. Dresden is able to walk through the circle due to his bond with Demonreach thus he is part of the island.

Having passed through the barrier, Dresden sees Maeve and Lily magically assaulting demonreach, trying to weaken him to break the security around the prison. Dresden is attacked by Fix, however manages to temporarily defeat him using iron. Lily, still influenced by Maeve, attacks Dresden who manages to fend off the assault protecting Fix in the process.

Harry attacks Maeve while Fix attempts to deal with Maeve and Lily's supporters. Though initially unsuccessful, he is eventually assisted by the rest of the people who came with Dresden who covered themselves with mud, tricking the ward into thinking they were part of the island. Dresden, while held at gunpoint, uses the circle to summon Mab.

As Mab arrives, Maeve shoots Lily, resulting in the mantle of the Summer Lady being passed to Sarissa. Karrin in turn shoots Maeve, resulting in the mantle of the Winter Lady being passed to Molly. It is revealed that Molly was being trained by Lea especially for this purpose.

During the aftermath, Kringle is revealed to be Vadderung (Odin), Mac is revealed to be healing after being shot earlier, and yet again Murphy and Harry decide that having a relationship isn't a good idea.  The last scene has Harry beginning to make a new staff and planning to make improvements to the habitability of the island.  It is also noted that there is thunder in November which is unusual, most likely a trademark of the summer court.  

References Edit

  1. https://twitter.com/longshotauthor/status/54775910271942657
  2. http://www.jimbutcheronline.com/bb/index.php/topic,23664.0.html

External links Edit


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