"No one's tried to kill Harry Dresden for almost an entire year, and his life finally seems to be calming down. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow.
An old bargain has placed Harry in debt to Mab, monarch of the Winter Court of the Sidhe, the Queen of Air and Darkness-and she's calling in her marker. It's a small favor he can't refuse...one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and one that will strain his skills-and loyalties-to their very limits.
It figures. Everything was going too well to last..."
One year after the events in White Night, Dresden is confronted by Queen Mab calling in one of the favors owed her by Harry: that he be her "Emissary," and protect Johnny Marcone. Despite repeated attacked by Gruffs—soldiers in service of Summer—he tracks Marcone's movements across the city, and finds Hendricks and Ms. Gard at one of Marcone's safe houses. Surviving an attack by the Denarians, who he learns have abducted Marcone, Ms. Gard formally requests that the White Council file an objection to the abduction of one signatory of the Unseelie Accords by another. Luccio, captain of the Wardens, agrees to bring in The Archive as a neutral party.
Dresden meets Murphy at McAnally's. After updating her, a huge gruff enters to challenge Dresden to a duel, and is saved by Murphy invoking her duties as a law officer. While Thomas is distracting the gruffs, Dresden confronts Ms. Gard and convinces her to tell him of a case of blood samples kept in a locker at Union Station. Harry and Michael are attacked at Union station by Winter minions and the elder gruff but recover the samples. Grievously wounded, the elder gruff leaves, warning Dresden that the eldest brother gruff will kill him. Harry also meets up with Ivy the Archive, her bodyguard Kincaid, and Warden Captain Luccio, who retreat to the safety of Dresden’s warded apartment.
The Archive schedules a meeting between Dresden and Nicodemus at the Shedd Aquarium. During the negotiations, Dresden realizes it's a charade to kidnap the Archive. Dresden and Ivy team up to fight off the Denarians. Even though they kill almost every Denarian, Ivy is captured. Nicodemus plans to coerce Ivy into accepting a blackened denarius. In desperation, Dresden offers Nicodemus all the denarii that the Knights of the Cross have collected and a Sword of the Cross, as Ivy being corrupted would be an unstoppable force for evil. Before Dresden's meeting with Nicodemus, Michael asks Dresden about his blasting rod. Dresden realizes he lost his rod after his meeting with Queen Mab, but he is not sure how or why, and realizes he has been mentally manipulated.
At the exchange, the Denarians predictably renege, but Dresden and Sanya manage to free Marcone and the Archive. Ms. Gard arrives with a rescue copter, but the surviving Denarians return and badly injure Michael. Dresden is abandoned on the island, hunted by the Denarians and their mercenaries, and is eventually cornered by the Eldest Gruff. The conflicted gruff reveals that he has been compelled to attack Dresden as long as they are both on the battlefield. Dresden invokes his boon from Summer for a freshly made doughnut. The gruff remarks that the request might take just enough time for Harry to depart the island safely and says the Summer Court's hunt will end, when Dresden re-enters the Chicago city limits.
Dresden attempts to escape on Rosanna'ss boat, but is attacked by Nicodemus and Deirdre, whom he barely manages to drive off after Thomas and Murphy return with another boat and Murphy draws Fidelacchius. They return to the mainland, and Dresden rushes to the hospital to find Michael still in surgery. In the hospital chapel, Dresden has a heated discussion with a janitor, who explains that God has a plan for us all and vanishes, leaving behind a worn copy of The Two Towers with a marked section. Queen Mab appears in the chapel. She is pleased that the Watchman has enhanced Dresden's potential. She returns his blasting rod and reveals that he would have been killed earlier if he had used it to rescue his friends.
Dresden visits Ivy and Kincaid at Murphy's house. Later, Sanya gives Amoracchius, Michael's sword, to Dresden with the instructions to pass it on when the time is right. Michael survives the surgery, but might not make a complete recovery. Dresden and Anastasia Luccio end the day with a pleasant dinner and a delightful evening.
Plot points introducedEdit
- Harry Dresden is gifted the ability of Soulfire by the angel Uriel.
- Harry completes his second task for Mab. He only has one more task left by the end of the book before he is free of Mab.
- Michael retires from the Knights of the Cross and gives his sword to Harry for safekeeping, much as Shiro did in Death Masks. This leaves Sanya as the only active Knight in the world.
- Small Favor on jim-butcher.com
- Small Favor article on Wikipedia
- Part 1: The Dresden Files Reread: Book 11, Turn Coat Pt. 1 | Tor.com ~ Summary
- Part 1: The Dresden Files Reread: Book 11, Turn Coat Pt. 2 | Tor.com ~ Summary
- Goodreads | Small Favor Quotes By Jim Butcher
- Goodreads | Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10) by Jim Butcher - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists