I Believe in Faeries! I do! I do! I do!,
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This review is from: Summer Knight (The Dresden Files series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
When one thinks of fairies usually what springs to mind is Disney-esque, wasp-winged Marilyn Monroe types or 1920 styled nymphs hanging out at the bottom of the garden. One doesn't usually think of bloody vicious creatures with a taste for pizza and an aversion to iron. Jim Butcher does, however. Big time. In fact in 'Summer Knight', he not only gives them an enormous depth of character, but a fairy (or faery) hierarchy that Shakespeare would be proud of. There's queens, ladies, Queen Mothers and various nobles and dignitaries which makes the UN seem like a youth club.
The book stats off with a mopey Dresden who's in a bit of a state since his girlfriend got bitten by a vampire and left town. He then gets hired to investigate the death of an elderly man who was an agent of the Summer Faery Queen called the Summer Knight. And then he gets mixed up in pretty complex faery politics, complex plots and a massive war.
Just to bring everyone up to speed with the faery thing, there are - according to Butcher -two faery (or Fae) courts: Summer and Winter. Each has a queen, a lady and a queen mother. Butcher describes these as 'The Queen that is, the Queen that will be, and the Queen that was'. The Summer Court is ruled by Queen Titania (see Shakespeare, he was taking notes), her daughter, The Summer Lady Aurora, and Mother Summer, probably Titania's mother. These are sign posted as 'the good guys'. Winter, on the other hand is under the rule of The Queen of Air and Darkness, Mab, the Winter Lady Maeve, and the Mother Winter. These have a massive flashing neon sign indicating they are 'The Bad Guys'.
Got it? Good. Now it gets interesting. Each Fae court has a mortal odd job man called a Knight. He has super powers and carries out various errands for their queens. You know the sort of thing: take out the rubbish, pick up some milk, kill that annoying person. That sort if thing. Anyway, somebody has killed the Summer Knight, and Mab (The Winter Queen. Remember, the Evil One) asks Dresden to investigate. And it gets more complicated from there.
Butcher weaves a solid whodunnit between the delicate wings of faerie politics, mixing in some werewolves, changelings and the inevitable Murphy. This is a good read and presents a sound framework for future novels. The characters are strong and as an adversary Mab is one to watch.
I believe in fairies! I do! I do! I do!