Recap / The Dresden Files Summer Knight

Harry has become a virtual recluse after the events in Grave Peril. He spends all of his time isolated in his lab, desperately trying to find a cure for his girlfriend's new initiation into vampirehood. But when the White Council of Wizards comes to town to discuss the war Harry started, toads start raining from the sky, and Mab, Queen of the Unseelie fey, drops by his office, Harry has to snap out of his funk. The wizards decide that the best way to end the war is to hand one Harry Dresden, slightly damaged, over to the vampires—unless Harry agrees to take Mab's case. So unless he wants to become a vampire treat, Harry has to act as Winter's emissary, determine who has murdered the mortal champion of Summer, and prove Mab innocent.

Of course, things are never that simple. It turns out that Summer's emissary is Harry's old back-from-the-dead flame, and she is under the same amount of compulsion to prove Mab guilty. With the help of Billy the Werewolf, Lt. Karrin Murphy, and Toot the pizza-obsessed fairy, Harry attempts to question the suspects: the Winter Knight, Maeve the Winter Lady, Aurora the Summer Lady, and the ancient Mothers of Winter and Summer.

All the while, he is distracted by various attempts on his life by a gun-for-hire ghoul, an angry ogre, and a chlorofiend (plant monster). He also takes on an investigation for a bunch of changelings who are worried about the disappearance of their friend, Lily.


  • Anti-Magic: Ogres repel magic As does Lord Talos in his spell-repelling mail, and Mother Winter casually knits up a magic capable of undoing any enchantment whatsoever while talking to Harry.
  • Batman Gambit: Aurora sets Harry up to get the Unraveling from Mother Winter, then jumps him and takes it from him in order to turn Lily back from stone and sacrifice her on the Stone Table- which itself was only there because the Queens created its surroundings so that they could fight the war that was ultimately instigated by Aurora.
  • Blood Knight: Maeve quite enjoys fighting. Just not in fair fights.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Fairies, as usual. Harry speculates it's why Aurora didn't collaborate with Mab on handing the Summer Knight's power to Winter- Summer and Winter don't work together, so the idea probably never occurred to her.
  • Big Bad: Aurora, the Summer Lady.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the final battle, Maeve claims she didn't help earlier because that would be a fair fight, which she avoids.
  • Death World: Earth if either of the Courts becomes more powerful than the other.
  • Deal with the Devil: Harry inadvertantly did this with Mab, as Mab bought his service from Lea. Elaine also did this with Aurora, who hid her away from the White Council and Harry.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: This combined with Cold Iron brings Aurora down. Harry arms Toot-Toot and the rest of the little folk with steel box knives, and sets them loose on her.
  • Famous Last Words: "I don't understand" - Aurora
  • Evil Plan: Aurora's was to give Winter the power of the Summer Knight so that they'd win.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: The Mothers cannot interfere with the lesser Queens.
  • Kingmaker Scenario: Aurora can't win the war herself, but she can tip the balance of power with the Summer Knight's mantle.
  • Personal Conflict: Elaine, Harry's once girlfriend who betrayed and tried to help his old master enthrall him, is back in his life (though she claims that she was under mind control when she did so).
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Maeve.
  • Sidekicks: Billy the Werewolf, Lt. Karrin Murphy
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Winter winning would create a new ice age.
  • Spanner in the Works: Elaine has to work with Aurora to pay off a debt, but allows Harry to escape and later keeps Aurora's poisonous thorns away from him, allowing to reach her and stop her.
  • Lesser of Two Evils : Lea, Harry's incredibly creepy fairy godmother, who spent most of the last book trying to turn him into a dog.
  • The Reveal: Lloyd Slate killed Ronald Ruel, under Aurora's orders.
  • Taken for Granite: This was how Aurora hid the power of the Summer Knight- she gave it to the changeling Lily and turned her to stone, rendering the power unusable until the enchantment was broken.
  • The Vamp: Maeve again.