Third book in The Dresden Files
, and a volume that sets up a huge
number of intertwining plotlines and characters that will dominate the novels to come. Butcher still finds room for plenty of Shout Outs amidst the scares, plot twists, and shocking revelations.
- Bob tells Harry to "have fun storming the castle".
- He also uses a variant on the old "What do you mean 'we', white man?" joke about The Lone Ranger.
- Cassandra's Tears is an obvious Classical Mythology reference, as is Bob's quip about dating Charybdis.
- Harry compares his illuminated pentacle amulet, held high, to Diogenes' lamp.
- Even Yogi Bear cartoons are referenced, with Harry looking through Susan's "pick-a-nick" basket during the masquerade party.
- Harry sometimes feels like a Dickens character, stuck out in the cold alone, when he contemplates others' married lives.
- He quickly identifies Mavra's costume as that of Hamlet.
- And he tells himself "Down, Quixote" when his first impulse to help Lydia surfaces. For a shameless pop-culture buff, Harry's pretty well-read in the classics.
- Agatha Hagglethorn paraphrases a children's rhyme about the Lizzie Borden murders when she describes how she killed her abusive husband Benson.
- Mort Linquist's house looks like the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
- Bob grouses about Faerie, calling the Summer regions "the Disney version".
- Rudolph sneers at Harry's explanation of thresholds with snide remarks about Count Dracula.
- Some human victims at the party dress like Dracula's cheerleading squad.
- Harry cites The Legend of Sleepy Hollow while explaining running water's effectiveness as a barrier. It may not be coincidence that he, Michael, and Thomas later have to flee from a real supernatural rider (Lea), running for the safety of a bridge.
- The sword cane Harry brings to Bianca's ball was made in "merry old Jack the Ripper England".
- Harry refers to Malone's "Helter-Skelter" gleam of madness, which is an oblique reference (via The Beatles' album) to Charles Manson's obsessions and creepy stare.
- Beer advertising gets a nod in Harry's "Blood Lite" crack.
- Susan gets excited about the prospect of an actual interview with an actual Vampire.
- In accordance with Susan's Little Red Riding Hood costume, Lea references that story in saying that Bianca's party guests get to eat her all up.
- Harry previously called her Cinderella when she asks him to take her to the Red Court ball.
- Thomas poses like Errol Flynn to speak up at Bianca's party.
- At a standoff with Bianca's minions, Harry can't help but reference Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler".
- Trying to recall Kravos's name, Harry mentions Kraven the Hunter, a Marvel Comics supervillain. He also tells an ER doctor that he feels like a supervillain threw him against a wall (which, to be fair, is more or less what happened).
- Surely it's not coincidence that Harry goes to confront a ghostly imposter while carrying a Scooby-Doo lunch box?
- The anatomical deficiencies of Ken dolls provide Harry with a cheap shot on Kravos.
- Harry asks Michael if they need to light up the Bat-signal to call the other two Knights of the Cross for help.