Turn Coat, Book 11 of the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher

layout: post published: true Date: 2009-04-18 Tags: - books - dresden files - fantasy posterous_url: http://blog.ajdecon.org/turn-coat-book-11-of-the-dresden-files-jim-bu posterous_slug: turn-coat-book-11-of-the-dresden-files-jim-bu

Last week I got my copy of Turn Coat, book 11 of Jim Butcher's Dresden
Files series. For the uninitiated, the Dresden Files follows the
adventures of Harry Dresden, the only wizard in Chicago's Yellow
Pages. Starting out mostly as a PI with some magical abilities, in
recent books Harry's adventures have shaded into more standard
urban-fantasy stories of magic, mystery and conspiracy. Especially
conspiracy, as Harry and others have come to the conclusion that there
must be a traitor in the ranks of the White Council, the governing
body of wizardry in this world.
 
The book opens immediately with Harry answering his front door to find
Morgan, a long-time antagonist and Warden of the White Council who
thinks of Harry as a dangerous threat, asking for sanctuary from the
Council himself on a charge of murder. Harry, being a glutton for
punishment, of course allows him inside and decides that Morgan is
innocent. This sets off a chain of chaotic events in which everyone
is looking for Morgan, Harry is attempting to prove his innocence and
the involvement of the real traitor, and various friends and denizens
of Chicago are caught in the middle.
 
Without giving away too many details, it's debatable whether the end
of this novel can really be called a victory. Harry technically
"wins" as usual, but he loses a lot in the process, and damages a
number of relationships and alliances along the way. He doesn't seem
to have gained much in the process, unlike previous books where he has
met new allies or gained new knowledge.
 
Jim Butcher has talked about how the Dresden files will be a long
series with an "apocalyptic trilogy" at the end, and it's apparent
that this might be the turning point at which things start to get a
lot darker. As a story I felt this was a stronger installment than
the last novel, "Small Favor", which didn't feel as tight or focused
to me as this latest one. At the same time I'm not sure how much I'm
looking forward to the next Dresden Files novel: this series has
always had its fair share of darkness but were lightened by Harry's
humor and relationships with his friends. As things get darker in
this world and alliances become strained, it's hard to see how much
light will be present as the series goes on... which may forward the
plot, but also lose a large part of why the series was so enjoyable in
the first place.