In this novel in Jim Butcher’s #1 New York Times bestselling series, an old debt puts Chicago wizard Harry Dresden in harms way…
Harry’s life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council’s war with the vampiric Red Court is easing up, no one’s tried to kill him lately, and his eager apprentice is starting to learn real magic. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow.
Mab, monarch of the Sidhe Winter Court, calls in an old favor from Harry. Just one 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.
And everything was going so well for once…
“As in ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’?” The skull howled with laughter. “You just got your ass handed to you by a nursery tale?”
“I wouldn’t say they handed me my ass,” I said.
Bob was nearly strangling on his laughter, and given that he had no lungs it seemed gratuitous somehow. “That’s because you can’t see yourself,” he choked out. “Your nose is all swollen up and you’ve got two black eyes. You look like a raccoon. Holding a dislocated ass.”
This is one of those books that just sticks with you. I remembered everything about this book so vividly. From the beginning, where Dresden gets attacked by a fairy tale, to The Archive, to that explosive, powerful ending. It is a very real possibility that Small Favor is my second favorite book in this series, and that that will always stay true.
If one isn’t paying close attention, Small Favor can feel like a lot of little parts that just got jammed into one big, whole to-do. But, Butcher has been building the plot of this book up for books. A lot of this has been foreshadowed. And it makes the book even more amazing because you have been told, you just didn’t notice. And yet it still hits you like a ton of bricks.
That isn’t to say that there wasn’t a lot of new added to this book, either. I’ve read this series at least six times all the way through, and likely more since I don’t have good records for how any times I have read this series. Even now I’m not certain how much of this book has been foreshadowed and how much is completely new. And everything new is buildup for bits further on in the series, too! Nothing in this series is written for naught.
It is a bit difficult to summarize what happens in Small Favor like I normally do in a review. Because there is just so much that happens, even early on, that all comes together. And even more importantly, a lot of what is happening is a complete mystery early on that gradually becomes explained.
What is really important to say is just how much fun it is to read this book. Dresden is in completely over his head, as always. From frying pan to fire. Only that fire is hellfire. Dresden has more enemies than allies. And nothing is guaranteed.