October 27, 2020 · 10:58 am
As a huge Harry Dresden fan, I’ve looked forward to the next books in the Dresden Files series for years, and author Jim Butcher did not disappoint, giving fans not just one, but two new books within three months.
The duology of Peace Talks and Battleground not only continue the Dresden series, but take the conflict to a new level, as the supernatural and human worlds collide in wizard Harry Dresden’s Chicago. I recommend reading them together because Peace Talks lays the groundwork that leads you straight into Battleground.
Peace Talks sets the stage with a convergence of the supernatural world’s most powerful in Chicago to negotiate peace between factions. The wizards of the White Council are tasked with security, but it becomes clear that unknown forces are working not only against the negotiations, but to set the powers that be on a collision course. Unfortunately for Harry, they use his brother as a pawn to set their plans in motion, complicating his already precarious position as a member of the White Council and requiring Harry to somehow protect his brother and the negotiations simultaneously. When an ancient power rises to crash the party and threatens to destroy Chicago with an indestructible magical artifact, the situation becomes dire, leading us to Battleground.
In Battleground, we watch Chicago burn when a Titan advances on the city, bringing her hatred to bear against humanity and causing Chicago’s human inhabitants to struggle for survival against supernatural forces that come out openly into the night to claim Chicago as their war zone. To protect the city and people he loves, Harry calls upon all of his powers as wizard, Winter Knight, and as the keeper of Merlin’s supernatural island prison. Unable to end the existence of a deity with such power, Harry and his allies seek to imprison her instead, but to accomplish that feat, they must first wage a strategic and costly battle against the Titan and her armies.
The Arsonist Red Blend is the perfect wine to drink while you enjoy Harry’s latest adventures. A dry and full-bodied wine that blends Petit Verdot with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s well-balanced with a deep red color and just a hint of fruit. It also has a price point (find it here) that supports buying two bottles–one to go with each installment of Butcher’s Dresden duology.
Enjoy, and happy reading!
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Tagged as battleground, Book Reviews, Davidson's Wine and Liquors, Harry Dresden, Jim Butcher, matchbox wines, Peace talks, The Arsonist, Wine reviews
April 18, 2015 · 11:00 am
Since February’s review of books 1-4 of the Dresden Files, I’ve continued to burn through them, having difficulty putting them down. This is due in part to my Kindle, a magical and dangerous device, which immediately upon reaching the end of one book provides a popup offer to download the next book in the series. I tell myself I’ll just download it–I do have other books to read–but inevitably I start reading and find myself sucked into Harry Dresden’s increasingly dangerous world yet again.
As I’d hoped, he’s continued to grow both in maturity and in his magical abilities, which have yet to be fully explored (looking forward to that in books 10-14). While he hasn’t totally overcome his overblown sense of chivalry, he’s toned it down thanks to being surrounded by strong female characters, especially Lieutenant Karrin Murphy, but also Anastasia Luccio, captain of the wardens of the White Council, and Lara Raith of the White Court Vampires.
Wizard Dresden’s dry wit remains, providing humor in the most unexpected places. He admittedly can’t keep his mouth shut, especially in dangerous situations. As the cast of characters grows—some human, others not-so-much—so does the family he’s creating, which inevitably raises the stakes on his antics and involvement. These well-constructed characters are easy to love and only serve to add to the reasons I’m compelled to continue reading. Even with the higher stakes, Dresden is unable to stop himself from intervening to protect the weak and the innocent, the vulnerable and non-magical. You can still find him on Twitter @HarriedWizard and also at Jim Butcher.com.
Due to the nature of Harry’s adventures, a Storybook Mountain wine would complement them well. I would recommend a Red Zinfandel. If you have a preference for white wines, their Viognier is also an excellent choice. You can order them at http://www.storybookwines.com/
February 14, 2015 · 10:07 am
My brother gave me the Dresden Files on DVD years ago, which I enjoyed and was disappointed that the Syfy series wasn’t continued to a second season. So when I recently learned the show was based on a series of books, I couldn’t wait to read them. I finished the first three in a couple of weeks and am in the middle of book 4, Summer Knight.
The magical side of Chicago as created by Jim Butcher and traversed precariously by the city’s only wizard for hire, Harry Dresden, provides endless entertainment through the main character’s dry, sarcastic, and self-deprecating humor applied liberally to a diverse cast of creatures and characters. As usual, the books provide useful detail that was excluded from the TV show. In Harry’s case this is most evident in the extent of his power and the darkness lurking in his past, very near the surface and always inserting itself into his life to complicate his present.
You can’t help but love Harry’s tendency to throw the finger at the powers that be, which have certainly never been of benefit or assistance to him, even when he needed it most. The depth of Wizard Dresden’s self-sacrifice and refusal to ask for help or to inform others, usually for their own protection in his mind, is extreme and can be annoying at times, especially to an independent woman who wouldn’t need or want his extreme chivalry. However, it’s these same characteristics that get Harry into those amusing predicaments time and again.
In Harry Dresden, a man who can’t stop himself from standing between the innocent and the dark powers that inhabit his magical realm, Mr. Butcher has created a character you can’t help but root for, who grows into his power a little more with each book, someone you want to know and understand better, to watch him prevail not only over his past, but over the dark forces he’s compelled to stand against on behalf of the vulnerable and non-magical. If you require his services, you can find Harry Dresden on Twitter, @HarriedWizard.
Due to the nature of Harry’s adventures, a Storybook Mountain wine would complement them well. I would recommend either the Mayacamas Range or Eastern Exposures Red Zinfandel (shown above). If you have a preference for white wines, their Viognier is also an excellent choice. You can order them at Storybookwines.com.
As you can see, Hershey insisted on helping me with this one. Enjoy, and happy reading!