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The Wizardry of The Dresden Files

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: Butcher, Dresden,

It takes me a while to return from a trip to Chicago – not in miles but in brain cells, since the Chicago I visit is the magical home of Harry Dresden, wizard.

Yes, wizard – it says so right in the Chicago phone book. So it must be true, right?!

White Night by Jim ButcherHarry Dresden’s the wizardly private eye who is the protagonist of The Dresden Files, a series written by Jim Butcher, an Independence, Missouri, author. The series – 10 in paperback, one hardcover and one in the works – is one of my favorites. Before I started the latest paperback, White Night, I decided to re-read the rest of the series. Starting with Storm Front, I once again was quickly enthralled by this version of Chicago, which claims among its population the wizardly Harry and a hodge-podge of characters, both mortal and supernatural.

I would like to meet Harry. He’s intelligent, street-wise, a smart-aleck with a quick wit and wry sense of humor, always does the right thing (it’s on his tombstone – long story), and he’s gone from a lonely existence to a life filled with friends who’ve become family.

It follows that I would also like to meet Jim Butcher, although I suspect I would be too much of a star-struck, tongue-tied fan to have the meeting go well. It would probably be much like my meeting with Harry, should he appear anywhere in my world.

Harry’s Chicago is a frequent destination for creatures and critters from NeverNever, another dimension populated by faeries, demons and other things that go bump in the night, and his Chicago is also home to warlocks (wizards who use their powers for the dark side) and, of course, vampires.

Harry is often at odds with the White Council, as well. This upper echelon of the wizards’ world contains a number of members who frown on Harry’s commercial applications of his talent and his propensity for finding trouble. Though, to be truthful, it’s usually trouble finding him.

Jim Butcher's Small FavorThe mythology of The Dresden Files has captivated me completely – it’s complex, layered and, in that fantastic fictional way, completely believable. It would be no trouble at all for me to re-read the series again and again, except for all those other books calling my name from my to-read shelf.

When the next in the series, Small Favor, appears in paperback on the shelves of the local bookstores, I’ll grab it, run for home and start the series all over again. It’s the best way for me to rediscover my appreciation of The Dresden Files. The rest of those to-be-read books will just have to wait their turn.