The Dresden Files
Stars above, do I love Dresden.
I saw the TV show first and fell in love with it, so when I read the first book, which felt a little bumbling and inauthentic, I heavily criticized it. Even so, I stuck with it at the behest of a good friend and I now thank you—thank you, K!—for this new, incredible, delicious addiction to The Dresden Files.
Yes, there is chauvinism—especially when the author isn’t pointing it out. Yes, I’m tired of Dresden Saving!The!Day! already, and I’m only on book five, and the whole image of two lovely women holding him from under his armpits (or one lovely woman and a man, or whatever) after he exhausts himself by saving humanity is a little annoying, too. Please. I must say that in book four, I did see much more female power demonstrated, which I really, really enjoyed. And it’s not sexist, somehow—or at least, not glaringly, obviously, annoyingly so—and it doesn’t detract from the female characters, merely the main character himself.
But the stories—my goodness, the stories! They are absolutely wonderful, full of rich characters, the coolest villains, magic and general mayhem. I still haven’t discovered how Dresden is so poor—after all, the other wizards seem to have decent robes to wear and such; can’t he do something to make some money besides wizarding?—but it does add a nice poverty angle to the story to keep it interesting, and if there’s anything worse and an insufferable chauvinist, it’s a rich insufferable chauvinist, so at least there is that.
I have journeyed alongside Harry Dresden as he fought werewolves and vampires, fairies and demon fiends; I have laughed alongside him and nearly cried with him (particularly in certain emotional scenes during both books two and three), and have thoroughly enjoyed him kicking butt and bowing to no one, rules be damned (well, mostly be damned).
If you are a lover of fantasy literature, you’ve got to read some Dresden. There’s mystery, magic, drama, fight scenes, creatures, love, humor—what more could you want? And if you like Septimus Heap, you know how Angie Sage ties everything together—even seemingly innocent details—at the end so beautifully, making you gasp in delight. Dresden author Jim Butcher does the same thing, but for grown-ups. Check out the TV series if you get the chance, too; it’s on Netflix.