The Dresden Files Read-Along discussion

Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4)
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Book 4: SUMMER KNIGHT (Spoilers Allowed)

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Berkley Publishing Group (berkleypub) | 37 comments Mod
A heartbroken Harry gets caught up in Faerie politics. Let's talk SUMMER KNIGHT! Spoilers through SKIN GAME are permissible, so new readers beware.


Meryl | 25 comments This is the book where I really got hooked. I think some of it was because Ebenezer and his story line come into play, and partly because Harry starts developing - beyond the relationship with Lea and Toot Toot - a more clearly defined relationship to Faerie. Also, Karrin finally gets truly clued in, and the Harry/Karrin relationship begins to evolve. Oh, and let's not forget that Molly starts to be a defined character, too. I read/listen to this book regularly, and am looking forward to hearing everyone's reactions. :)


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Sam Miller | 1 comments Hell's Bells, the amount of set up and hints that occur in the first few chapters alone are amazing in hindsight. The White Council scene by itself is chock full of them; Harry and Eb's relationship, that scum bastard Peabody, Hell even something from the latest microfiction might have been hinted at. Martha Liberty asks Eb if he knows what Harry was meant to "become". I first thought she meant becoming a master warlock minion of Justin, but the Morgan microfiction makes me think she is referencing the "Destroyer". Morgan knows about the Destroyer, why wouldn't a Senior Council member and the Blackstaff? This and Grave Peril really show Jim's skill at setting things up for the future.


Paulum Mortis | 93 comments I’d been working under the assumption Adversary was some form of pathogen which overwrites a person’s spiritual aspect—and that is probably still true—but Journal Microfiction implies something different, so…

Teenyfiction: Admirable Restraint
This is a disaster. I should have dealt with this years ago. He’s set up a situation where the youngest wizard on the White Council could incite open war with the Red Court. Used DuMorne’s teaching to betray the Archangel compound and get
“Named Character dearly loved” killed, along with Pietrovich and dozens of others. And now he’s positioned himself as a fulcrum between Summer and Winter in a conflict liable to cause untold devastation.

Never in all my years have I seen an individual so obviously hagridden by an Adversary.

Sorry Margaret this is the only way I can free the poor boy. I know you’d never forgive me, but it is what I must do.


----
Am I reading this right? Morgan and LaFortier are both unmitigated asshats but neither are infected by Adversary. And if Lovecraft and Stoker are both writing accurate fiction, why not Heinlein. Bloody hell, Morgan’s reaction up to this book has been restrained. I’d have just killed Dresden in his sleep years ago… though I’m now worried about my Pirate getting infected, and interested to learn whether Adversarys need to go into Direct Conference.


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Ed Fleetwood | 6 comments This too was where Butcher got his hooks into me. I think it was the development of the milieu with Faerie that really caught me.
Up to "Summer Knight," it was a bit so-so; after this there was no stopping until I was forced to wait for the release of "Ghost Story" after that cliffhanger at the end of "Changes"!


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Ed Fleetwood | 6 comments Sam wrote: "Hell's Bells, the amount of set up and hints that occur in the first few chapters alone are amazing in hindsight. The White Council scene by itself is chock full of them; Harry and Eb's relationshi..."
It's true -- until this read-along, I had no idea how much he laid down in the early books. He must have had swathes mapped out before he ever began to write!


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Julie Gattis (jukiee) | 42 comments My favorite line in this book and maybe my favorite first line of any book ever: "It rained toads the day the White Council came to town."

Wowieeee


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Julie Gattis (jukiee) | 42 comments Why does Elaine have a silver pentagram necklace like Harry's and Toe-moss'? Those were given by their mother but did Justin give Elaine the necklace to feel part of the tribe? Did Harry buy it for Elaine? With what money?


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Dawn (dawntm) | 20 comments In this day in history, the German city, Dresden, was bombed by allied forces, the destruction being so devastating that it ruined the city. Once renowned for its rich architectural and artistic treasures, it was considered the “Florence of the Elbe.”

So, I never looked up Harry’s last name; however, when I saw this information about Dresden, I began to wonder what Harry’s last name reveals about him, especially since Lea and others have referred to him as a destroyer, saying that he was made to bring destruction. He has destroyed many, including the vampire courts. What do the rest of his names reveal about him?


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Julie Gattis (jukiee) | 42 comments Okay how many of us, when doing yard work, swear and call a yard plant a Chlorofiend?


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Kat | 7 comments I'm going to be the nitpick spoilsport who points out that Chicago has forcibly prevented Wal Mart from opening any stores in Chicago. It shouldn't bother me that Butcher places one there, but for some absurd reason, it DOES. It's part of the Chicago culture Butcher misses, being as he isn't actually from the area.


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Julie Gattis (jukiee) | 42 comments Kat wrote: "I'm going to be the nitpick spoilsport who points out that Chicago has forcibly prevented Wal Mart from opening any stores in Chicago. It shouldn't bother me that Butcher places one there, but for ..."

Really? I didn't think anything could stop Walmart or Amazon.


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Kat | 7 comments The city has deliberately not let in many big box stores. They have allowed Target in, because the company agreed to pay a better wage to the employees. Wal Mart is infamous for not making those concessions, though, so no Wal Marts.


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Kat | 7 comments Well, upon research, I was apparently incorrect. There is one Wal Mart on the west side. https://www.goodjobsfirst.org/chicago...


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palu (clocklungs) | 1 comments +1 to why does Elaine have a silver pentacle that's the same as the ones Harry and Thomas have?


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Ted (tedeg) Dawn wrote: "What do the rest of his names reveal about him?"Blackstone and Copperfield are both famous stage magicians.


Jeanie | 20 comments Ted wrote: "Dawn wrote: "What do the rest of his names reveal about him?"Blackstone and Copperfield are both famous stage magicians."

He's a famous magician times three... Harry's first name is for Harry Houdini, arguably the most famous magician ever.


Meryl | 25 comments Kat wrote: "I'm going to be the nitpick spoilsport who points out that Chicago has forcibly prevented Wal Mart from opening any stores in Chicago. It shouldn't bother me that Butcher places one there, but for ..."

Sorry to tell you, but there've been Wal-Mart stores in Chicago since the mid-90s. It was a bit shocking when the first one opened, but - well - they're there.


Meryl | 25 comments palu wrote: "+1 to why does Elaine have a silver pentacle that's the same as the ones Harry and Thomas have?"

You, know, I've wondered this myself, since Harry got his mother's. There must be something about Justin here?


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Meryl wrote: "palu wrote: "+1 to why does Elaine have a silver pentacle that's the same as the ones Harry and Thomas have?"

You, know, I've wondered this myself, since Harry got his mother's. There must be some..."


it's the symbol of order - a pentacle star defined by a circle - I don't think Margaret invented that. It's like having a crusifics necklace for a christian - there are many different designes around, but if you bring a picture of one you like, you can find a replica pretty easily.
The other design for chaos - where the circle is too small to contain the star - would probably be harder to get - kinda like anouncing you're a satanist or something like that.

This raises the question - if a wizard believes in Order, how evil can he still be? Justin clearly let his wards believe in it, but he was doing deals with Walkers, which represent Chaos...


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Dawn (dawntm) | 20 comments To Jeanie and Ted, yes all of Harry’s names belong to famous stage magicians, but each one of those has a specialty that Harry learns from are identifies one of his abolition. For instance, when Harry was trying to get away from the Street Wolves, he was inspired by Houdini who said that there is never a binding he couldn’t get out of.


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Dawn (dawntm) | 20 comments Damn spellcheck, he learns from each of the magicians for whom he is named, or they have characteristics that identify one of his abilities.


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Jorge | 1 comments I feel the whole book is one of transition in which Harry comes to terms with the fact he doesn't have the right to keep everyone in the dark, even when he does it to try and protect them. The book opens with him grappling with the fact he couldn't prevent harm from falling on Susan and can't find a cure. He tries to shut away advice and a helping hand from Billy and the werepups. He hasn't yet revealed the actual workings of the supernatural world to Murphy or the Alphas.

As the plot develops and he embraces this concept, his allies are able to lend more help to his quest and reward the trust and respect with a deeper bond. Murphy becomes his right hand girl and the Alphas become fully fledged allies. Elaine rewards his trust and respect of her choice to not go to the council and gives him an out from a tough spot against Summer. Even the Gatekeeper (who we didn't even know before this book) responds to Harry's honesty extending a helping hand.
It's a great step forward from the stubborn way he tried to face conflict alone in the earlier books and allows his character to grow. Grave peril may have begun the war and the overarching plot lines but for me Summer Knight sold me on Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, I will follow him to hell and back.


Paulum Mortis | 93 comments “So,” I ask, “illegal Mind Fog?”

Lana Kane answers, “No! Glossing.”


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Jay Parker | 13 comments I have this suspicion or theory about the Gatekeeper. So, I was wondering what y'all's thoughts are on him. The way he interacts with Harry in the book, Proven Guilty and Cold Days is very interesting. I will share my crazy theory later.


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Michelle (aquig) | 3 comments Just finished the book. It's on of my favorites. I like the introduction of Ebenezar and the Gatekeeper. And Elaine... not the girlfriend you want for Harry. Also, you see Morgan's fanatacism and the Merlin's hatred of Harry. Also it's neat to see the references about what Harry is supposed to be. But I especially like the introduction of the Mab, And that even though she is an evil character, she follows rules and has reasons for her actions. Fun book! It's also interesting that Aurora looks at the stars when she talks to Harry about what she is doing and why she's doing it. A


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Michelle wrote: "Just finished the book. It's on of my favorites. I like the introduction of Ebenezar and the Gatekeeper. And Elaine... not the girlfriend you want for Harry. Also, you see Morgan's fanatacism and t..."

saying the fairies are evil is wrong - they are forces of nature, you don't blame a thunderstorm of evil intent, or a drought - so why blame the Queens...
The spiteful part is the human-similar part of them - they are either ex-mortals like Lily and Molly, or trying to be human like Sarrisa said Mab was doing (actually, I'm not sure she wasn't ever human herself).
We do know Mab isn't just creul - she has a purpose and she's doing things to get it done.
Evil? well - I don't see it, but if so, she's definitely lesser evil compared to others around.
Titania is not Good either.


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments I finished listening to this book again, and i have to say - the nevernever really reminds me of the shadow walks in Roger Zelazney's Chronicles Of Amber. Not the Hellruns, although the Changes scenes are more similar - just the way the heroes walk and the world changes around them.
Also - the toadstool circle also rings a bell from that book - and it was also used for an evil purpose there.
It's a good book for fans here too.


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Michelle (aquig) | 3 comments Yasmin wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Just finished the book. It's on of my favorites. I like the introduction of Ebenezar and the Gatekeeper. And Elaine... not the girlfriend you want for Harry. Also, you see Morgan's..."
I don't think any of the fairies are especially good. But Mab does have some darker tendencies, usually for a reason, but what she does to Slate, and what she allows in her court could be considered evil. She definitely has a role to play.


Caryl Huffstetler | 54 comments Ed wrote: "Sam wrote: "Hell's Bells, the amount of set up and hints that occur in the first few chapters alone are amazing in hindsight. The White Council scene by itself is chock full of them; Harry and Eb's..."

JB's latest con Q&A: he states that he has the entire series outlined up to and including an apocalyptic trilogy to end the series. JB says a story HAS to have an end or it's not a story. I just hope I live to read the end.


Caryl Huffstetler | 54 comments Yasmin wrote: "Michelle wrote: "Just finished the book. It's on of my favorites. I like the introduction of Ebenezar and the Gatekeeper. And Elaine... not the girlfriend you want for Harry. Also, you see Morgan's..."

Actually Mab says to Harry, after the death of Maeve, "I was human once" or words to that effect.


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Well, in SK Harry states the fairy queens are very far from human and dont really get us. On the other hand, Mab is a mother and cares about her daughters... wait - Sarrisa was a scion, and Maeve was her sister - so who's the father? Human or fay?
How old is Sarrissa anyway?


Caryl Huffstetler | 54 comments Yasmin wrote: "Well, in SK Harry states the fairy queens are very far from human and dont really get us. On the other hand, Mab is a mother and cares about her daughters... wait - Sarrisa was a scion, and Maeve w..."

In order to be a scion Sarrisa's father would Have to be human. Otherwise, she would have been fae thru and thru.
And the age question - Is that because you're wanting to know if Mab can still bear children, or if Harry's encounter with her when he was made the Winter Knight might produce one? 'Cause that idea spawns a myriad of possibilities.


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Caryl Huffstetler wrote: "Yasmin wrote: "Well, in SK Harry states the fairy queens are very far from human and dont really get us. On the other hand, Mab is a mother and cares about her daughters... wait - Sarrisa was a sci..."

actually was thinking what if William Shakespear was the father...
that would explain how he knew about Midsummer Night's Dream.
I know Harry, Thomas and Mab both pointed to the Grimm brothers and Guitenberg for tethering the fairies to our realm, but frankly there were earlier works describing them. Guitenberg was only mass-printing existing materials anyway...

As for how fertile Mab still is - no reason why she wouldn't still be, but if she seels the deal with each winter knight with sex, she would have more kids around if each of those events end with a preagnancy.


Caryl Huffstetler | 54 comments I like the Shakespeare angle and the Midsummer Night's Dream tie in; though that leaves on opening for the Fairy King, Oberon to make an appearance. Please note only the Summer Queen has a king; in any literature I've read anyway. But I think there's too much of a matriarchy in the hierarchy JB has developed for Faerie in the Dresdenverse for that to be likely.

Biology would suggest that not every 'claiming' of a knight would result in offspring. Still I speculate as to why Mab wanted Harry so badly and whether attraction to more than just power could be one her motivations. Just one of those ideal thoughts that pop in when browsing the Dresdenverse and anticipating the next book.

Also, now that I recognize JB's delight in creating angst in his readers, as far as Harry is concerned, I'm wondering just how long Harry and Karrin get to last? There's no way JB's going to allow them to 'happily ever after'. What kind of domestic torture will they have to endure? A hint of one kind of misery was dropped by Butters. I could also see a Theseus and Hippolyta ending to their love story. JB Has already dipped into the Greco-Roman mythology. So many possibilities....


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Caryl Huffstetler wrote: "I like the Shakespeare angle and the Midsummer Night's Dream tie in; though that leaves on opening for the Fairy King, Oberon to make an appearance. Please note only the Summer Queen has a king; in..."

well - there is a fae king running around - wild fae - the king of the wild hunt. Do we wonder if there are more than one of those around? we also have Kringle as a powerful fae...
With bees, there is a strong queen and weaker males around. Equality between the sexes is not a rule - there can be matriarcies around too, as well as patriarcies, and some weirder stuff like the free for all snails do, where the goal is to get your sperm to the next snail before they give theirs to you, or something...

Dresden is a big Woobie - the short-story with him trying to take Luccio out on a day off was hillarious, and showed that Butcher definitely gets a kick out of abusing Dresden.
I do think that Harry and Karrin are endgame - but they will probably have to go through more hoops before there's a wedding.
The fact that Harry is a long-lived wizard and Karrin is a mortal could be a problem all in itself.


Paulum Mortis | 93 comments Why does the Stone Table change hands at Midsummer?

It’s understandable why the battle took place on Litha—Summer at the height of its power. Their best change without the aid of Ronald Reuel. But…

Air, Water, Fire, Earth
Blue, Red, Yellow, Green
Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn

Cold Days is coming up and this has bugged me for ages! The winter season changes to spring at the vernal equinox, which is the third week in March. Doesn’t that make more sense?


Chris (perrins2win) | 31 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "Why does the Stone Table change hands at Midsummer?

It’s understandable why the battle took place on Litha—Summer at the height of its power. Their best change without the aid of Ronald Reuel. But..."

Well, despite what some of the conceptualizations that this particular volume might lead one to think I have always thought of the table as the instrument of change. That is to say, the table doesn't change hands because one power or the other gains primacy. Rather the changing of the table's ownership/control is the tool for shifting primacy.

Put another way. The table changes hands so that balance can be maintained. So, just when one power or the other has reached it's maximum allowable level of influence on the world by way of holding the table for their allotted time the other power takes control so that the scale can start shifting the other way.

So, using this logic, the table doesn't change hands when the influence of winter or summer becomes stronger on the world. It switches when the influence of one or the other needs to start fading for the sake of balance.

Of course, this is just my way of thinking about the relationship between winter and summer and may not bear any resemblance to how Jim meant to write it.


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "Why does the Stone Table change hands at Midsummer?

It’s understandable why the battle took place on Litha—Summer at the height of its power. Their best change without the aid of Ronald Reuel. But..."


only 2 powers here - winter and summer. no spring and no autumn.
that way - Chris is right about the whole thing being created to switch power from the strong to the weak at the hight of the power.
This is why it's so weird to see Mab hanging around at may in chicago - it's almost the hight of Summer's power - why hasn't Mab left already in Ghost Story... and then we find out...


Doubtful Ghost | 30 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "The winter season changes to spring at the vernal equinox, which is the third week in March. Doesn’t that make more sense?"

The book does seem counterintuitive about this. If a kind of ownership of the table is at stake I would expect the handoff to be when one influence actually becomes dominant over the other, so I would agree the equinox would seem a more natural fit.

It's not entirely arbitrary to have a changeover at a moment when a sort of rising tide switches to falling tide, or vice versa: it's the inflection point. Perhaps faeries are just into calculus? Titania's speech in Cold Days suggests that that sort of math would be more of a Winter thing, though.

Perhaps a better question is whether an Australian visiting the Stone Table on the same day in June would see Summer taking over from Winter?


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Yasmin Mazur | 196 comments Doubtful wrote: "Paulum Mortis wrote: "The winter season changes to spring at the vernal equinox, which is the third week in March. Doesn’t that make more sense?"

The book does seem counterintuitive about this. If..."


WoJ states the fairies are european mostly, and don't show up in the southern hemisphere so much - but they still go there on their off season.
Regarding the switch time - it makes more sense to me to have the table switch hands at the high point of power and not the mid-point - it switches and starts to give the power to the other side, thus hurting the side it was just in. if it was in the mid-point, something would have had to cause the power decline at the top.


Doubtful Ghost | 30 comments Yasmin wrote: " - it switches and starts to give the power to the other side, thus hurting the side it was just in."

Ah. So the switchover causes, or at least reflects the cause, of the changing power balance, rather than being an indicator of when it's summer and winter. That makes sense.

[And I meant to say that the inflection point was in the first derivative of the sun's seasonal change, which is why I was mentioning calculus.]


Paulum Mortis | 93 comments Exactly.

Picture it as a pendulum’s swing. At Midsummer Titania’s power is at its maximum—the furthest point of the swing, Winter’s nadir—and as Yasmin is saying, the direction switches back toward the Unseelie Court.

And pendulum work via gravity right, at least for this aphorism – and the Energy flowing into each court would first need to overcome “momentum” before turning back.

And it says something that I knew exactly what Doubtful meant by “inflection point” without having to look it up – because that’s why Stone Table should probably flip at the equinoxes. Thing is, I know this isn’t how it works in story—and I’m not pretending to be correct—I just don’t understand why I am wrong!


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Steven Spicer (terriertribe) | 199 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "... And it says something that I knew exactly what Doubtful meant by 'inflection point' without having to look it up – because that’s why Stone Table should probably flip at the equinoxes. Thing is, I know this isn’t how it works in story—and I’m not pretending to be correct—I just don’t understand why I am wrong!..."

At the equinox, power continues to flow in the same direction it already is (days continue to get shorter, longer, etc). At the solstice, the power changes direction and flows the other way. The table is about power flow, not who's holding the ball (to mix metaphors), so that's why it flips at the solstices.


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Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 107 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "I’d been working under the assumption Adversary was some form of pathogen which overwrites a person’s spiritual aspect—and that is probably still true—but Journal Microfiction implies something different, so…

Teenyfiction: Admirable Restraint
This is a disaster. I should have dealt with this years ago. He’s set up a situation where the youngest wizard on the White Council could incite open war with the Red Court. Used DuMorne’s teaching to betray the Archangel compound and get “Named Character dearly loved” killed, along with Pietrovich and dozens of others. And now he’s positioned himself as a fulcrum between Summer and Winter in a conflict liable to cause untold devastation.

Never in all my years have I seen an individual so obviously hagridden by an Adversary.

Sorry Margaret this is the only way I can free the poor boy. I know you’d never forgive me, but it is what I must do.

----"


What is this Journal Microfiction? Are there more Teenyfictions that I've missed? Is this one by Jim Butcher? What character wrote the letter? What the heck is "Named Character dearly loved" doing in the middle of it? Please explain what you know.


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Caryl Huffstetler | 156 comments There are several micro fictions that were dropped to the official website jim-butcher.com this year. The one referenced above is entitled: Microficton #2: Journal which is ostensibly a page or two from Morgan's Journal. The writing above is not Butcher's but it's kind of a summary of Microfiction #2 from some other character's viewpoint. The Merlin's?
I'm not sure which "Named Character dearly loved" is being referred to. As the micro fiction in question is placed after Turn Coat in the timeline and is clearly dropping the hint that this is Morgan's final entry, you can guess that Morgan dies at the end of Turn Coat. However, is he the 'dearly loved" character mentioned? Not everybody 'dearly loved' Morgan due to his attitude towards Dresden.
I hope this helps clear things up.


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Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 107 comments Caryl wrote: "There are several micro fictions that were dropped to the official website jim-butcher.com this year. The one referenced above is entitled: Microficton #2: Journal which is ostensibly a page or two from Morgan's Journal. The writing above is not Butcher's but it's kind of a summary of Microfiction #2 from some other character's viewpoint. The Merlin's?"

I was already aware of the Microfictions, but not of this Teenyfiction. Who wrote it, if not JB, and is it canonical? Why the awkward "Named Character dearly loved" in there? Why wouldn't that unnamed character that wrote it put the actual name?


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Caryl Huffstetler | 156 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "I’d been working under the assumption Adversary was some form of pathogen which overwrites a person’s spiritual aspect—and that is probably still true—but Journal Microfiction implies something dif..."
Where did the teenyfiction come from? Or are you just paraphrasing the Morgan Journal entry?


Paulum Mortis | 93 comments This was like six months ago, and I was being a bit silly… obviously?

Morgan has been on Team GoodGuy for a while now, but with the Journal Microfiction a jigsaw piece of worldbuilding gets dropped in our laps, and it’s revealed Morgan knew about the Adversary! all along – which kinda changes how I viewed the some of the events later in TURN COAT.

Read SUMMER KNIGHT, the man acts like a psychopath – unreasonable antagonistic bastard. But come on… one of Morgan’s closest friends dies at the Archangel compound, and combine that with the staggering number of blatant red flags Dresden is waving around. Guy’s a freakin’ saint!


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