The Dresden Files Read-Along discussion

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Book 6: BLOOD RITES (Spoilers Allowed)

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Berkley Publishing Group (berkleypub) | 20 comments Mod
Harry goes undercover on an adult film set and finds out some shocking personal truths. Let's talk BLOOD RITES! Spoilers through SKIN GAME are permissible, so new readers beware.


message 2: by Sabrina (new)

Sabrina | 1 comments I love the twist in this one! My spine is barely holding together anymore Lol!


message 3: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 10 comments At the end of Ch. 41, He Who Walks Behind puts in a last word to Harry, "And I remember thee. Thou and I, we have unfinished business. " Then he disappears, allowing an exhausted Harry to rescue Thomas and Murphy with no further distractions. How convenient. No one made him go. Why didn't he take care of unfinished business then and there?


message 4: by Meryl (new)

Meryl | 17 comments I had a lot of fun in this book. Getting into the development of the whole Raith clan was key for me - and reading it this time was a whole different perspective. It's been a while since I read this. I'm really curious about what Thomas found during the soul gaze - I'd love to read that side of it (hint hint, Jim?).


message 5: by Paulum Mortis (new)

Paulum Mortis | 35 comments One chapter in and I already have two thoughts: 1. Firefly-class transportation vessels are constructed from ninety percent recycled parts, look ugly as hell, and will keep on flying right through the apocalypse… I just didn’t realise Volkswagen diversified into spaceships.

2. Dresden is always comparing himself to Thomas—harshly for the most part—it occurs to me he might be prettier than he’s letting on?


message 6: by Zachary (new)

Zachary | 4 comments Meryl wrote: "I had a lot of fun in this book. Getting into the development of the whole Raith clan was key for me - and reading it this time was a whole different perspective. It's been a while since I read thi..."

I feel like Jim is saving someone else's perspective during a Harry soulgaze for a very special occasion.


message 7: by Wordwizard (new)

Wordwizard (wordwizardw) | 10 comments I've been wondering about what others see when they soulgaze him for a long time.


message 8: by Paulum Mortis (new)

Paulum Mortis | 35 comments Zachary wrote: "Meryl wrote: "…someone else's perspective during a Harry soulgaze"

It’s what Deborah Chester: The Immortal Queen, calls a “spinning plate”

We’ll find out what they see in a Soulgaze… eventually, maybe in the the trilogy. Until then I’m DYING to know myself!

Still, more specific question: who do you think’s going to get to describe it? Thomas? Karin? Molly? …Mac?


message 9: by Carlo (new)

Carlo (cjcarino) | 11 comments Paulum Mortis wrote: "Zachary wrote: "Meryl wrote: "…someone else's perspective during a Harry soulgaze"

It’s what Deborah Chester: The Immortal Queen, calls a “spinning plate”
."


I really don't think we'll see it described until it's Karrin's turn. There's really been a low-key boil to see them soul gaze, I think it definitely would be the right moment.


message 10: by Carlo (new)

Carlo (cjcarino) | 11 comments Wordwizard wrote: "At the end of Ch. 41, He Who Walks Behind puts in a last word to Harry, "And I remember thee. Thou and I, we have unfinished business. " Then he disappears, allowing an exhausted Harry to rescue Th..."

I think the circumstances and times in which the Walkers are allowed to exert their power on the mortal plane are very particular to how they were summoned and exactly what the summoning's purpose were. Otherwise HWWB would have probably killed Harry to death years ago.


message 11: by Carlo (new)

Carlo (cjcarino) | 11 comments I gotta say, the character development on the supporting cast in this book was really some of the best in the series — Arturo, Joan, and Jake in particular. Throw in Lara, the White King, Inari, and finally Maggie Dresden in her own words, and it's wall to wall with people you care about.


message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris (perrins2win) | 11 comments If I had to speculate I'd say that HWWB left because noone had broken the outer containment of the ritural and so he couldn't get to harry.


message 13: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments What Harry remembered in Ghost Story is pertinent - it is starting to look like the bad guys think they can turn Harry to their side (his mother did work with them for a while, so not unreasonable of them).
HWWB still wants something from Harry - maybe open the gates by betraying Winter...
Those things are immortal, they take the long view.


message 14: by Ed (new)

Ed Fleetwood | 6 comments "So I’d use a rifle at a thousand yards. The bullet outruns its own sonic boom, and you’d never even hear the shot. You’d be dead before you realized what happened." Future echoes....


message 15: by B.A. (new)

B.A. Williamson (bwilliamson) | 3 comments Guys. Guys. In chapter 11, there’s some toys at the police station for kids. One is a Snoopy doll with “old dark stains.” THATS THE SNOOPY VOODOO HE USED ON THE LOUP GAROUX.
First off-GREAT subtle callback.
Second-that’s so deliciously dark that kids at SI might wind up playing with a blood stained snoopy.
Third-maybe the lingering bad juju is why puppy mouse was chewing on it.


message 16: by Carlo (new)

Carlo (cjcarino) | 11 comments B.A. wrote: "Guys. Guys. In chapter 11, there’s some toys at the police station for kids. One is a Snoopy doll with “old dark stains.” THATS THE SNOOPY VOODOO HE USED ON THE LOUP GAROUX. "
Mind Blown! Re-read this a dozen times and never caught the connection.


message 17: by Carlo (new)

Carlo (cjcarino) | 11 comments Going back to the reunion scene. Does anyone think that Murphy's Dad really dies the way Mama Murphy said? Or do you think he was the victim of the dark side? After all, he did work in the "Special" division in Ghost Story. I really want to know what Karrin thinks.


message 18: by Lee (new)

Lee (2scoutmom) | 5 comments After reading ghost story, I have often thought about this too. I wondered if Captain Jack had some negative influence on him that made him do the suicide, just like the white court who feeds off depression. Skavis Branch, I think 🤔


message 19: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Lee wrote: "After reading ghost story, I have often thought about this too. I wondered if Captain Jack had some negative influence on him that made him do the suicide, just like the white court who feeds off d..."

after hearing he used to be in Black Cat investigations, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a regular suicide.
Of course - seeing the things you see in this line of work can drive a man crazy all on its own - but getting a spell to mess with his mind would be too easy for a budding warlock to do.
I wonder who was the wizard working in chicago at that time - if the cops don't have someone knowledgable working with them, they don't last long.


Caryl Huffstetler | 38 comments Ed wrote: ""So I’d use a rifle at a thousand yards. The bullet outruns its own sonic boom, and you’d never even hear the shot. You’d be dead before you realized what happened." Future echoes...."

Since spoilers are allowed; Kincaid does shoot Harry at the end of Changes, at Harry's request. However, his heart couldn't have been in it, because if he'd gone for a head shot - no chance of coming back from having your brain literally scrambled. Also, Kincaid wouldn't have missed Harry's heart, even at a thousand yards. Again, no coming back if your heart is shredded.
(So, okay, in reality, it was the author who had to leave room for Harry's return from the dead in order to continue the sort arc). Still fun speculation on the character motivation.


message 21: by Chris (new)

Chris (perrins2win) | 11 comments Caryl Huffstetler wrote: "Ed wrote: ""So I’d use a rifle at a thousand yards. The bullet outruns its own sonic boom, and you’d never even hear the shot. You’d be dead before you realized what happened." Future echoes...."

..."

To be fair, on the subject of Jim bending logic to preserve his hero, The heart is the better shot in that situation. Harry was on a moving boat. He was looking around appreciating his surroundings which means a lot of head movement. And though a successful head shot does mean insta-death in 99.9 percent of cases, The heart shot does a lot more damage even if you don't hit heart directly due to hydrostatic shock. So Kincade did take the more reliable shot, he just didn't know that Mother Winter was paying attention.

As Harry is so fond of pointing out, even magic can't change physics only bend it a little.


message 22: by Paulum Mortis (new)

Paulum Mortis | 35 comments This book has be thinking of two nice bits of “show don’t tell” for PEACE TALKS

Fighting a Blampyre, or Hobb, or whatever: it’d be nice watching Dresden finally blast something with a handkerchief imbued with sunlight

And a conversation with Lara: “Hey sweetie, haven’t seen you in a while, looking fabulous as always. How about a kiss?”
She looks from Harry to Murphy, then back again. “Nope!”


message 23: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Reading this book again, I am struck by the pointlessness of Marva's attack on Harry.
From the initial encounter at the party in the security kiosk, the 3 vamps attack outside the set, and the nest - she either underestimate him monumentally, or she is just toying with him.
Considering she hired him in another book, I can't figure out what she thought she could accomplish by going against him directly.

Also - at the nest - if Ebenezer is blocking her magic, how come she's still able to use it to get away and project her voice to the other vampire? Or was she there at all? maybe she never was in the nest, and thus wasn't able to do much more than what she did anyway.
I wonder how Ebenezer could shut her down without anything belonging to her - if she wasn't there, he wouldn't have to...

The whole thing seems pointless from her pov - she couldn't kill Harry, and she lost several "children" in the process.


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris (perrins2win) | 11 comments Chris wrote: "Caryl Huffstetler wrote: "Ed wrote: ""So I’d use a rifle at a thousand yards. The bullet outruns its own sonic boom, and you’d never even hear the shot. You’d be dead before you realized what happe..."

Well, There we are. Jim answered the question for us. Ivy told him to take the heart shot or else.


Caryl Huffstetler | 38 comments Chris wrote: "Chris wrote: "Caryl Huffstetler wrote: "Ed wrote: ""So I’d use a rifle at a thousand yards. The bullet outruns its own sonic boom, and you’d never even hear the shot. You’d be dead before you reali..."

Yes, and it also sheds light on Kincaid's motivation. He has his own sense of honor and felt compelled to repay Harry the debt he owed even though doing so cost him his relationship with Ivy. It also revealed, at least the way I read it, that Kincaid is a really cold fish since there is not a hint of remorse in his choice. Yet, he recognized the human emotions he 'ought' to have been feeling.

So, did Murphy know Kincaid had done it? Aftermath kind of hints that she suspected him. Is that why she finally cut him loose or was it because Harry's death made her realize that it was really Dresden that she truly loved? Both could be true.


message 26: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Yasmin wrote: "Reading this book again, I am struck by the pointlessness of Marva's attack on Harry.
From the initial encounter at the party in the security kiosk, the 3 vamps attack outside the set, and the nest..."


Considering it again, Mavra sure looks like she was in town for longer than Harry thought, and only came after him at the end of her stay.
She also ambushed him at the initial party before he got involved with the white court - how could she know he was going there if she wasn't involved against Raith even before?

Does anybody know when that white court vamp from WN got infected with the Adversary? maybe she got to him back here...
Or maybe we're looking at it the wrong way and Lord Raith was the one infected, and Mavra was trying to fight against him?
But she was involved with Bianca's corruption, so she's with the Adversary...
Too many options, not enogh info. I hope she's in Peace Talks to shed a little light on her motives.


message 27: by Paulum Mortis (new)

Paulum Mortis | 35 comments Ebenezar was intending to splatter Casaverde I think, Adanion was right about that in the other thread: cheating in the duel with his grandson was the last—omg!—nail in Ortega’s coffin.
Kincaid calls the attack a “measured response to Archangel,” and I kinda trust his assessment.

Oh, and Murphy totally knew who’d killed Dresden, that seems obvious—what was great about the characterisation as far as I remember was that Karin was NOT admitting the fact to herself.

As for Yasmin’s comment about “pointlessness” … wasn’t the whole point of the B-Court plot like, a trap—haven’t yet started DEAD BEAT again but…


message 28: by Adanion (last edited Mar 16, 2020 10:42AM) (new)

Adanion | 2 comments This was a great book. As Carlo mentioned above, a lot of the side characters were great! And I hope we'll see some of them again. Especially Arturo, I really liked him for some reason. Another thing I would like to see in the Dresden files again is the handkerchief imbued with sunlight. It's really sad that Harry can't do that 'spell' here. Hope he has some new memories now, with Maggie by his side that would make it possible to use again!

@Paulum Mortis

About Casaverde, I think Kincaid kind of confirms it in your quote. I don't remember getting that the first time around, I just remember being glad Eb got revenge for Dresden :D

@Yasmin

Now that you mention it, Mavra's attack on Harry really seems out of place here. Most of the Dresden Files books are really compact, and everything kind of gets together by the end. Not so much here. Dead Beat does start with Mavra’s blackmail connected to what happened in this book. But still...

Mavra could have actually worked with the White King here. At least in part. Mavra could have been a part of the plan to kill both Thomas and Harry. Here the White Kings motive would be self evident (getting his powers back etc.) But Mavra’s motive isn't that clear. She was pretty adversarial to Dresden even in Grave Peril so this could just be the continuation of hostilities.

One thing that this theory has going for it, is that the first attack happened close to the movie set. So Mavra would have needed to know the white court had business there, and that at least Thomas and probably Harry would come by. Somebody would have to feed her that info, and WK is the prime suspect. Now she may not have put all her eggs in one basket and had the camera ready after her first attack failed, in case she didn't get to kill Dresden the second time. As a potential future bargaining chip, or something like that.

This could even mean that Mavra taught the White King how to summon HWWB. Although this is just wild speculation with nothing to back it up.

Still Paulum Mortis could be right, and this could just be a segue to Dead Beat, haven’t finished the reread of it, so I’m not sure what to think about that yet :)

PS: B.A. Great catch with the snoopy voodoo doll!


message 29: by Chris (new)

Chris (perrins2win) | 11 comments Adanion wrote: "This was a great book. As Carlo mentioned above, a lot of the side characters were great! And I hope we'll see some of them again. Especially Arturo, I really liked him for some reason. Another thi..."
I'm thinking the whole reason or Mavra's attack is going to have to be the blackmail in Deadbeat. Otherwise why the camera's atall. Also, I doubt she was working with the White King as according to Bob it was the white court who had Stoker publish the novel that outed the black court's weaknesses.


message 30: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Chris wrote: "Adanion wrote: "This was a great book. As Carlo mentioned above, a lot of the side characters were great! And I hope we'll see some of them again. Especially Arturo, I really liked him for some rea..."

1) it was the White Council publishing the book, not the White Court vampires.
2) At the 2nd blampire attack with Lara and Innari - Mavra wanted to kill those 2, knowing their connection to Lord Raith and wanting to hurt him via his family (he's really fond of his daughters - eek). I get the impresstion that Mavra and Raith don't work for the same side.
I wonder if they are infected by the Adversary, why they don't cooperate...

3) I forgot about the blackmail video... OK, so this opens up the possibility that Mavra knew she's not going to kill Harry, she wanted him to make it looks like she's dead - possibly her business at chicago was over and she wanted to disappear - and she used Harry to cover her trail, while at the same time getting leverage on him to get him to help her.
Why have just 1 motive when you can have all...


message 31: by Chris (new)

Chris (perrins2win) | 11 comments Yasmin wrote: "Chris wrote: "Adanion wrote: "This was a great book. As Carlo mentioned above, a lot of the side characters were great! And I hope we'll see some of them again. Especially Arturo, I really liked hi..."

Okay, When I said the White court published the book I was referring to the following in chapter 27.

"I read the book. I know who Renfield was. I'm not familiar with the parlance for Renfield in the plural."
"Oh," Bob said. "What do you need to know?"
"Well. First off, what did they call them before Stoker published the book?" I asked.
"They didn't call them anything, Harry," Bob said in a tone of gentle patience. "That's why the White Court had Stoker publish the book. To tell people about them."


message 32: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Chris wrote: "Yasmin wrote: "Chris wrote: "Adanion wrote: "This was a great book. As Carlo mentioned above, a lot of the side characters were great! And I hope we'll see some of them again. Especially Arturo, I ..."

wow - totally missed that.
I also got the impression the White Council were the ones publishing books to water them down and warn the population.
On the other hand - at least 2 from the White Court are in the Oblivion war - so they might have done that to keep an ally around. It nearly killed the Black Court all on its own - but not quite...
It made sense to me that the wizards publish monster books to warn mankind and get the rituals watered down. It makes less sense for a rival vampire court to do so.
Of course - it could have been Lord Raith trying to clear the field from competition, and that could be why Mavra is so angry at him and want to kill his children - in retaliation for him causing her children to get killed...

OK - that could work, I suppose - but I still think that's an error...


Caryl Huffstetler | 38 comments Wordwizard wrote: "I've been wondering about what others see when they soulgaze him for a long time."

I'm not sure every person who has looked upon Dresden's soul sees exactly the same thing. Similar yes, but not precisely the same because, personal experiences color all our perspectives. I mean Susan passed out but still fell in love with him. Whatever Michael saw didn't keep him from working with Harry and forever telling him that he, Michael, perceived Harry to be a 'good' man. And of course, Marcone saw enough to predict some of Harry's reactions, to recognize Harry's power and to encourage him, Marcone, to take precautions to protect himself from Harry.


message 34: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Why wouldnt Susan and Michael like Harry? They are good people, and if they see a cripple or scarred person, they wouldnt shy away.
Sure, it can be a lot to see the scar that He Who Walks Behind left, but it's not Harry's fault, so they will accept him anyway.
Marcone recognises a threat and wants to neutralise it, first by trying to get Harry on his side and then by defending against him.
Morgan sees his worst fears, Ebenezer sees his family, and i doubt the scar bothers them too much.


message 35: by Bunnycow52 (new)

Bunnycow52 | 1 comments Chapter Ten, Kincaid. “I’m as human as you are, Dresden.” Anybody else think Dresden’s dad or grandma might not be vanilla mortal?


message 36: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin Mazur | 53 comments Bunnycow52 wrote: "Chapter Ten, Kincaid. “I’m as human as you are, Dresden.” Anybody else think Dresden’s dad or grandma might not be vanilla mortal?"

his father was human, his mother was a wizard. Butters say that there's something odd about Harry's biology - the healing factor.
Anyway - human and magic halfbreeds are scions in this 'verse, and McCoy said Kincaid was also one - with his father being a demon.

This begs the question - how human are the wizards really?
Harry claims most people have some sort of magic ability, but that's limited, even his own brother that is half white vampire and half wizard is not able to do much magic. Add the fact that the magic tends to fade away when unused, and you get people who may be long-lived but don't look or act different than humans.
The amount of interbreeding would be huge under these conditions - the magic gene would be pretty diluted in most humans, and only concentrated in select few or seperatist bloodlines (you marry another wizard because you grew up with them and they are the only person that understand you - several romances are already described in the books like that - Harry & Ellaine and Luccio & Morgan and then Harry).
Now the only question remains - what was the original Wizard? a scion between humans and some other magical creature?
What does happen to the scions that don't turn to their supernatural half? do they still have those genes and pass them on to their own kids?

Weird line of thought - better suited for Deat Beat...


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