|Cover artist||Lee MacLeod|
|Series||The Dresden Files|
|Genre||Science fiction, Fantasy novel|
|September 3, 2002|
|Media type||Print (Paperback) & AudioBook (Audio Cassette & Audio CD) (Future Hardcover)|
|Pages||371 pp (first edition, paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-451-45892-3 (first edition, paperback) (Future Hardcover 0-4514-6275-0)|
|LC Class||CPB Box no. 2028 vol. 14|
|Preceded by||Grave Peril|
|Followed by||Death Masks|
Summer Knight is a 2002 contemporary fantasy novel by author Jim Butcher. It is the fourth novel in The Dresden Files, which follows the character of Harry Dresden, present-day Chicago's only professional wizard.
Mab, the Winter Queen of the Sidhe, has purchased Dresden’s debt from his fairy godmother, Leanansidhe. She tells Dresden he can pay off his debt by doing three favors. The first favor is for him to find the murderer of the Summer Knight Ronald Reuel and recover his stolen mantle. Dresden refuses her request, but is forced by the White Council to accept the role of her Emissary as his Trial, else be stripped of his title of wizard and handed over to the Red Court vampires as a peace offering.
Dresden is visited by Elaine, his former lover, now the Emissary of the Summer Court, indebted to Aurora, the Summer Lady. Dresden goes to Reuel’s funeral, looking for a group of teenage half-human/half-Fae changelings who were Reuel's friends, but they flee and attack, believing him to be in service to Winter. An interview with the sadistic Winter Lady, Maeve, convinces him that she did not kill the Summer Knight.
The changelings ask Dresden to find their friend Lily, and he agrees. He discovers a gravely wounded Elaine and takes her to the Summer Lady. Aurora heals Elaine, but is not forthcoming with any details on Reuel’s murder or Lily’s disappearance. She explains that the death of the Summer Knight and the theft of his mantle of power shifted the power balance in favor of Winter, driving the Summer Court to attack Winter at Midsummer before their power fades.
Dresden summons Leanansidhe, who transports him to an ethereal Chicago-over-Chicago, where a great Stone Table, the sacrificial stone that maintains the balance between the Winter and Summer Sidhe, now rests. The power of blood spilled upon that table will change the balance of power between the Courts. Dresden persuades Elaine to help him reach the Mothers, the elder Queens of Summer and Winter. They goad him into answering his own questions, realizing that Aurora killed the Summer Knight and transferred his mantle to Lily, who she then turned to stone. They give him a Cloth of Unraveling to release Lily.
Aurora ambushes Dresden and takes him prisoner, aided by Elaine and by the Winter Knight, who she has suborned. Aurora intends to ritually sacrifice Lily on the Stone Table, transferring the power of the mantle to the Winter Sidhe and breaking the unending cycle of struggle between the Faerie Courts. Elaine covertly betrays Aurora, leaving Dresden an escape route from Aurora's sorcerous deathtrap. During the battle between the Courts, Dresden confronts Aurora, who dies at the hands of pixies armed by him with cold iron.
Mab offers Dresden the mantle of the Winter Knight, which he declines. Queen Mab grants safe passage to the White Council of the wizards, enabling Dresden to pass his Trial. Lily becomes the new Summer Lady, Lily, and her changeling friend Fix her new Summer Knight.
- Queen Mab: The Queen of Air and Darkness; the monarch of the Court of the Winter Sidhe, the Unseelie Faeries.
- Queen Titania: The monarch of the Court of the Summer Sidhe, the Seelie Faeries.
- Maeve: The Winter Lady of the Sidhe.
- Aurora: The Summer Lady of the Sidhe.
- Mother Summer: A past queen of the Summer Sidhe.
- Mother Winter: A past queen of the Winter Sidhe.
- Lloyd Slate: The Winter Knight.
- Ronald Reuel (deceased): An artist; the Summer Knight.
- The White Council: The governing body of the wizarding community, which has the ultimate authority over human magic users. There is a Senior Council with exclusive voting privileges, and a supreme leader, the Merlin.
- The Merlin: The head of the White Council and the Senior Council.
- Ebenezar McCoy: Dresden’s mentor; a member of the White Council’s Senior Council.
- Rashid, the Gatekeeper: A member of the White Council’s Senior Council; Mab’s "old desert fox."
- Martha Liberty: A member of the White Council’s Senior Council.
- Listens-to-Wind: A member of the White Council’s Senior Council.
- Ancient Mai: A member of the White Council’s Senior Council.
- Elaine Mallory: Dresden's childhood girlfriend; the emissary of the Summer Sidhe.
- Lily: A statuesque Changeling, who becomes the new Summer Lady.
- Fix: A mechanic; a Changeling, who becomes the new Summer Knight.
- Meryl: A half-troll Changeling, who selects membership in the Winter Court; she dies heroically.
- Ace: A Changeling, one who has not selected membership in a Sidhe Court.
- The Brownies: A group of Summer Court faeries who run a cleaning service. They will only clean Harry's apartment when no one is in it, and they will stop doing it forever if he tells anyone about them.
Summer Knight in other media
- Summer Knight has been recorded as an audio book CD, narrated by James Marsters.
- This book is available as a Kindle book and a MP3 CD.
- A Hardcover Version set for release on July 7, 2009.
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- The first three chapters of the book are found on the author's official website.