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Book #4 in The Dresden Files.

In the wake of a personal tragedy and having pissed off every vampire around, Harry neglects everything in the hopes of finding a cure for the love of his life. However, he is pulled out of his blue funk by Queen Mab, who wants him to find who murdered the Summer Knight. Like with most anything involving the Sidhe, things get complicated very quickly as Harry rushes to foil a supernatural plot that could destroy the world.


Tropes associated with Summer Knight:

  • Anti-Magic: The Unraveling, which can undo any enchantment, including a person turned into a vampire.
  • Battle Cry: Two memorable ones.
    • Harry Dresden: I DON'T BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!
    • Toot-toot: In the name of the Pizza Lord! Charge!
  • Beard of Sorrow: Harry starts the book on the tail end of a Heroic BSOD due to losing Susan in the previous book, during which he neglected his business and grooming.
  • Busman's Holiday: Billy invites Harry to his house to play some Arcanos with the Alphas. Harry grumbles that it sounds too much like his day job. He plays a barbarian instead. A "Hulk Smash" barbarian, even.
  • Big Good: The Queen Mothers of Summer and Winter, who generally know what has caused the problems in the book but let Harry work out the problem himself when he meets them.
  • Call Back: Harry insists he really had nothing to do with the broken elevator in his office. It certainly wasn't because of a magical scorpion trying to kill him.
  • Chekhov MIA: Elaine.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Toot-toot and fairies similar to his status love pizza. Harry used this to gain their help when fighting against Aurora. See Death of a Thousand Cuts for more.
  • Convenient Decoy Cat: When Morgan showed up at Harry's apartment after Elaine arrived, Elaine hid in Harry's bedroom. During Morgan and Harry's conversation, a noise comes from the room, prompting Morgan to investigate. He opens the door, and Mister zooms out, startling Morgan, much to Harry's amusement (and relief).
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Aurora, the Summer Lady suffers this from Toot-toot and other fairies who are wielding steel pocket knives
  • Disappeared Dad: Maeve the Winter Lady offers to give Harry what he wants in exchange for "his first born child". As in, she wants him to impregnate a faerie. Harry responds to said faerie's advances by pouring ice water on his crotch.
  • Einstein Hair: No one in particular, but the Trope Namer is refereed to by this hair by the Queen Mothers.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: What would have happened if Harry hadn't gotten involved. {{The Summer Lady intended to sacrifice the new summer knight on a special altar on the summer solstice, which would have resulted in the power of the summer knight transferring to winter. Since Earth's weather patterns mirror the war between the summer and winter fae, this would have resulted in an Ice Age}}.
  • Face Palm: Harry has a particularly memorable one here. He has just escaped a quicksand like death trap and is hanging by his belt from a tree branch about twenty feet up dripping mud and boots, no sooner does he thank his lucky stars that there is no one there to see him then somebody shows up!
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Happens to the Winter Knight after the events this book. This has been different from most fates worse than death in that we have received updates on him more than once and, yes, he is still being tortured. The books take place in real time, very roughly speaking, with about a year between publication of each and a Time Skip of about a year or so between most books. Four books after what happens to the Winter Knight, Harry sees him, still imprisoned. Even Fix, who hates the guy is disgusted by how much he's suffering. As of The Dresden Files/Changes, the poor bastard is finally dead.
  • Food and Animal Attraction: When Harry meets Injun Joe for the first time, his pet raccoon goes immediately for the half of a chocolate bar in Harry's pocket.
  • Guardian Entity: The Queen Mothers' home was protected by an 18 hand unicorn. Turns out, it was an Elite Mook of the Big Bad's as part of a Batman Gambit
  • The Hecate Sisters: The Summer and Winter Queens are each divided into three distinct and separate Fairies: Queen Mother (The Queen Who Was), Queen (The Queen Who Is), and Lady (The Queen Who Is To Come).
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Meryl. A changeling, half-mortal half-troll, child of rape finally embraces her Fae side in order to gain the power to help save her best friend by charging through Aurora's Death Trap to get to Harry and help him against one of Aurora's strongest allies.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: The Summer Lady plans to use powerful magic to end the battle between Summer and Winter, stopping their eternal cycle of war. Unfortunately, that would probably have doomed the whole world.
  • Leave Your Quest Test: After completing the task he's given at the start of the book, The Gatekeeper shows up and asks Harry whether he'll act on the newly uncovered knowledge that the Summer Lady is attempting to do something which will result in the world's destruction, or go home, knowing his job is done. After Harry chooses the former, The Gatekeeper says that if he had answered otherwise, he'd have killed him right then and there.
  • Meaningful Name: Ms. Sommerset, aka, Queen Mab. "Sommer" equates to "Summer", thus making the name "Summer set." Not only a reference to coming after Winter but the fact Mid-Summer will come and Summer's reign over the Stone Table will end.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: All the Queens of Faerie are women. The Queen Mothers speak highly of Albert Einstein, referring to him as a sage.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Harry's attempts at speaking Latin do not go well.

  "Damned correspondence course."

  • Noodle Incident: Queen Mab knowing Rashid, the Gatekeeper of the Senior Council, well enough to spot his ointment by scent and the piece of the stone table he had in his possession.
  • Not a Game
  • Punny Name: A very subtle one. Dresden is being guided by a fairy so small, she only appears as a small bright red light that can blink on and off. Her name is Elidee (LED).
  • Rape as Backstory: One of the changelings is the end result of when a male troll raped a female mortal. Maeve also taunts Lily when they meet up in Proven Guilty, saying that she used to "dance" for Winter with Lloyd Slate at gatherings. There is a reason those changelings sought shelter with Summer...
  • Revenge by Proxy
  • Secret Test of Character: Many throughout the series, but a notable one was used here. Harry had solved the mystery as assigned to him by the council and Mab, but in the process he uncovered a plot to permanently alter the balance between Winter and Summer, which would cause a new Ice Age, among other things. The Gatekeeper pointed out to Harry that he could try to stop the plot at great personal risk, or he could go home, since his job was technically done. Harry said he would try to stop the plot. The Gatekeeper was pleased, and said that if Harry had answered differently, he would have killed Harry himself.
    • Also, the Summer and Winter Mothers give him one. They ask which is more important; the Body or the Soul? The correct answer is basically, "That's a stupid question".
  • Take a Third Option: At the beginning, when all levels of Fae are choosing Summer or Winter's side, Toot-toot and his allies have not. In the final battle, they choose to side with Harry "Pizza Lord" Dresden who, while working with Winter at this time, is not one of their common allies.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: From the view points of the Queen Mothers of Summer and Winter who have been around for millions of years, they see Albert Einstein as this, calling him a Sage for his insight that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Harry briefly hoped he might use the Unraveling to cure Susan, but it's stolen from him and used by the Big Bad before he has a chance to do anything with it.
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