Starting a bit late in the series here, but I'll get to reviewing all of the previous novels as well.
Book Six of the Dresden Files
Published: August 3, 2004
Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, takes on a case as a friend to Thomas - a vampire of dubious integrity - only to become the prime suspect in a series of ghastly murders.
Jim Butcher ceases to amaze me with his complex story lines that send you reading one plot in one, certain direction, only to show you that in the last few chapters that the true plot is something else, more deeply connected to Harry (as always). Although he uses the same style to tell Harry's continuing saga, it never gets old. In Blood Rites, Harry is wrangled in by Thomas to help break the hold of his father, Lord Raith, over the White Court of Vampires.
As the book opens, Harry becomes the suspect of murders plaguing Auturo Genosa's adult film studio, because of his timely employment with them. Thomas knows Harry is not involved and together they discover Lord Raith is behind it all, not only to silence Thomas from eventually succeeding him, but also to remove Harry from the equation.
I asked myself: Why would Lord Raith want to remove Harry is he is not connected in any way?
As I remembered Butcher's style, I knew there was something more happening, and sure enough, we learn (SPOILER: HIGHLIGHT TO READ) Harry and Thomas are brothers by their mother, Margaret LeFay, who Lord Raith murdered. With Harry now part of the personal game, Butcher reveals the larger plot that has Harry involved. He not only brought great voice and storytelling to the secondary, underlying plot that consumed three quarters of the book, but he takes you deeper into Harry's life; to an area that was previously unexplored in the first five books. His mother had hardly ever been discussed before this, but now, she's the missing piece that lets Harry know that he's no longer alone in the world.
Blood Rites is colorful in word and scope, like all of Butcher's writing, and his unending witty dialogue that makes me love Harry Dresden continues forth. Just when you thought you knew Harry, a whole second plane of his life unfolds, only undoubtedly to be explored in the succeeding novels of the Dresden Files.
Peace and Writing Love,