I myself, and Jim Butcher fans everywhere have been waiting for an announcement surrounding the next installment of the Dresden Files, aptly titled, Peace Talks. Though we have known what the next book was going to be called for quite some time now, we have been impatiently waiting for a release date to follow. Well the wait is over, we still don’t have a release date but on his website www.jim-butcher.com, a notice has come out that this past January he started writing it. I know, I know, we have been waiting for months to find out what the world has next in store for Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden and it seems we will be waiting a little bit longer but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When we last left our smart-mouthed, spell slinging, champion of the people of Chicago he had just finished reprising his role as the Winter Knight for the second straight novel. Mab had her mortal hit-man squaring a debt between herself and Nicodemus Archelone, the leader of the Knights of the Blackened Denarius. Harry was ordered to tag along and help Nicodemus steal the Holy Grail from Hades’ underworld vault.
Knowing Nicodemus as we do, we all knew immediately that he had ulterior motives and that there was no way he was going to be playing by the rules. Mab as much as warned Harry of this before the mission began. But she also told him that she “would expect superior treachery from him in return.” Though Nicodemus did manage to make off with the Grail, he did not manage to grab the other five biblical weapons that had sat on the same pedestal. On top of that, he sacrificed his own daughter Deirdre – losing his second in command – and had his name ruined under Mab’s Unseelie Accords. As a fervent follower of the Dresden Files I think I can safely say that we will not be hearing much about Nicodemus for quite some time – though I have been wrong before.
The question now becomes, what happens from here. As I said earlier, the title of the next book has already been released and I can’t help but wonder what can be insinuated from Peace Talks? My first inclination is that it has something to do with the quietly spoken of and often referenced Black Council, mainly because Dresden managed to end the war with the Red Court Vampires in cataclysmic fashion, completely wiping the last remnants of them from
the earth in Changes.
But there is also the fact that Dresden unwittingly became the Warden of Demonreach by forging a bond with the intellectus – which has put a great deal of potential dark power in the palm of his hand, and with his history, the White Council will be wary. Or there is Dresden’s ongoing love/hate relationship with Gentlemen John Marcone, Chicago’s crime lord and the only mortal signatory to the Unseelie Accords. At the end of the last book, Skin Game, Dresden straight up threatened Marcone, in front of Mab no less which does not bode well for our hero. But as a reader you can never truly be sure what is going to happen when Marcone and Dresden end up in the same room. It can go either way. Butcher’s ability to foreshadow leaves an endless number of possibilities, and I have no idea what to expect, except that whatever it is will be amazing.
If you visit Butcher’s website and search through the news/announcements page you will find a screenshot of a tweet that Butcher put out. To sum it up, we are teased with the idea that the first line of Peace Talks will apparently be, “Justine is pregnant.” An innocuous sentence without any background information. Justine is Thomas Raith’s – Dresden’s white court vampire half-brother – love, she is also the executive assistant to Lara Raith, the shadowy leader of the white court. This would make the baby growing in Justine’s belly a direct family member to Dresden, and we all know how seriously he takes the safety and well-being of the members of his family/friends. If this is indeed the route that Butcher is going to take while writing Peace Talks, all bets are off.
There are multiple side stories going on at the same time that have been progressing from early on in the series. I would like to see a couple of them finally come to a close, or at least for Butcher to go more in depth into the details because it is killing me as the reader – I lack the patience needed when a story is so damn entertaining. I would like to find out exactly why the White Council of Wizards was so terrified of Dresden’s deceased mother Margaret LeFey. She has been referenced in virtually every book and always as a type of anti-hero. Once we found out that Thomas was also her son I expected that portion of the story to be thoroughly discussed but we are still waiting.
I also want to see more of Dresden’s daughter Maggie. We have met her several times, and she is always in the back of Dresden’s mind in the subtext. I think the most burning question will be, will she develop the magical talents that run though her father’s veins?
With no release date set yet, Dresden Files fans will simply have to try and be patient as we wait for Butcher to finish another of his masterpieces. But as cliché goes, good things come to those who wait. To get the story from the very beginning head to your local book store and pick up the first Dresden Files novel Storm Front and let the addiction take over.
To read more Jim Butcher, check out The Codex Alera, a six book series that Butcher has already finished set in the primal world of Carna. Or check out the Aeronaut’s Windlass, the first book in his new series The Cinder Spires.
Alex Scantlebury is a founding partner and senior content creator for Initial Public Relations. Previously he was the senior writer for EBM Professional Writing Services and has also written for theweeklygeeky.com, Career Options Magainze and F-OFF. He is happily married to his wife Alicia and they are currently expecting their fourth daughter. Follow him on Twitter at @IPRWriter.