Genre: urban fantasy
Length: 545 pages
Setting: Chicago, a year and a half after the events of Small Favor
Summary: Morgan, the head of the Wardens, shows up on Harry’s doorstep near dead and hunted by the other Wardens. He’s been accused of killing LaFortier, a wizard of the Senior Council. Harry knows there’s no way Morgan killed a wizard he’s been sworn to protect, so he decides to protect Morgan and investigate who really killed LaFortier. Unfortunately, on his way to Chicago, Morgan got a skinwalker, an ancient Native American demon, on his trail. Harry tries to get the skinwalker out of Chicago, but it just gets a werewolf friend killed. Investigating the money trail behind LaFortier’s death, Harry discovers the White Court vampires were implicated. Harry brings everyone together, vampires and wizards, on the hidden island in Lake Michigan where he has claimed sanctum. The entity on the island, newly christened Demonreach, gives Harry instant knowledge of anything he thinks about on the island, an important advantage in the upcoming battle. Harry was hoping the vampires and wizards would work together to eliminate the skinwalker and figure out who the traitor was. If that didn’t work, Harry had a private investigator watching the Way into Chicago to see if someone unexpected came through. He figured out Peabody, the clerk, was responsible and has been controlling the younger members of the Council with psychic ink.
Final thoughts: I’m still satisfied with the series. We’ve got lots of action between all kinds of nasties, plus movement on the overarching conspiracy. For the first time, the presence and activity of the so-called Black Council was the major driver of the plot. The characters continue to grow (Molly is the most obvious one with changes. She often substitutes for the reader when we need to know more about wizarding politics) and relationships change (sadly, Harry seems to have lost a few relationships in this book. Turns out his and Luccio’s relationship was psychically manipulated, and Thomas was tortured to the point he’s reversed his viewpoint on the feeding on humans). I also like that Mouse continues to be an important component in Harry’s arsenal for fighting supernatural bad guys. I’m a sucker for a faithful dog, bonus if it has supernatural abilities. I’m still waiting for Harry to hand out the swords for the Knights of the Cross (he’s got TWO now), but he did identify someone on the Black Council. It seems highly like there’s more, so a few of Harry’s wizard friends are forming a Grey Council to seek them out. The White Council seems to be fraying, but it’s still holding on to fight against evil.
Title comes from: Harry was searching for someone working against the White Council from within, a turn coat wizard.
Reading challenges fulfilled: book #37 for the year, and #12 in my Finish the Series Challenge
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