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Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 566 customer reviews
Book 3 of 15 in the Dresden Files Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Wizard Harry Dresden stars in the third installment of the Dresden Files (following Fool Moon), a haunting, fantastical novel that begins almost as innocently as those of another famous literary wizard named Harry. In the opening scene, Dresden and his knight friend, Michael, battle the ghost of a woman who is terrorizing a local hospital's maternity ward. From there, the novel quickly evolves into an unorthodox tale spiced with sexual innuendo and subtle humor (Dresden carries his ghost-hunting gear in an old Scooby-Doo lunch box). Due to the weakened barrier between the spirit world which Butcher refers to as "the nevernever" and the actual world, obsessive and violent ghosts are on the loose in modern-day Chicago, and they seem to be targeting Dresden and Michael. Horny vampires and possessive demons join the mix as Dresden journeys into the spirit world to hunt down the villains who are terrorizing him and his friends. Butcher narrates Dresden's story in the first person, which limits the amount of detail he can inject into the lives of his secondary characters. Despite this narrow point of view, Butcher successfully lends human dimensions to vampires and spirits through his vivid descriptions and colloquial dialogue. (Sept.)Forecast: A vivid cover showing glowing barbed wire wrapped around a pair of cemetery gates is misleading as is a cover quote appealing to fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff but it will catch the browser's eye. This over-the-top tale is more likely to entertain young adult readers than fans of the aforementioned authors.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Called to Cook County hospital to deal with an enraged ghost, Harry Dresden, Chicago's resident wizard, is puzzled and disturbed not by the ghost's wrath but by the fact that someone had cast a torture spell on it, goading it into action. Harry's disturbance increases when he discovers that the same spell has been cast on one of his friends. Harry begins to realize that he and his friends may be targets of a vengeful spirit, and as he desperately tries to discover which of his many enemies has it in for him, his friends are attacked one by one. The spirit, whom Harry refers to as the Nightmare, continues to torment Harry's friends until he manages to cast a spell preventing it from harming anyone else until it kills him, which leads to a showdown that Harry might not survive. Harry is a likable protagonist with more than his share of troubles, and Grave Peril will keep readers turning the pages to find out how he overcomes them. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Series: Dresden Files (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: ROC; Reprint edition (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458445
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (566 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first review on Amazon, so that should say something about how much I really loved this book and this series. This is the series that I think "Anita Blake" started out to be. The universe (present day Chicago wherein magic and the supernatural are there if one knows where to look) is deftly and wittily drawn. The protagonist, Harry Dresden, professional wizard, is smartly wise-cracking without (quite) becoming annoying. He's engagingly flawed and fallible, and if I have one gripe with his adventures, it is that in every book he seems to get SO beaten up so often that his endurance begins to strain credibility (and patience: "What? On Death's Door again?"), even for a wizard.
Mr. Butcher peppers his books with engaging and believable allies and adversaries -- multi-layered, varied and believable, both as foils for Dresden and as characters in their own right."Grave Peril" is no exception in the strength of the secondary characters. Michael, the True Knight, was just a marvelous ally, part straight man, part Tower of Strength.
This third book in the series pushes a little farther on the sex and violence front. If "Storm Front" was PG or PG-13, "Grave Peril" is definately 'R'. However, Mr. Butcher has yet to go over the top; his descriptions are done with finesse, innuendo where appropriate, and evocative language that is never crass.
I do recommend this series: part Film Noir Private Eye, part Vampire Hunter (though much more 'Angel' than 'Buffy', right down to the flowing black coat), with maybe a little sword and sorcerer thrown in the mix. Lots of mystery and plenty of action, likable characters and a nicely textured urban fantasy world. "Grave Peril" is grittier than the first book, but evocative and with a sense of real peril and emotional jeapordy for the protagonist and his allies. A wonderful read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grave Peril is a funny, witty, rip-roaring, seat-of-your-pants, stay-up-and-read-it-in-one-night kind of book. Once again, Wizard Harry Dresden is up to his elbows in trouble, this time he's assisted by the ever stalwart and faithful co-hort, Michael -- a Knight of the Cross. The streets of Chicago have become a battle ground for terrozing ghosts and other otherworldly problems. All in all, a fine read, lots of fun. Grave Peril flows easily like an excellent mystery novel, keeping you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next. It's filled with wit and sarcasm from Harry's point of view. 5 stars. This is a must read.
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It should come as no surprise to the followers of Harry Dresden, freelance wizard and general dogooder, that Harry starts out the third volume of this series in every bit as much trouble as he ended the last. After all, Harry's natural state is jumping out of frying pans and into fires. Except when he is looking for another frying pan to fall out of. This time the book opens with Harry and a new friend, Michael (a Knight of the Sword and even a bigger dogooder than Harry) racing to stop Agatha the ghost, who has a bit too much affection for infants. Without fail, Harry fumbles the attack and Michael and he must pursue Agatha into the Nevernever. In the process of putting Agatha away Harry has a run in with his dysfunctional fairy godmother and barely manages to escape with all his body parts.
Michael and Harry have been chasing down disgruntled ghosts for weeks now, and finally Harry has come to believe that this isn't just a series of coincidences. Instead, someone is deliberately stirring the ectoplasm with evil intentions. But Harry barely has time to discover this when he is visited by two vampires, who go out of their way to irritate him while delivering a formal invitation to the elevation of Bianca St. Claire to the position of Margravine of the Vampire Court. You may remember Bianca from "Fool Moon." She was the vampiress Harry managed to make a deadly enemy of in the first 15 minutes of their meeting. Harry may be slow witted, but even he knows that Bianca's plans include making Dresden au gratin.
So he refuses the invitation, right? Well, not quite. A wild series of ghostly attacks, bespelled friends, and damsels in distress ensue. Harry, a class act as usual, manages to lose Michael's magic sword, fail the damsels, and barely keep his friend's alive.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Grave Peril (2001) is the third urban fantasy in the Dresden Files series, following Fool Moon. In the previous volume, the renegade FBI agents were all killed and the hexanwolf belts were burned by Harry and Murphy. Susan's film of the death of the loup-garou went on the morning news and was shown for two days afterward before it vanished.

Tera was badly injured, but recovered when she converted to human form. The Alphas suffered few injuries and were soon ready for Harry to lead them on another crusade. Nonetheless, the whole situation left Dresden wondering whether some wizard was working in the shadows to cause these problems.

In this novel, Michael Carpenter and Harry have been responding to visitations by some rather powerful ghosts during the past two weeks. Michael is a Knight of the Cross, a Fist of God, carrying the blessed sword Amorachius. Tonight they banish the ghost of Agatha Hagglethorn from the Cook County Hospital nursery and the babies breathe easily again.

After this banishment, the police arrest both Harry and Michael for disturbing the peace and trespress and they impound the Blue Beetle. After an hour or so, Harry and Michael are released on bail. Charity Carpenter is less than pleased with Harry for getting her husband in trouble, but Susan Rodriguez just wants to know about the story.

It has been a long night, but the vampires are waiting when Harry and Susan reach his basement abode. Luckily, Kyle and Kelly Hamilton are delivering an invitation for Harry and guest to attend a reception of the Red Court for Bianca St. John.
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