- Series: Dresden Files (Book 5)
- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Roc (August 5, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451459407
- ISBN-13: 978-0451459404
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 549 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Death Masks (Dresden Files) Paperback – August 5, 2003
|New from||Used from|
$0.55 extra savings coupon applied at checkout.
Sorry. You are not eligible for this coupon.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Harry Dresden is not having a good day. A vampire named Ortega is hunting the beleaguered wizard, intending to challenge him to a duel that, Ortega claims, will end the war between the vampires and the wizards. Harry has almost no hope of winning the duel, but soon he is preoccupied by another problem: Father Vincent, a priest, needs Harry's help in finding the Shroud of Turin, stolen by a trio of thieves. Harry traces two of the thieves to his hometown, Chicago, but when he finds them, he learns that he isn't the only one after them. A group of terrifying demons wants the shroud, and its leader is interested in Harry's soul, too. Harry must call on all of his friends, including three brave knights, his police-officer friend, and even his half-vampire ex-girlfriend, Susan. Butcher maintains a breakneck pace in Harry's exciting fifth adventure. This imaginative series continues to surprise and delight with its inventiveness and sympathetic hero. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Praise for the Dresden Files
“Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Philip Marlowe.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fans of Laurell K. Hamilton and Tanya Huff will love this series.”—Midwest Book Review
“Superlative.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“One of the most enjoyable marriages of the fantasy and mystery genres on the shelves.”—Cinescape
“Butcher...spins an excellent noirish detective yarn in a well-crafted, supernaturally-charged setting. The supporting cast is again fantastic, and Harry’s wit continues to fly in the face of a peril-fraught plot.”—Booklist (starred review)
“What’s not to like about this series?...It takes the best elements of urban fantasy, mixes it with some good old-fashioned noir mystery, tosses in a dash of romance and a lot of high-octane action, shakes, stirs, and serves.”—SF Site
“A tricky plot complete with against-the-clock pacing, firefights, explosions, and plenty of magic. Longtime series fans as well as newcomers drawn by the SciFi Channel’s TV series based on the novels should find this supernatural mystery a real winner.”—Library Journal
“What would you get if you crossed Spenser with Merlin? Probably you would come up with someone very like Harry Dresden, wizard, tough guy and star of [the Dresden Files].”—The Washington Times
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Five books in and the world and characters keep expanding a little at a time. I enjoy reading this series to a certain extent but the thing is Harry isn’t the reason. Mostly I like all of the side characters more than him. Each doesn’t get a lot of page time but the glimpses I see of them…well usually the side character steals the show from Harry, at least for me.
It isn’t specifically Harry’s fault I mean sure he is a wizard with a snappy wit, pop culture references and a keen sense of humor in the face of danger but here is a list of the side characters that make an appearance.
BOB - Although he is a little out of it this time and didn’t get his normal page time for banter the spirit/lab assistant to Harry housed in a skull almost always steals the show when on page.
Micheal - *Swoon* I totally crush on The Fist of God. Good men are hard to find and he is the best of them. Anyone with a holy sword and Crusader Armor is interesting in my book.
Molly - The Fourteen year old daughter of the Fist of God. She was hilarious, a little bit of a romantic and full of enough teenage rebellion to be interesting but not annoying she was one of my favorite new additions.
“Ohhhh,” Molly said wisely. “Those are fun-time handcuffs, not bad-time handcuffs. I gotcha.”
“No!” I protested. “And how the hell would you know about fun-time handcuffs anyway? You’re like ten.”
She snorted. “Fourteen.”
“Whatever, too young.”
“Internet,” she said sagely. “Expanding the frontiers of adolescent knowledge.”
Shiro and Sanya - Holy Crusaders and Michael’s equals Shiro is like the Mr. Miyagi of the book much knowledge and a great sense of devotion to his cause while Sanya is very different from what you would expect of a holy crusader of God.
IVY - Also known as the archive. Imagine all of the world’s knowledge in a 7 year old girl. I’m thinking of the daughter in Dune, slightly creepy but infinitely powerful. I hope she shows up in future books as she was really interesting.
“You know how to use magic?” I asked.
“I prefer calculus.”
“But you can do it.”
“Yes.” Yikes. If the reaction of my wards was any indication, it meant that she was at least as strong as any Wizard of the White Council. Probably stronger. But if that was true… “If you know that much,” I said, “if you are that powerful, why did you hire a bodyguard to bring you here?”
“My feet don’t reach the pedals.”
Waldo Butters - Medical examiner who has caught on to the supernaturalness of some of the some of the corpses coming in lately. A little on the unusual side, I can tell I’m going to love him in this series.
There are so many more including staples such as Murphy, Charity, Marcone, Thomas and Susan. There are some and new additions including the Oracle, Ortega, the Fallen and Nicodemus. So many people for Harry to interact with it gets staggering at times.
While I really like most of the characters of this series I sometimes find the plotting kind of thrown together. It sometimes feels jumbled crashing together until we get to the end. Don’t get me wrong I’m entertained the entire time but I feel like I have a difficult time following parts of the plot occasionally.
That said though Harry is an easy guy to root for even if the entire world seems out to get him and really it seems like the ENTIRE world IS out to get him.
In this corner, one missing Shroud, one impossibly and thoroughly dead corpse, one dedicated and deadly vampire warlord, three holy knights, twenty-nine fallen angels, and a partridge in a pear tree. And in the opposite corner, one tired, bruised, underpaid professional wizard, threatened by his allies and about to get dumped by his would-be girlfriend for John Q. Humdrum
Seriously, tell me that isn’t a lot to deal with. I will give it up to J.B. for the way he pushes the expectations of people’s roles in the story. Sanya in particular is a Warrior for God but…..he isn’t quite what you would expect at all. I loved the twist to his character. The inclusion of the 30 pieces of silver that were paid to Judas as well was a fantastic re-imagining of how to incorporate Christian lore into story. I also very much liked the addition of a duel between Harry and a Duke of the Red Court and how the rules for that were incorporated.
There are a ton of great ideas in the story. Possible even too many which is why at times it felt slightly jumbled to me at times. Still right now this is a series I could read a few and walk away for a few months then read a few more. I haven’t fallen in love with Harry’s character enough yet to want to plow through 15 books before I move onto something else like has happened to me with a few of the other series I really love.
Still Harry is a good dude to hang out with and go on a ride into crazytown. Also you can feel better about your life because I guarantee he has way more problems with romance, people trying to kill him and just paying the rent than you do.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, although I didn't love every single aspect of it. I thought the main mystery aspect was great this time around, and appreciated the return to a more traditional detective story (at least in part). I appreciated the little clues dropped here and there -- I really should have figured it out, although I didn't. But when the big reveal came, I definitely felt like it was supported by bits and pieces from earlier in the book.
Another strength was the final battle. This was just fun to read. It had about 1000 cliches (won't spoil them for you), but the scene was well-written and I could just see the action inside my head. I am reading these books for escapism purposes, and this was definitely achieved here. In general, Jim Butcher is pretty good at taking cliches and tropes and running with them (there was a lot of that in Codex Alera, too). There's enough humor and commentary involved that you can tell it's being done deliberately rather than inadvertently. And that makes a big difference for me.
Michael is back, as are his two companion knights. I was a little unhappy with the abrupt introduction of Michael in book 3 (I think?) but I felt that the introduction of Shiro and Sanya (the other knights) worked well. It was easier because we already knew they existed, and it would make sense that they were hanging around with Michael. They are interesting characters in their own ways, and I'm glad they weren't just clones of Michael. Sometimes, characters in similar roles can blur into one another (I had a terrible time with Merry and Pippin in the Lord of the Rings books, less so in the movies), but each of these guys has a distinct personality in this book.
Susan is back, and I think she's a more useful character here. (I was unenthusiastic about her in previous books.) I think the resolution she and Harry come to by the end of the book is appropriate, as well. Karrin Murphy doesn't have a very big part to play, but she is around for a bit. There's not as much use for the cops in this book, for various reasons, and I guess that's why Murphy fades into the background (she had a big part in book 4, though). And John Marcone is back. I like what happens at the end with him, too, and how Butcher ties it into something that happened in Marcone's and Dresden's first meeting. Definitely lots of reasons to read the whole series -- in order.
Once again, Harry has to accept a lot of help, and from all kinds of people. I like that he takes the help -- even asks for it -- even when dire consequences are involved. He doesn't have as much of a hero complex in this book, and it makes him a more likable character. However, there is a scene where Harry is thinking about the bra color of Michael's 14-year-old daughter Molly, and that is a little bit creepy.
I'm on the fence about this next thing. Even though "Death Masks" has a self-contained mystery, the war between the wizards and vampires is still going on, and Harry has been challenged to a duel by a Red Court vampire. He has to balance his main task (related to the mystery) with preparing for this duel, which often involves finishing a task and getting to another place without a lot of time to spare. He always makes it; the first event never makes him late for the second. (As opposed to, say, book 1, when he accidentally schedules two meetings for the same time.) I'm glad the larger conflict hasn't been dropped from this book, but I wish the two objectives had interfered with each other a little more.
Not much to say about character development or setting that I haven't said before. We're still in Chicago, and we've gotten to know most of the major players already. We do learn some personal things about Shiro, Sanya, and Marcone, and that's nice. The writing style is pretty similar to before. (I'm sure the Coca-Cola company is very happy with all the references to one of their products, by the way.)
As was the case with previous books, we meet a new "species" of paranormal entity, the Denarians. I'm not sure I understand everything about them, but the way the book ends, it seems clear to me that we'll encounter more of them in future volumes, so I'm hoping more is explained then. The Denarians are supernatural beings (fallen angels, demons) attached to mortal hosts. They're pretty tough in battle and pretty nasty in general. I am new to urban fantasy within the past year or so, but I haven't read about any beings quite like the Denarians before, and I do appreciate Butcher's branching out into non-standard classes (having experienced vampires, werewoles, and fairies in past volumes).
In the end, this is probably not my favorite book in the series, but I liked it fairly well and am definitely excited about continuing.