Roc, Apr 2010, $25.95
To Chicago’s only listed wizard Harry Dresden his affair with Susan Rodriguez feels like yesterday and eons ago. They were madly in love until she was assaulted by one of his adversaries Bianca coming after his Achilles’ Heel. Susan fled Harry and the States for South America to keep as much of her humanity as possible while struggling with her new needs for blood and a thirst to destroy the Vampiric Red Court whose blood rage Bianca infected in her.
However, Susan hid from Harry and the Red Court a tiny secret. Red Court Duchess Arianna Ortega learns that Susan gave birth to Harry’s daughter Maggie. The evil vampiress realizes Maggie is an even better tool to destroy her group’s greatest foe Dreden whom she holds responsible for her husband’s death. She abducts Maggie planning on a ritual sacrifice with a death for a death. A distraught Susan turns to her former lover Harry informing him he has a preadolescent daughter and she has been kidnapped by the Red Court. Raging almost out of control, Harry ignores the White Council of Wizards who would prefer a half-breed to die for the so called better good mentality of maintaining the peace with the vampires who have wrecked South America. He is willing to go dark side to save his offspring’s life.
Jim Butcher is credible as this time Dresden is saving his child that he never knew existed. Fast-paced, but character driven throughout as the obsessed wizard seems almost over the edge, but long time fans will know his dark jocular asides prove he still is Harry; just with a personal mission. Changes is a great entry as Harry faces fatherhood if he can save his daughter’s life from an equally raging vampiress.