Last week / weekend was a big driving vacation (let’s say) to GenCon. Which was cool and completely exhausting but I think pretty cool, but I’m really disappointed that I never managed to do anything much towards getting in on any games. I will be a little choosier about getting involved with something on the next con with signups that I go to. (Which is probably most of them, but not so much BGG.)
None of that is important, of course, except for how it left time to finish an audiobook during the drive, hooray! Grave Peril is I think the book where Butcher found his footing, at least from a plotting perspective. It’s not that the plot of the book is outstanding in some way. If anything, it’s a little bit overly convoluted. What I mean is that I’m finally seeing the seeds of a long term story for the series, as of this book. Not “oh, hey, these characters come back later” so much as “oh, wow, that felt like foreshadowing for things I read in the most recent book or two”. Also, this being a reread, I should probably elaborate along a few axes, below a cut perhaps? Sure, why not.
But first: timeline update. This one is set almost exactly a year after the last one, so we are now in October of Year 1 (granted a starting point of May (I think?) of Year 0). We are first introduced to Michael as well as to the concept of a holy sword of God, which… I’m still not sure how I feel about angels and demons co-existing alongside fae and being from the outer realms. But it hasn’t made me want to kick the books down the stairs, so I guess that’s alright?
Anyway. (I will reiterate that this contains spoilers for the entire series. Reader beware.) So, in particular, there was a passing reference to the fact that one of Bianca’s promotion gifts at her big party which informed the central action of the book was… let me look this up, in fact. Yay having the book too, not just the audiobook. Okay, it wasn’t a gift, it was just part of a speech. “Finally, with the strength of the entire Court behind us, with the Lords of the Outer Night to empower us, we will face our enemies. And bring them to their knees.” Emphasis mine, of course.
Because I think that’s who Mab and the Winter Court are fighting on the outer border of the Nevernever in the last book or so that I mentioned before the cut. Which seems to be either the next or the main story arc of the series, now that the Red Court was decisively handled a few books back. (Oh, speaking of ways in which this book feels like the first one that was really tied toward future books.) Anyway, a) it makes perfect sense that they and the vampires would be allied in some way (only the Red Court though? all three? I am undecided how I feel about the White Court), and b) it really is just the first glimmering of what would be very important knowledge to Harry if he knew the shape of things to come.
Also: I never really thought it through before, but Susan must have gotten pregnant in this book, pre-vampiric curse upon her. Which definitely adds complexity to the reasons why she started avoiding Harry as of its conclusion. I will act as though that is correct for now, anyway, and keep track in the meantime.
I guess that’s all? I think the next book is the first really good one, but this is for sure the first book that showed promise for the series, rather than being a (don’t get me wrong, very entertaining) diversion.
 Since this quote is contextless: she means “at last”, rather than “lastly”.