Dresden Files 4: Summer Knight - Jim Bu
Your original file link
Dresden arrives late for his appointment. Ms. Sommerset is Mab, the Winter Queen. Mab purchased Dresdenâ€™s debt from his fairy godmother, Leanansidhe. Queen Mab tells Dresden he can pay off his debt by doing three favors. The first favor is for him to find a murderer and recover something stolen. Mab declares that Dresden is her chosen Emissary, giving him the authority to conduct this investigation. Dresden refuses her offer.
Dresden attends a meeting of the White Council, the governing body of wizards. They are debating expelling Dresden and turning him over to the Red Court vampires for provoking a war with the Red Court vampires. Dresden is saved from expulsion by his mentor Ebenezar McCoy, after McCoy is elected to the open seat on the Senior Council. Dresden is forced into a trial. He must accept Mab's offer and complete it, in order to secure passage rights through Winter Sidhe territory. If he succeeds, he will be confirmed as a full wizard. If he fails to gain Mab's safe passage, the White Council will hand him over to the vampires as a peace offering.
Back at his apartment, Dresden finds Elaine, his former fellow apprentice and lover. After escaping from DuMorne, she found sanctuary in the Summer Court. In order to repay her debts to the Summer Lady, Elaine became the Emissary of the Summer Court. Morgan arrives and tries to provoke Dresden into a duel. Dresden refuses to fight. Morgan leaves in disgust. After consulting Bob, Dresden discovers that Reuel was the Summer Knight, a mortal invested with a substantial amount of the Summer Queenâ€™s power. Each Fae Court has a Knight who works jointly for the Queen Mother, the Queen, and the Lady--the Queenâ€™s heiress.
Impersonating an FTD deliveryman, Dresden goes to Ronald Reuel's apartment. He stumbles into an ogre ransacking Reuelâ€™s place. The ogre escapes with a satchel of papers, leaving behind a photo. Dresden goes to Reuelâ€™s funeral, looking for the teenagers in the photo. He finds them, but they know who he is and run for it. Dresden follows them into the back alley, but one of them stuns him and tosses him in a dumpster.
Billy helps Dresden out of the dumpster and gives him a fresh pizza, as previously requested. Dresden summons Toot-toot, a wyldfae. In exchange for the pizza, Dresden gets information and a guide to the Winter and Summer Ladies. Dresdenâ€™s interview with the sadistic Winter Lady convinces him that she did not kill the Summer Knight.
Suddenly, Dresden and Billy are accosted by a couple of the teens from Reuelâ€™s funeral. The girl, Meryl, apologizes for tossing him into the dumpster. She explains that Reuel had been protecting them. Now that Reuel is dead, one of the changelings, Lily, is missing. Dresden tells Meryl and Fix that he will look for Lily. After the changelings leave, Dresden assigns Billy to call every morgue in the Chicago area with Lilyâ€™s deion, while he works Mabâ€™s case.
After Billy leaves, Dresden discovers Elaine in the back seat of his car, dying of multiple stab wounds. He follows Elaineâ€™s delirious advice to take her to the Summer Lady, Aurora. Aurora heals Elaine, and briefly comforts Dresden. She is not forthcoming with any details on Reuelâ€™s murder or Lilyâ€™s disappearance. Instead, she explains that the death of the Summer Knight and the theft of his mantle of power shifted the power balance in favor of Winter. Summer must now attack Winter at Midsummer to maintain control over their remaining power.
Dresden meets with Lt. Karrin Murphy at an all night Wal-Mart. Just as she agrees to help him, they are attacked with a "mind fog." Protected by a magic spell, Dresden and Murphy escape from the fog, only to run into the ghoul from the park and the ogre from Reuelâ€™s apartment. They fight their way out. Murphy is injured, so they regroup at Billyâ€™s apartment.
Dresden heads north to an isolated spot on Lake Michigan and summons his fairy godmother, Leanansidhe. Dresden tells his godmother that he needs to see the four Queens of Fae. Leanansidhe takes his hand to guide him. But, she does not take him to the Fae Queens. He is transported to an ethereal Chicago-over-Chicago and a great Stone Table. This sacrificial stone that maintains the balance between the Winter and Summer Sidhe. The power of blood spilled upon that table will change the balance of power between the Courts. Leanansidhe says that's all she can do for him and disappears.
Dresden still needs to speak with the Mothers of both Courts. With Murphy sidelined, Dresden needs Elaineâ€™s help. Magically, he tracks her to Oâ€™Hare. Resigned to helping Harry, Elaine discards her tickets to safety and calls in a favor. After fighting their way through Nevernever, Dresden interviews the Queen Mothers. Rather than providing him with answers, the Queen Mothers goad him into answering his own questions. As a reward for his correct deductions, they give him a Cloth of Unraveling and their blessings.
Victorious at last, Dresden returns to Elaine and is ambushed. When Dresden regains consciousness, he is the prisoner of Lady Aurora, Lloyd Slate--and Elaine. Aurora explains that she plans to sacrifice Lily on the Tablet to permanently destroy the balance. Elaine then binds Dresden and leaves him to drown. Recognizing the spell as one he invented in his youth Dresden remembers how to break it and escapes.
Dresden collects his equipment and his allies: the Alphas, Meryl and Fix. Dresden and his band ascend a mile-long stairway of "congealed starlight" to Chicago-over-Chicago. Their mission is to get Dresden to the Stone Table in time to prevent Lilyâ€™s sacrifice. A great battle has already filled the valley of the Stone Table. A Winter Lord Sidhe recognizes Dresden and gives him safe escort to Queen Mab. Dresden tells Mab what he has learned. She comprehends the betrayal of the Winter Knight and advises Dresden to follow the river to the Table.
Dresden and his stalwart band find the river and fight their way to the Table. The rite of Unraveling has already started. They are blocked by a massive hedge of poisonous thorns, ringing the Table. Fighting onward, Dresden confronts Aurora and unleashes an army of pixies, led by Toot-toot. They are armed with steel box cutters--cold iron, which is deadly to the Fae. Aurora dies horribly.
Queen Mab congratulates Dresden on his success. Mab offers Dresden the mantle of the Winter Knight. If he accepts, she will cancel his remaining debt. Dresden refuses. Mab says itâ€™s a pity, because she will just have to entertain herself by torturing Slate until Dresden says "yes."
The next day, Dresden awakens to discover that his entire apartment has been cleaned. Billy brings Dresden up to speed. Queen Mab granted safe passage to the White Council, so the wizards are not going to give him to the vampires. The Alphas are battered, but all of them survived.
Later that day, the new Summer Lady, Lily, and her Knight pay Dresden a visit. She asks how he likes the cleaning service. The Brownies will continue to clean for him, unless he tells someone about them. Their service is a token of her gratitude. Fix, the new Summer Knight, tuned up Dresden's car, so it should run better. The Summer Lady and her Knight leave together.