Battle Ground (The Dresden Files #17) by Jim Butcher - Book Review

Write on: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 by  in Assaph's Reviews Read 1915

I've read the first half of this story (see my review of Peace Talks) back in July, and of course I jumped straight into this novel as soon as it came out.

What to Expect

Expect the culmination of the two-part story starting with Peace Talks. As usual, Butcher delivers an intense thriller-paced, larger-than-life adventure for Harry Dresden. If you haven't read the previous novels (really, the rest of the series), this is not the place for you. If you did enjoy it so far, go ahead and skip the reviews to get to the book already.

What I liked

Love the plot that Butchers constructs, with their intricate multiple threads the weave around into a grand finale. The side characters often steal the show, being more interesting or relatable.

Butcher does write a highly emotional yet easy to read prose, as the action is moved by Dresden's reactions to events and interspersed with short interludes. 

What to be aware of

Butcher has been consistently building up larger and larger battles for Dresden, so at this point this can come as over the top. Butchers throws everything in the book -- several mythology books, actually -- at Dresden, and sometimes it appears as random encounters (to borrow a D&D term) that serve no plot or story purpose. In a world where magic is powered by emotion, Butchers delivers an emotional blow after blow to Dresden -- which, as a reader, can get a bit much at times. One yearns for the simple days of yore, with simpler cases one could relate to.

Felix's Review

The idea of fighting creatures that the gods had trouble to defeat was... perplexing to Felix. While he understands that different worlds run on different magic systems, he too found that the affairs of men and gods were mixed in wrong proportions here. At least, this reads more of a segment of mythology than how the series the started with detective cases.


As said above, this far into the series you either love it or have given up. If you haven't read all the novels (or tried to skip some), then you'll find it more confusing. If you have enjoyed it to date, why are you reading this instead of jumping right in?

Last modified on Sunday, 11 October 2020 02:36

Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy - he whinged horribly when they dragged him to "yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling", yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art. 

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis' Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin. 

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and - this being Australia - assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he's writing - he seems to do his best writing after midnight.



Twitter: @assaphmehr