Green Review: Turn Coat by Jim Butcher (Orbit)


Title: Turn Coat
Author: Jim Butcher
Pages: 437(hb) 544 (pb)
Genre: Noir, Urban Fantasy, Crime
Standalone/Series: Series – The Dresden Files Book 11
Release: Out Now in Hardback – 4 March in Paperback
Publisher: Orbit


When a man who has in the past been trying to kill you turns up at your door asking for help what do you do? If you’re Harry Dresden you take him in and help him obviously.

And when that person is Morgan, a Warden of the White Council, with other Warden’s chasing to take his head you’ve invited a whole lot of trouble in with him.

Comments/Thoughts/Analysis (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

As I read White Night, Small Favour and Turn Coat one after another  and because of their episodic and formulaic nature it does make it hard to reviewing them in isolation and say something completely different.

They are much of a muchness. If you’ve read the other 8 or 9 books you know what your getting. The review basically boils down to how well Butcher manages to match and hopefully exceed the readers expectations based on previous experience.

But in Turn Coat the coat isn’t the only thing that turns. The next one is called Changes and you can see those changes to the status quo starting here. Butcher again invites lots of players to the party but this time the goal and the pace is more focused and calm. It’s less monster of the month and addresses the big underlying threads that have been pulled and weaved since the start of the series.

The Wizards Council and the White Council of Vampires are again involved and Harry has to stop them turning on each other.

This time Butcher doesn’t go in for big battles to make his point. Don’t get me wrong there is a big battle and it’s done with the usual Butcher finesse but Dresden isn’t the centre of the stage for once. The stage belongs to another Wizard with a sequence that brings a whole new meaning to magic.

But what really makes this different is that Dresden finally gets to explore the Black Council and put his findings in front of the council of Wizards.

In Turn Coat he looses somethings and gains others, which I’m  hoping is going to shake things up a bit and bring differences to the formula and the focus – there is only so long that you can keep things going in the background before addressing them.

The influence of the Black Council gets very very scary the more you read especially when you see what kind of reach it has been having and how far back in the series it extends. I just hope that it’s going to come out in the open in the next few books.


There has been nothing wrong with the series so far. I’ve enjoyed them all but looking back I have started to notice a certain pattern and it has slipped into comfort reading for me. Enjoyable and a pleasure to read but nothing that has made me pause and go – oh now that was totally unexpected. There are surprises and lots of new information but nothing outside what is expected, if that makes sense, the are all within the limits of the series.

I’m hoping that from Changes, Butcher through Dresden, is going to extend the world and the working methods of Harry. He needs to finally give Karen the sword, let Molly do more and be seen doing more and generally change the  status quo.

I’ll read Changes in a second but I’m hoping that it will be as surprising as it will be enjoyable.

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