Battle Ground by Jim Butcher: Book Review - The Fantasy Review

Battle Ground by Jim Butcher: Book Review

Spoiler-Free Battle Ground Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After 2 years, I have finally finished Battle Ground, book 17 in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher, and I am all caught up! I also read the novella The Law which was released after – I’ll have a review up for that soon.

So, after 17 books and 2 years, was it worth it?


battle ground book review

I Am Not Okay 

I’m heartbroken. I am an aching mess. I’m tired and I just want to curl up with a nice cosy book like Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree rather than get beaten up again by Battle Ground.

No spoilers! So I won’t go into detail, but this book packs a punch. A lot of punches actually, metaphorical and physical. 

After Peace Talks, we end up in a book-long battle and it’s incredible. I was constantly on edge, wondering when the next fight was going to be and who would survive. Butcher made you want things to slow down but, except for the odd few pages here and there, the stakes never let up.

I think that through the constant danger Harry was in, we got a slither of the feelings he was going through, and that just made rooting for him and his friends even more stressful. I’m not sure I agree with some decisions made when it comes to characters, but perhaps I’m basing those opinions on emotion and Butcher will prove me wrong in the next few books – I’m sure he will.

There Are No Good Guys

What this book showed me more than anything else is that in Harry Dresden’s world, no one is the “good guy” – not even Harry. Sure, there are the Knights, Murphy and a couple other side characters, but the main players… they all have some bad in them.

Whether it’s The Winter Court, The White Council or Marcone, no one trusts anyone and everyone is willing to push aside a little morality if that means they might be able to stay one step ahead of an enemy.

This makes for such a fantastic reading experience. Unlike The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang, the characters aren’t necessarily unlikeable, no matter how “bad” they are, as they all have something driving them, something we as readers can understand. And as most characters aren’t 100% evil, there are moments where you almost want them to get their own way.

Sure, the main villain in this book was bad bad, super evil and 100% unlikeable, but I mean the characters like Marcone and Mab – they are some of the best written antagonists I have ever read.

The World Will Never Be the Same 

The events in Battle Ground have ensured that nothing will ever be the same in Harry Dresden’s world, and there are even hints that things are going to be made even worse, without a hint as to how it could possibly be better.

Throughout this book I continuously got the feeling that no matter how many enemies were beaten, no matter how many times Harry survived, this would all eventually be for nothing. It wasn’t for nothing – many lives were saved – but with the bigger picture stuff, with the Outsiders… something big is coming and it’s much scarier than a Titan.

Overall Thoughts  

I loved this book. Everyone from the past 17 books being brought together, enemies as allies, kids turned into strong, capable adults, made for such a satisfying read.

I have taken my time with this series and I am glad I did. These past 2 years have been brilliant – now I need another long series of easy reads while I wait for book 18!

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Owner and Editor of The Fantasy Review. Loves all fantasy and science fiction books, graphic novels, TV and Films. Having completed a BA and MA in English Literature and Creative writing, they would like to go on to do a PhD. Favourite authors are Trudi Canavan, Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson.

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