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Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8) par [Butcher, Jim]
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Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8) Format Kindle

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Longueur : 428 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
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Descriptions du produit



Blood leaves no stain on a Warden’s grey cloak.

I didn’t know that until the day I watched Morgan, second in command of the White Council’s Wardens, lift his sword over the kneel­ing form of a young man guilty of the practice of black magic. The boy, sixteen years old at the most, screamed and ranted in Korean underneath his black hood, his mouth spilling hatred and rage, convinced by his youth and power of his own immortality. He never knew it when the blade came down.

Which I guess was a small mercy. Microscopic, really.

His blood flew in a scarlet arc. I wasn’t ten feet away. I felt hot droplets strike one cheek, and more blood covered the left side of the cloak in blotches of angry red. The head fell to the ground, and I saw the cloth over it moving, as if the boy’s mouth were still screaming imprecations.

The body fell onto its side. One calf muscle twitched spasmodically and then stopped. After maybe five seconds, the head did too.
Morgan stood over the still form for a moment, the bright silver sword of the White Council of Wizards’ justice in his hands. Besides him and me, there were a dozen Wardens present, and two members of the Senior Council—the Merlin and my one-time mentor, Ebenezar McCoy.

The covered head stopped its feeble movements. Morgan glanced up at the Merlin and nodded once. The Merlin returned the nod. “May he find peace.”

“Peace,” the Wardens all replied together.

Except me. I turned my back on them, and made it two steps away be­fore I threw up on the warehouse floor.

I stood there shaking for a moment, until I was sure I was finished, then straightened slowly. I felt a presence draw near me and looked up to see Ebenezar standing there.

He was an old man, bald but for wisps of white hair, short, stocky, his face half covered in a ferocious-looking grey beard. His nose and cheeks and bald scalp were all ruddy, except for a recent, purplish scar on his pate. Though he was centuries old he carried himself with vibrant energy, and his eyes were alert and pensive behind gold-rimmed spectacles. He wore the formal black robes of a meeting of the Council, along with the deep purple stole of a member of the Senior Council.

“Harry,” he said quietly. “You all right?”

“After that?” I snarled, loudly enough to make sure everyone there heard me. “No one in this damned building should be all right.”
I felt a sudden tension in the air behind me.

“No they shouldn’t,” Ebenezar said. I saw him look back at the other wizards there, his jaw setting stubbornly.

The Merlin came over to us, also in his formal robes and stole. He looked like a wizard should look—tall, long white hair, long white beard, piercing blue eyes, his face seamed with age and wisdom.
Well. With age, anyway.

“Warden Dresden,” he said. He had the sonorous voice of a trained speaker, and spoke English with a high-class British accent. “If you had some evidence that you felt would prove the boy’s innocence, you should have presented it during the trial.”

“I didn’t have anything like that, and you know it,” I replied.

“He was proven guilty,” the Merlin said. “I soulgazed him myself. I ex­amined more than two dozen mortals whose minds he had altered. Three of them might eventually recover their sanity. He forced four others to commit suicide, and had hidden nine corpses from the local authorities, as well. And every one of them was a blood relation.” The Merlin stepped toward me, and the air in the room suddenly felt hot. His eyes flashed with azure anger and his voice rumbled with deep, unyielding power. “The pow­ers he had used had already broken his mind. We did what was necessary.”

I turned and faced the Merlin. I didn’t push out my jaw and try to stare him down. I didn’t put anything belligerent or challenging into my pos­ture. I didn’t show any anger on my face, or slur any disrespect into my tone when I spoke. The past several months had taught me that the Mer­lin hadn’t gotten his job through an ad on a matchbook. He was, quite simply, the strongest wizard on the planet. And he had talent, skill, and ex­perience to go along with that strength. If I ever came to magical blows with him, there wouldn’t be enough left of me to fill a lunch sack. I did not want a fight.

But I didn’t back down, either.

“He was a kid,” I said. “We all have been. He made a mistake. We’ve all done that too.”

The Merlin regarded me with an expression somewhere between irritation and contempt. “You know what the use of black magic can do to a person,” he said. Marvelously subtle shading and emphasis over his words added in a perfectly clear, unspoken thought: You know it because you’ve done it. Sooner or later, you’ll slip up, and then it will be your turn. “One use leads to another. And another.”
“That’s what I keep hearing, Merlin,” I answered. “Just say no to black magic. But that boy had no one to tell him the rules, to teach him. If some­one had known about his gift and done something in time—”

He lifted a hand, and the simple gesture had such absolute authority to it that I stopped to let him speak. “The point you are missing, Warden Dresden,” he said, “is that the boy who made that foolish mistake died long before we discovered the damage he’d done. What was left of him was nothing more nor less than a monster who would have spent his life in­flicting horror and death on anyone near him.”

“I know that,” I said, and I couldn’t keep the anger and frustration out of my voice. “And I know what had to be done. I know it was the only mea­sure that could stop him.” I thought I was going to throw up again, and I closed my eyes and leaned on the solid oak length of my carved staff. I got my stomach under control and opened my eyes to face the Merlin. “But it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve just murdered a boy who probably never knew enough to understand what was happening to him.”

“Accusing someone else of murder is hardly a stone you are in a posi­tion to cast, Warden Dresden.” The Merlin arched a silver brow at me. “Did you not discharge a firearm into the back of the head of a woman you merely believed to be the Corpsetaker from a distance of a few feet away, fa­tally wounding her?”

I swallowed. I sure as hell had, last year. It had been one of the bigger coin tosses of my life. Had I incorrectly judged that a body-transferring wizard known as the Corpsetaker had jumped into the original body of Warden Luccio, I would have murdered an innocent woman and a law-enforcing member of the White Council.

I hadn’t been wrong—but I’d never . . . never just killed anyone before. I’ve killed things in the heat of battle, yes. I’ve killed people by less direct means. But Corpsetaker’s death had been intimate and coldly calculated and not at all indirect. Just me, the gun, and the limp corpse. I could still vividly remember the decision to shoot, the feel of the cold metal in my hands, the stiff pull of my revolver’s trigger, the thunder of the gun’s re­port, and the way the body had settled into a limp bundle of limbs on the ground, the motion somehow too simple for the horrible significance of the event.

I’d killed. Deliberately, rationally ended another’s life.

And it still haunted my dreams at night.

I’d had little choice. Given the smallest amount of time, the Corpse-taker could have called up lethal magic, and the best I could have hoped for was a death curse that killed me as I struck down the necromancer. It had been a bad day or two, and I was pretty strung out. Even if I hadn’t been, I had a feeling that Corpsetaker could have taken me in a fair fight. So I hadn’t given Corpsetaker anything like a fair fight. I shot the necro­mancer in the back of the head because the Corpsetaker had to be stopped, and I’d had no other option.

I had executed her on suspicion.

No trial. No soulgaze. No judgment from a dispassionate arbiter. Hell, I hadn’t even taken the chance to get in a good insult. Bang. Thump. One live wizard, one dead bad guy.

I’d done it to prevent future harm to myself and others. It hadn’t been the best solution—but it had been the only solution. I hadn’t hesitated for a heartbeat. I’d done it, no questions, and gone on to face the further per­ils of that night.

Just like a Warden is supposed to do. Sorta took the wind out of my holier-than-thou sails.

Bottomless blue eyes watched my face and he nodded slowly. “You ex­ecuted her,” the Merlin said quietly. “Because it was necessary.”
“That was different,” I said.

“Indeed. Your action required far deeper commitment. It was dark, cold, and you were alone. The suspect was a great deal stronger than you. Had you struck and missed, you would have died. Yet you did what had to be done.”

“Necessary isn’t the same as right,” I said.

“Perhaps not,” he said. “But the Laws of Magic are all that prevent wizards from abusing their power over mortals. There is no room for com­promise. You are a Warden now, Dresden. You must focus on your duty to both mortals and the Council.”

“Which sometimes means killing children?” This time I didn’t hide the contempt, but there wasn’t much life to it.

“Which means always enforcing the Laws,” the Merlin said, and his eyes bored into mine, flickering with sparks of rigid anger. “It is your duty. Now more than ever.”

I broke the stare first, looking away before anything bad could happen. Ebenezar stood a couple of steps from me, studying my expression.

“Granted that you’ve seen much for a man your age,” the Merlin said, and there was a slight softening in his tone. “But you haven’t seen how hor­rible such things can become. Not nearly. The Laws exist for a reason. They must stand as written.”

I turned my head and stared at the small pool of scarlet on the ware­house floor beside the kid’s corpse. I hadn’t been told his name before they’d ended his life.

“Right,” I said tiredly, and wiped a clean corner of the grey cloak over my blood-sprinkled face. “I can see what they’re written in.”



From Publishers Weekly

Harry Dresden, Chicago's only consulting wizard, takes on phobophages, creatures that feed on fear who attack a horror film convention, in the diverting eighth installment of Butcher's increasingly complicated Dresden Files series (Dead Beat, etc.). Harry finds that fighting monsters is only the prelude to maneuvers amid the warring wizards of the White Council and the vampire Red Court. Less and less V.I. Warshawski with witchcraft, Harry aims his deductive powers at political intrigues rather than crime solving. The body count from the magical melees, however, would do any hard-boiled gumshoe proud. Butcher's believable, likable set of characters go for the jocular much more than the jugular. Deeper fears do run through the book, and Harry, taking on an apprentice, has to face up to the consequences of his all-too-human failings. Look for the series to really take off with the debut of a two-hour pilot on the Sci-Fi Channel this summer produced by Nicholas Cage. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1265 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 428 pages
  • Editeur : Roc (6 février 2007)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000PC0SBY
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Format: Poche
On a du mal à se remettre du tome précédent qui est pour moi l'un des meilleurs ! le rythme effreiné du précédent encore dans la tête, j'ai enchainé celui-ci, beaucoup plus calme (façon de parler hein, un Dresden calme, sur fond de monstres ignobles, on s'en doute bien). Sympathique tome tout de même, où Dresden a du mal a se faire à ses nouvelles responsabilté trouve le moyen d'en prendre une plus grosse à la fin...comme quoi.

Murphy et Thomas sont au rendez-vous, la première pour une petite explication romantique avec Harry, le second pour un coup de main toujours bien utile...surtout quand on sait qu'il a récupéré ses entières capacités vampiriques...Mickaël et sa famille sont de retour également, avec quelques révélations bien sympathiques !

Toujours un plaisir.
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Avis peu fiable car je suis un très grand fan de Jim Butcher tout comme je le suis de David Gemmell
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x8d0ec6f0) étoiles sur 5 445 commentaires
97 internautes sur 102 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8dda79b4) étoiles sur 5 Dresden takes off yet again 3 mai 2006
Par Dussan - Publié sur
Format: Relié
After the events in Dead Beat, Harry Dresden is now a Warden of the White Council, and one of his first official acts you see him perform is to bear witness to the execution of a young warlock, no more then a child, corrupted by his own power. From that moment on you should be able to chart where the book will take you.

If you know anything about Harry Dresden you will figure out his feelings about what happened to that young man. If the previous novel was a showcase Harry's slow decent to darkness, then this book will show his firm resolve to the do the right thing and accept the consequences for all of his actions.

Like Dead Beat, Butcher takes pains to pick almost forgotten threads from previous novels and weave them into his story with great care, this time it is not quite as obvious.

This time out Harry is warned of dark magic being afoot, and a request for help by the daughter of the last man on earth he wants to be involved with, Michael Carpenter Knight of the Cross. With Harry sharing his brain with one of the Denarii, Lasciel he fears that Michael may take issues with this as well as the recent events and his downward spiral to darkness. Harry reluctantly gets involved, and nothing plays out the way he thinks.

The book is shorter then some of the previous installments, that only means Butcher cut out a lot of loose talk and got right too it, Zelazney style. He manages to flood in detail after detail without drowning you in it. New readers beware, while Butcher attempts to get people caught up by giving brief recaps, they do not do the stories justice.

Butcher also dusted off a couple of unused characters and made them shine like jewels, just as he made Waldo Butters a hero in Dead Beat. He is absent in this book, but you can feel the polka beat whenever you turn the page.

The humor level is high, and while things are grave, it is nowhere near as grave as they are in Dead Beat or Blood Rites. Proven Guilty did not give us that feel of time running out and the world would end soon. It forshadows, very effectively, that things in Harry's world will become very, very big and even more dangerous in the near future. As again the traitor in the White Council seems to strike, the Vampire War takes another turn, the affairs of the Sidhe are revisited with catastrophic consequences for those involved, and Harry's personal life.....well you will have to read the book for more.

Without a doubt this is my favorite novel beside Summer Knight, and it may even surpass it. The story was well told, dialogue was spot on. Murphy seemed a bit too relaxed but after her disappearance in the last book I didn't realize how much I missed her presence. Once again I thank whatever muse made me pick up that loneley looking paperback sitting on a bookshelf six years ago in Waldenbooks. Well done Mr. Butcher.
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8dda7a08) étoiles sur 5 Fast-paced and utterly enjoyable! 20 mars 2007
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
The latest book in the Dresden series is a real treat. Dresden receives a warning that black magic is heading for his hometown, and he heads out to stop it. On his way, though, he gets sidetracked into helping a friend's daughter who has a ton of problems of her own. In typical Dresden fashion, he spreads himself too thin, tries to help too many people, gets beat up almost as much as Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie -- and he does it all with a grin on his face and a snappy one-liner that usually relates to a horror or SF movie.

The plot's a tad obvious (I called several twists by halfway through the book), and some of the dialog with Murphy is annoyingly awkward, but Harry has the heart and soul of a hero, and he's a fantastic character to join on a good romp through dark magic and the weird Nevernever. Some have compared this series to the Anita Blake series, but Harry is far more likable, heroic, and mythic. He's just a lot more enjoyable to be around than Anita ever has been.

One cool -- and totally unexpected -- surprise.... This book contains one of the best expressions of Christian faith I've read in a fiction novel ever. Don't be fooled and don't let that turn you off if you're not a Christian. This is not a "Christian" novel -- those are notoriously poorly written -- and Dresden, with a fallen angel swimming around in his head, never claims to be a Christian himself. But some of the characters in this book are Christians, and I appreciated seeing them portrayed realistically and with respect to their faith.

If you've never read a Dresden book, you could pick this one up with little problem. The cast of characters may feel a little overwhelming since they've been building from the previous seven books, but they're distinct in their own rights, and Butcher does a good job recapping each when they first show up. Overall, another fantastic entry in a wonderful series of books.
26 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8dda7ce4) étoiles sur 5 Everyone Dumps on Harry 6 septembre 2006
Par Marc Ruby™ - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I've been with this series from the beginning and sometimes it's been a rough ride. I love the concept, a wizard for hire in contemporary Chicago, and Butcher's writing always works, but I don't always like Harry Dresden. Sometimes he plays the heroic victim, and I've always felt that characters who set themselves up get what they deserve when it hits the fan.

Initially this story came close. Harry is now a warden for the White Council but they don't like him much and several are waiting for the opportunity to take his head. And then there's the vampire's Red Court that has gone to war with the wizards, mostly thanks to Harry's ineptness. And then there's the Summer and Winter Courts in Faerie. Right again, Harry has few friends there. When he is asked to investigate why the Fae haven't come to help the wizards, and is warned that black magic is being worked in the city you know it's going to be a difficult week. Especially when it starts right out with someone trying to run Harry over while he's in his VW bug.

Harry does have friends - and oversexed skull (Bob), a dog that eats vampires (Mouse), a holy knight (Michael), a tough police lieutenant (Murphy), and a fallen angel (Lasciel). That's right, a fallen angel, not the best thing to have as a friend. One of Harry's worst problems problem is that he hates asking for help, and, no surprise, he volunteers for everything. So when Michael's daughter's boyfriend gets in trouble at a horror convention that suddenly turns real it's Harry to the rescue. And the problems get worse and worse.

Just when I thought Harry was going to get eaten by a film monster as he so richly deserved, the story swerved and became one of Butcher's best. Frankly, I can't explain it. Something about the characters or the plot gelled. Or maybe Harry became more of a player in his own life. But the story picks up pace and then keeps on running at top speed. Hooray for Jim Butcher, who has worked hard for his success. And hooray for me, who deserves a good book now and then.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8d385228) étoiles sur 5 Your Worst Fears Realized 20 septembre 2007
Par Arthur W Jordin - Publié sur
Format: Poche
Proven Guilty (2006) is the eighth Urban Fantasy novel in the Dresden Files series, following Dead Beat. In the previous volume, Harry animated a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and found that Sue could really fly low. Of course, she skidded badly on the highspeed turns.

Harry shot Captain Luccio in the head, but she wasn't actually Captain Luccio at the time. Harry and Ramirez rode Sue through the revenant opposition and got Grevane in the neck. Then Bob the air spirit rode Sue through the wind and mirk and roared Kumori into temporary paralysis. Harry immediately broke loose and hit Cowl with his staff. Darkhallow released all its energy in one enormous necromantic blast.

In this novel, Harry attends the trial and execution of a young magic wielder. The boy had violated the Fourth Law, using his powers to control other minds. When Warden Morgan beheads the young offender, Dresden is literally sick at the sight.

Such executions are becoming more frequent. With most of the population ignorant of the sheer existence of magic, the culture doesn't provide any guidance to these young magic users. And the White Council is too secretive to open schools for budding wizards.

With the war with the Red Court vampires, the Council doesn't even have enough wizards to monitor the population for emerging talents. They certainly lack the personnel to train properly all these new magic wielders in the use of their talents. Yet ignorance of the White Council laws does not excuse these young magicians from the enforcement of these laws.

The Council laws are designed to protect the general population. Violation of these laws always results in damage to the victims and also to the violators themselves. Eventually, such practices will turn the violators into incorrigibly evil sorcerers.

Harry doesn't have any solution to this problem, but he realizes that such enforcement also has a price. Even justifiable killing produces emotional damage and often leads to callous attitudes. Dresden really doesn't want to become like Morgan. He doesn't have a solution to this problem, but still believes that there should be a better answer.

In this story, Ebenezar McCoy asks Harry to discover the reason for the lack of reaction by the Faery Courts to the recent Red Court intrusion onto their lands. Both the Summer and Winter courts had promised to retaliate against the vampires. Harry has the best contacts in Faery of any wizard in the White Council.

However, McCoy warns Dresden to be careful of whom he approaches in his info gathering. It has become very obvious that someone in the White Council is passing information to the Red Court. Now McCoy suspects that the traitor is within the Senior Council itself.

McCoy also gives him a note from Rashid, the Gatekeeper. It states that black magic has been detected within Chicago during the past ten days. Harry passes on the word to his contacts to be alert for signs of black magic and makes plans to use the new Little Chicago model to aid his search.

While Harry is undergoing the purification ritual for his quest, he receives a phone call from Molly Carpenter. Claiming to have been arrested by the police, Molly asks Harry to come bail her out. When he gets there, however, he finds that her boyfriend had been arrested, not Molly herself.

After Harry bails out Nelson, he finds out the reason for the arrest. Nelson was acting as security for SPLATTERCON!!! -- a horror film fan convention -- and was in the restroom when someone, or something, had beaten Clark Pell severely. By the time Nelson had gotten out of the stall, no one was present in the restroom other than Pell and himself. The cop outside the door and the security camera had not seen anyone else enter or leave the restroom, so Nelson had been arrested.

After hearing the full story and checking with the witnesses, Harry strongly suspects that something supernatural might be happening at the convention. He is talking to Rawlings -- the cop working the convention -- when panic occurs in a viewing room. The creature attacking the fans appears to be an exact image of the monster in a horror film. It kills several people with its sickle. When it attacks Rawlings, Harry blasts it with enough kinetic energy to send it through the movie screen and to dent the back wall.

This story takes Harry back to Faery. He works with the Summer Lady and the Summer Knight once again and briefly visits the Winter Queen and the Winter Knight. He also manages to save one violator of the Fourth Law from summary execution.

Harry also gets to see a different view of Charity Carpenter, Michael's wife. Charity had always been suspicious of Harry's relationship with Michael. Now she is very dubious of his intentions toward her eldest daughter Molly. Nonetheless, she works with Harry to protect her family.

Mouse tags along with Harry through most of the tale. He is no longer small; Harry describes Mouse as a "West Highlands Dogasaurus" as he introduces him to Molly. Not only is he an extra large dog, his body glows with St. Elmo's fire while running down monsters.

Highly recommended for Butcher fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of wizardry, Faery creatures, and horror films.

-Arthur W. Jordin
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8d385240) étoiles sur 5 An improvement over the last Harry Dresden novel.... 16 mai 2006
Par Lady Atana - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed "Dead Beat" but it did have a couple of flaws: slow beginning and old characters brought into the story for no apparent reason. Proven Guilty, however, is a work of near perfection.

From the opening chapter on, this novel grabs you by the neck and drags you along for one amazing ride. Any novel that begins with an execution is definitely going to be action packed. Harry, now as a Warden, is forced to face responsibility in a whole new way, while being reminded of his own questionable past. This brings even more depth to an already complex and intriguing character.

Old characters are alluded to or mentioned in passing, but fortunately no one shows up in the story who isn't involved in the plot. This avoids the over-cluttered, confusing tone that other series in the comtemporary fantasy/horror genre seem to take on as they progress (examples: Glen Cook's Garret series and Laurall K Hamilton's Anita Blake series).

Lastly, Mr. Butcher has actually managed to make the series fresh and new with each novel he has written. The characters change and evolve, they do not turn into caricature of themselves. Yes, Harry is still a rebel and a smart aleck, but these traits are represented as great personality quirks, instead of the main representation of the character. Supporting characters in the previous novels are suddenly thrust center-stage in this novel, and become driving forces in Harry's life.

I realize that this review has been more about writing style than the actual storyline. That is on purpose. As you, fellow fantasy and sci-fi fans, well know, we are constantly bombarded with good story ideas that are poorly written. Most series dissolve into cliches and very predictable plotlines. So far the Dresden Files has not done so. Mr. Butcher has taken a fabulous scenario and turned it to a well developed fantasy-scape. I highly recommend this latest installment in the adventures of Harry Dresden, and I eagerly await the next one.
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