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THE New York Times Bestseller

Harry Dresden's life finally seems to be calming down -- until a shadow from the past returns. Mab, monarch of the Sidhe Winter Court, calls in an old favor from Harry -- one small favor that will trap him between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and that will strain his skills -- and loyalties -- to their very limits.

545 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2008

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About the author

Jim Butcher

277 books46.8k followers
Jim Butcher is the author of the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, and a new steampunk series, the Cinder Spires. His resume includes a laundry list of skills which were useful a couple of centuries ago, and he plays guitar quite badly. An avid gamer, he plays tabletop games in varying systems, a variety of video games on PC and console, and LARPs whenever he can make time for it. Jim currently resides mostly inside his own head, but his head can generally be found in his home town of Independence, Missouri.

Jim goes by the moniker Longshot in a number of online locales. He came by this name in the early 1990′s when he decided he would become a published author. Usually only 3 in 1000 who make such an attempt actually manage to become published; of those, only 1 in 10 make enough money to call it a living. The sale of a second series was the breakthrough that let him beat the long odds against attaining a career as a novelist.

All the same, he refuses to change his nickname.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,033 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
673 reviews42.7k followers
July 17, 2020
For better or worse, Small Favor is a fully action-packed packed—have I mentioned packed?—volume.

To the longtime fans of the series, here’s a brief reminder that Peace talks, the long-awaited sequel in The Dresden Files series, is out now! As for me, I’m still slowly catching up. I actually wish I can prolong my speed, but it seems likely that by October or November, I’ll be fully caught up with the series.

“Punctuality is for people with nothing better to do.”

Just when he thought his life is looking up, everything seems to be at peace, but then the past visits. Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness, calls in an old favor from Harry Dresden, and immediately all hell breaks loose. There’s a lot going on here; Were-goats, the Archive, the Knights of the Cross, Marcone, Mab, and last but not least, Nicodemus and the Denarians. Suffice to say the life for Harry and his friends are imperiled once again. Small Favor, the tenth volume in the series, is an installment full of actions. If you’ve been following my reviews, you know how much I enjoyed reading The Dresden Files, but at the same time, you’re also probably sick of me criticizing the pacing of its action scenes in some volumes. Unfortunately, this novel by far the most action-packed volume of the series so far. There was almost no room for breathing, and this was especially true in the middle section of the book, and I have to say that it did bore me a bit.

“Think of every fairy-tale villainess you've ever heard of. Think of the wicked witches, the evil queens, the mad enchantresses. Think of the alluring sirens, the hungry ogresses, the savage she-beasts. Think of them and remember that somewhere, sometime, they've all been real.

Mab gave them lessons.”

With this series, I definitely prefer when there are breaks and room for breathing rather than continuous actions. Butcher has an engaging and straightforward writing style, and the formulaic storytelling structure does make long action sequences boring because most of the time, we’ll know the result of the battles already. I love The Dresden Files more when the actions are spread out; as I said, the best part of The Dresden Files is when Butcher focusses the narrative on Harry and the development of his relationships with the important people in his life; that’s what Butcher did in the second half of Small Favor, and it worked really well for me.

“Caring about someone isn't complicated. It isn't easy. But it isn't complicated, either. Kinda like lifting the engine block out of a car.”

We’re halfway through July now, and honestly, I’ve been having a rut of a reading month. So far, I’ve had two DNF, and the last three books I managed to finish were either disappointing or just okay. As a matter of fact, the last book that I enjoyed thoroughly was the previous installment to Small Favor: White Night. Small Favor brings back old enemies while developing the characterizations of the cast of characters further with engaging dialogues and cool action scenes. I’m pleased to once again add another book in The Dresden Files to the list of great books I read this month.

“You rush a miracle worker, you get lousy miracles!”

Picture: Small Favor by Vincent Chong

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Devin, Hamad, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Zoe.
Profile Image for Paul O’Neill.
Author 3 books174 followers
April 7, 2017
Hell’s bells, this series just keeps on getting better and better!!

During a blizzard in Chicago, yellow page advertising wizard Harry Dresden is summoned by the queen of Winter, Mab, who calls in a favour she is owed. The Denarians are back and they are the main foes in this story. The book also features Gruffs (as in the brothers Gruff, referred to by Harry as “were-goats”), the Archive, Marcone and the Knights of the cross.

This book is one of the deeper books in the series. It asks some questions about right and wrong. I was welling up when Harry starts shouting at God in the church.


Book format: Audiobook narrated by James Marsters
Length: 13hrs 46mins
Difficulty: Easy
POV characters: One – Harry Dresden
Person: First
Chronology: Linear

Butcher’s writing makes the book easy to digest and the fact that it’s told through Harry’s point of view makes it really easy to follow.


Butcher has created a bunch of characters that I’ve grown very fond of. They have all developed through the course of the series and I love the fact that there isn’t a reset at the end of these books. The characters and the world is always different which gives each book a sense of purpose and they all add to the larger storyline.

Dresden’s abilities are really growing and he always learns something new. In book one, his magic is still being worked on but they are almost epic here at book ten. Dresden has to be one of the coolest, and yet most human characters out there.


The writing does its job, it takes you through the action, explains the magic and the world very clearly and transports you from A to B. Its very humorous, there are tonnes of laugh out loud moments that fans of the series have come to expect.

Likeith thou jelly within thy donut?

Sanity invited shame over for tea and biscuits

You rush a miracle worker, you get lousy miracles

We’re ostriches and the whole world is sand

Final thought

I’d say this series is a great place for anyone who’s looking to start reading. It’s simply the coolest, most fun, kick ass, character driven series there is. Butcher does a great job of explaining and recapping things so you don’t really need to read it in order, but I’d recommend you pick it up from the start.

This is one of my favourite series ever and the audiobooks are just fantastic. Can’t recommend it highly enough.
Profile Image for Reed.
207 reviews32 followers
May 20, 2008
As I began reading the 10th Harry Dresden novel, I started ticking off little mental bullet points:

Sarcastic dialogue.

Harry in more trouble than any 3 urban fantasy characters.

The frenzied "first climax" that always happens in the middle of a Dresden novel.

Repetitive info-dumping (description of Harry's beat up Volkswagen, Mouse the huge-ass dog, his big-ass cat, his pretty-boy vampire brother, his burned hand, his terrible youth, the tavern for supernaturals . . . you get the point)

I began to wonder if I've grown weary of Butcher's series at this point. With all the, dare I say it, recycling of characters and plot points, Small Favor feels like "been there, done that. We have Marcone messing with things, The Winter and Summer Courts causing Harry trouble, Michael the Knight and Thomas the Vamp. It feels like Butcher is coasting a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, Small Favor is still enjoyable. If you like the Dresden series, it should satisfy that Harry Dresden itch. But I wish Butcher would mix it up a little bit more. He's beginning to do so, with Harry's Warden duties, his apprenticing of Molly, and so forth. I just wish he'd jump further away from his safe plot lines and venture into new territory.

I'll still read the next Dresden novel. I love Harry, I like the dialog, and the writing is just plain fun. And I must admit, the last third of the book really picked up the action, and felt a bit more than going through the motions. I just hope the next novel wanders farther from the norm.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,170 reviews614 followers
September 14, 2017
This was another action packed Harry Dresden adventure. Started off a little slow but sure did build momentum through the middle culminating in a massive battle. Harry is growing smarter and more powerful but is still young in wizarding terms especially when some heavy weight foes are out to get him.
In this episode Mab, Queen of the Winter Court calls in a favour Harry owes her and asks him to rescue crime boss Marcone, who has been kidnapped by a bunch of fallen angels (called the Denarians). At the same time Titania, Queen of the Summer Court is trying to stop Harry from rescuing Marcone and sends some fae creatures to hunt him down, including the brothers Gruff (you can imagine what they look like - each brother bigger than the one before). Fortunately Harry has his apprentice Molly, brother Thomas, a vampire and friend Michael, a knight of the Cross to watch his back and eventually the Wizard's White Council send in some Wizards to help.
What I love most about this series are not only the great characters and sheer inventiveness but also the humour in some of the scenes and witty repartee between Harry and the bad guys. I have a feeling this episode is setting the scene for more serious business to come, particularly if the Red and White Vampire Courts restart hostilities. I guess I shall just have to read on to find out!
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,867 reviews16.5k followers
February 23, 2020
When Mab, the faerie queen of the Winter Court, asks you for a small favor – it’s not really a small favor. Like Ron Burgundy it’s kind of a big deal.

So begins Jim Butcher’s TENTH Harry Dresden novel. The past few stories have been about Harry’s conflicts with vampires, especially the White Court. That problem having been more or less resolved for the time being, we now switch themes back to the faerie courts and a visit from the White Queen.

And getting saddled up on the WINTER side of the Fae means he’s on the WRONG side of Titania, the Queen of the Summer Court. Harry just cannot stay out of trouble.

Three Billy Goats Gruff. Butcher has some fun with a tie in to the old fairy tale, these are some of the Summer Court minions come to tackle Harry.

But wait! There’s more! Besides Winter Court weirdness and Summer Court minion advances, the Denarians show up in full force and are back to stir up more hellish trouble. For readers who don’t know these are fallen angels bound to 30 pieces of silver who possess those who carry them. A cool idea for demonic bad guys.

Michael Carpenter, paladin. Is he a paladin? I think so, technically according to the story he’s a Knight of the Cross, but I imagine him as a paladin in the D&D sense. And remember: Lawful Good does not mean lawful nice. He’s Old Testament BADASS in a fight, especially against supernatural goonies.

We also get to visit with The Archive, Kincaid, Gard and another trip to McAnally’s Pub. Good fun for Dresden fans.

Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,857 reviews5,629 followers
September 1, 2016

Another solid story with a stellar narration, even if I think James Marsters is sort of backtracking and doing fewer distinct voices. I'm crazy addicted to this story, and I simply don't think it is possible for me to not enjoy one of these books. This plot was, again, sort of all of the place and complicated, but Jim Butcher makes it work.

I can't give less than 4 stars. On to the next!
Profile Image for Alex W.
95 reviews4 followers
April 23, 2023
This book was the culmination of everything I’ve loved the most about The Dresden Files so far. Incredible all the way through and easily my favorite entry yet. Very excited for what’s to come next!
Profile Image for Choko.
1,196 reviews2,583 followers
November 3, 2020
*** 4.65 ***

"...“Think of every fairy-tale villainess you've ever heard of. Think of the wicked witches, the evil queens, the mad enchantresses. Think of the alluring sirens, the hungry ogresses, the savage she-beasts. Think of them and remember that somewhere, sometime, they've all been real.

Mab gave them lessons.”
― Jim Butcher, Small Favor...
Profile Image for Jody .
201 reviews133 followers
April 1, 2021
This was my first Dresden book in a quite a while. They never disappoint when it comes to action and humor. Although, it did take me a while to get back up to speed, as I don't remember all the various plot lines from previous books. But, the characters I have not forgotten, and this installment seemed to have almost all of them crammed into 540 pages.

The action in Small Favor got off to a fast start, and didn't let up until the story was over. Harry is notorious for getting himself in a tight spot, or pissing off the wrong supernatural monsters. This book is no different, but it gets personal when a close friend is the target of a plot. All while he is in the middle of a kidnapping investigation into a well know crime lord. And trying to fend off assassins from one of the faerie courts in the process. Harry has his hands full and is burning his candle at both ends. All he has to do is pull of several miracles in a few days. You know...usual Dresden stuff!

"Going forth to do battle with the forces of darkness is one thing. Doing it in a pair of borrowed sweatpants and an ill-fitting T-shirt is something else entirely."

I really enjoy the quirky humor Butcher uses in this series. It helps balance out the narrative from the darkness and horror that seems to rear its ugly head every other page. Of course, Harry is the biggest goofball of them all. But, there are other characters I look forward to reading about, that can be just as entertaining, when I pick up a Dresden book.

"That's because you can't see yourself," he chocked out. "You're nose is all swollen up and you've got two black eyes. You look like a raccoon. Holding a dislocated ass."

Small Favor will definitely rank up there near the top of the series that I have read so far. And, it has reinvigorated me to continue on with the next book immediately. I'm looking forward to finding out what kind of near impossible situation Harry is going to get himself out of next.

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars ****
Profile Image for seak.
429 reviews473 followers
February 6, 2018
I was blown away by White Knight and couldn't possibly imagine this series getting any better than that. I'm happy to say Butcher may have done so. If anything, Small Favor's at least on the same level with what I already considered the best in the series.

Maybe I'm drinking the kool-aid at 10 books in, but this series has gotten much less annoying to me as it's progressed. I didn't notice too many over-explanations in this installment that drove me nuts about the first couple books in the series. I get that he's writing each installment to be its own separate story, which works for the most part, but it gets tiring and I'm glad that seems to be going away or severely reduced.

Having said that, I don't think much more needs to be said. Butcher is really going deep in his world-building, adding more to each installment, while bringing up past characters/races. It's really getting wide and deep and it's exciting to see more and more of this world open up. Again, I realize I'm drinking the kool-aid at 10 books under my belt.

Speaking of which, the Harry Dresden/James Marsters narration combo is just about the best thing known to fiction. I think I really started falling in love with the series when I started the audiobooks around book 6.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (highly super duper recommended)
Profile Image for Chris.
341 reviews959 followers
July 22, 2009
"Hell's Bells" count: 21

This is the tenth book in the series, and if Butcher's own plan can be trusted, it marks about the halfway point for the series as a whole. Having made it this far with the series is a remarkable achievement, and if he can keep it up all the way to its projected end, I will be a very happy and impressed reader. So, a few words about the book itself, and then some thoughts on the series.

Honestly, if you've been following my reviews of this series, you can be pretty sure what I'm going to say about it - I devoured the book and enjoyed every minute of it. In this edition, Our Hero Harry is faced with death and danger on all sides, as usual. The everlasting Queen of the Winter Sidhe, Mab, wants Harry to rescue John Marcone, the boss of the biggest organized crime racket in the city, from the clutches of fallen angels who have immeasurable power and millennia of experience. What they want with Marcone - and other, more innocent and tragic characters - isn't clear, but what can can be sure of is that the full extent of their plans will far exceed simple kidnapping.

Meanwhile, he's being attacked by agents of Queen Titania, the queen of the Summer Sidhe, for reasons that are not all that clear to anyone, especially Harry. His attackers are beasts of legend - the Gruffs. You may have heard of them when you were a child - goatlike creatures with a talent for eliminating trolls. They are brothers, and if you manage to defeat one of them, you can be sure that his big brother will be along soon to take care of you. And you most certainly don't want to get on the bad side of the eldest of the Gruffs, let me tell you that. Nice guy, but he's clean your clock no matter who you are.

So, things aren't so good for Harry Dresden. But, then, when are they ever? Going up against forces way over his head is pretty much a theme for Harry's life, and while we can be reasonably certain that he will prevail (after all, there are about ten more books to go, and they'd be hard to write without him), we don't know how much damage he will take in the doing so. Although if you guessed "a lot," you'd be pretty well on the mark.

That goes for pretty much every book in the series. Harry is an underdog, or at least he starts out as one. By the time you get to this book, he has some measure of authority, responsibility and respect, as well as a serious reputation amongst people in this world and others. So, this makes it rather harder for him to be an underdog. Instead of simple vampires, werewolves and the occasional necromancer, we now have to deal with the Big Guns like Mab, Titania and The Fallen. Which brings me to my first prediction for the rest of the series.

Harry Laid Low. At some point, I figure all that he's built up will have to come crashing down. Gross physical harm aside, he's put himself in a much better position than the one he was in way back in Storm Front, and if he continues the way he has, he will cease to be the underdog and become the overdog, if there is such a thing. While it'll be interesting to see how he handles being higher up on the food chain, I don't think it'll sit well with his character.

That would be unfortunate, because it's Harry's character that really make this book. I've talked to those who aren't too keen on investing in this series because it's not quite different enough from the other modern, urban fantasy out there. And in a way, they're right. A lone wolf investigator with a mysterious past and unknowable potential who has a talent for making big enemies? That could either be this series or the Nightside books by Simon Green, and I'm sure there's a few more that follow a similar pattern. Butcher isn't breaking open new ground with this series, at least not as far as I can tell. And a main character who is a wizard named Harry with a mysterious destiny and a tragic past? Yeah, like I'm sure you haven't thought of it already. I don't think that's Butcher's fault, though. Harry seems to be the kind of character who shows up in a writer's head long before the book gets published, and Gary Dresden or Fred Dresden doesn't sound as good.

Though Christopher Dresden has a nice ring to it, I must say. Why aren't there more fictional heroes named Chris, anyway? Weird.

Back on topic - what Butcher has done, and what makes me enjoy this series so much, is take the genre and populate it with really interesting people. One of the things I enjoy so much about Harry is that he seems to be someone I'd like to hang out with - he has a sense of humor that I enjoy, and seeing how many of my friends tend towards wise-assery, I think we'd get along well. Other characters, like Murphy, Michael, Molly (lots of M names), Thomas, Bob, Mouse.... They're complex, they're interesting and occasionally surprising. You really come to care about them, because Harry cares about them and you care about Harry.

Which reminds me: Predictions 2 and 3 - The Death of Karrin Murphy and The Corruption of Molly Carpenter. These are two people who are extremely close to Harry, and invoke his much-debated sense of male chauvinism. A few people seem to take issue with Harry's desire to protect women, which appears hopelessly old-fashioned. Maybe it is, but Harry (and by extension Butcher) seems to be okay with that. Murphy is Harry's best friend, the one character who's stood by him since the first book, and has grown to be his closest ally. She has gained his trust and his faith through fire and trial, and in this book is actually able to assert her authority (in a wonderful, wonderful scene) to save Harry's skin.

So, she has to die. It's one of those Hero's Journey things - the hero has to lose those things closest to him in order to come out the other side as a True Hero. He needs Murphy, he really does, and he needs to be able to stand without her. If that means that she's taken out, well.... I don't know if or when it'll happen - I'd bet somewhere in the climactic final books.

As for Molly, she's an interesting person. A young person who, after a very rocky start to her life as a magic-user, has been given a second chance by Harry. For his part, Harry's job is to make sure she turns out right, to make sure she learns how to use her powers responsibly and wisely, for the betterment of others. As of this book, she's doing very well - her powers are becoming more refined, and she's got a good handle on what it means to be a responsible wizard.

But first, she has to see her dark side, look it in the eye, and face it down. So, at some point, Molly is going to slip. Whether through impatience, arrogance or circumstance, she's going to risk both her and Harry's lives by using her powers for Evil.

There you go, then. It's a great series, very enjoyable, and I'll be following it to the end. I highly recommend you do the same.
Profile Image for Luffy.
867 reviews716 followers
August 11, 2020
Giving a book 5 stars doesn't mean it's perfect. It's just that though I use it with a discriminative, fair, and remunerative sense of dosage, I know there are 2 farcical sides to this particular coin. First, for how long do I wait before ceding to impulse and rate a book 5 stars. Secondly, what do I do if, a week after giving Small Favor 5 stars, I chance on a book 10 times better? Cheerfully, those issues are non sequitur in my mind. Small Favor began slowly, embracing its pulpish roots and fleshing out its friendly universe where beings thrive even in places called Nevernever. I thought the musings of the Dresden Files, which earned my respect and interest by hitting on core metaphysical ideas, has been impotently pruned, in Small Favor, down to self help level. However, I underestimated Jim Butcher, and from the middle of the book to the twist of the last step, I was regaled with rich storytelling of the like that am grateful for. Definitely 5 star material.
Profile Image for Heidi The Reader.
1,376 reviews1,430 followers
November 1, 2018
When Mab, the Winter Queen, comes to cash in on one of the favors Harry owes her, things go from bad to worse. And snow won't stop falling on Chicago. Could the two possibly be related?

Instinct told me that reason had disappointed me more than once, and that it wasn't thinking in the long term anyway. Over the years, my instincts and I have gotten cozy. pg 57, ebook.

Memorable characters from the previous entries in The Dresden Files make a reappearance in this, the tenth book in the series. We get to enjoy the company of Toot-Toot (the pizza-loving pixie), "gentleman" Johnny Marcone and Mab, among others.

Our instincts were a long time in the making, though, and the threats that can come after us now have outpaced them. You can't outrun a bullet, and you don't go hand-to-hand with a gunman unless you're certain you are about to die anyway. pg 79, ebook.

There's also a major villain from Harry's past, but I won't go into details and spoil it for you.

At one time in my life, a shapeshifted, demonically possessed maniac crashing through a window and trying to rip my face off would have come as an enormous and nasty surprise. But that time was pretty much in the past. pg 143, ebook.

I have read a few reviews in which some readers believe The Dresden Files is ridiculous because Jim Butcher puts Harry into situations that he couldn't possibly survive. But I beg to differ. As the stakes and bad guys increase, so do Harry's friends and allies. Yes, perhaps the wizard from book one would have been crushed by the baddie in book ten, but they're both at different places now.

Dare I say it... Harry has "learned" things? Through his nearly constant trials and tribulations, he's become a stronger magic user, more adept and emphatic? But no, that may be going a bit too far.

The prime rule of combat wizardry is simple too: Be prepared. pg 143, ebook.

At least he's nailed down his wardrobe game...

Going forth to do battle with the forces of darkness is one thing. Doing it in a pair of borrowed sweatpants and an ill-fitting T-shirt is something else entirely. pg 427, ebook.

One final thought, in the other books in this series, I felt like things were getting worse and worse for our intrepid hero. But, as readers discover in this entry, there may be a silver lining on all those clouds after all.

And all I have to say about that is: it's about time!
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
871 reviews1,759 followers
October 9, 2017
this book was absolute madness from start to the very end.

Action start right from page one when Harry was attacked in the backyard of Carpenters while he was playing with Carpenter family. He was attacked by summer faeries. After that Harry got called by Murphy on a crime scene where Johnny Marcone was kidnapped with use of some heavy duty magic. & everybody knows that when Johnny Marcone is involved in anything, things gets nastier. If that is not enough Winter Queen Mab wants Harry to rescue Marcone & you never say no to Mab especially when you owe her.But thats only the start of this amazing story.

With every passing year Harry is getting more powerful. But with great power comes great darkness and Harry doesn’t want to give in. And that is also his biggest fear. It is one of the reason that he never back down when it comes to help people with his magic. & thats what he teaches his apprentice. Never succumb to darkness.

During the course of his life if Harry has earned some dangerous enemies who would love to see him dead, he has also got true friends in Murphy, Michael and Thomas who would do anything to keep him alive. This true friendship is one of the biggest strength of these books.

This is an amazing read.
Profile Image for Steven.
1,063 reviews383 followers
February 28, 2020
Loved it. The Denarians, the fae, the Knights of the Cross, the Marcone gang, the Archive... pretty much everyone is present except the vamps (and of course Thomas is here, so that counts!)... awesome!
Profile Image for Michael Britt.
171 reviews1,997 followers
June 5, 2017
"i'll go" I said.
Charities face snapped up and she said, her voice suddenly very clear and distinct, "No."
Molly blinked at her mother.
Charity stood up, her face blotched with tears, creased with strain, her eyes sunken with fatigue and worry. She stared at me for a long moment and then said, "Families stay, Harry."
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for TS Chan.
698 reviews868 followers
November 1, 2020
The quality of these later Dresden books has been consistently pretty darn excellent. Even in the midst of so much action, character development was not once sacrificed. Harry really found himself going against major league in this one - the Faes and the Denarians. Another thoroughly enjoyable instalment!
Profile Image for Dylan.
213 reviews
November 4, 2021
“The burned hand teaches best. After that, advice about fire goes to the heart.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“You can be as sincere as hell and still be wrong.”
― Small Favor


I am not going to beat around the bush this novel is bloody fantastic. I’ve loved a lot of the novels in this series from books 5,7-9, in particular book 8 Proven Guilty which is something special. Though in the past 9 novels they always been that one thing or something that’s hard to describe, that holds it back from being truly fantastic. This is not applied to Small Favor (SmF), that gap is filled with this novel. This novel felt like a direct sequel to Death Mask (DM) which is great because DM is the best novel compared to books 1-6. We got the same A and B plotline but this time it’s much more cohesive. The character work but just better executed. I think this is partly due length of the series. Like of course the same characters in book 10 are more interesting than their book 5 counterparts. Furthermore, an easier summary would be taking the character work from Proven Guilty and inserting the plotting of Dead Beat and DMs, this is what Small Favor does extremely well.


I loved the plot, it's honestly the best crafted in the series by far. I don’t want to say specific highlights just my other sections will discuss them. I have very few complaints in general. My complaint They are some other minor complaints but doesn't take away from this amazing novel.


Pacing is usually something I don’t focus upon in my reviews, but this will be an exception. Firstly, this novel is very action-packed. Sometimes people view it as a critique, some as praise for me just a choice by the author and depends on how it is executed. One of the greatest strengths of SmF is that it never felt like it was meandering. At times your kind of hoped it meandered, though that my bias of loving my slice of life A LOT, like a beginning snowball fight, was cute, it a fun, reflective and depicting those joyous aspects of life. But that’s HONESTLY a major nit-pick and I wouldn’t consider it as a proper critique. To get to my assessment, Butcher is so incredible at balance. The action sequences rarely feel it goes for too long. It's full-on action and in the midst of it, but he spreads out these moments where characters just reflect what has transpired. This can be in the middle action and afterwards. Another aspect of what makes novel pacing so incredible is the Carpenter household which captures that feeling of a home. The characters are so dynamic and so well realised. Molly, Charity, and Michael are just great people. How the novel uses that environment to create interesting conflict is something I have to commend. You know in Death Masks one of my favourites scenes was the treehouse with Molly (I think that or roof??) or cooking dinner with charity those reflective moments are just inserted here which creates this beautiful effect. Furthermore, it’s just a beautiful contrast with Proven Guilty.


Though Proven Guilty might have the best atmosphere. No other novel made use of the environment as effectively as SmF. The consistent use of snow literally and figuratively, it’s a very important motif throughout ( if that’s the word). Some characters are figuratively buried in snow. They are isolated, cold and far removed from society. This is perfectly illustrated by the

Getting back to the subject of the snow, these are literal obstacles that Dresden faces, and Butcher creates this beautiful tension. Furthermore, above I talked about the Carpenter household, that place has such a cosy, warm and innocence it is cuddling a toy bear. In contrast, the novel has this cold and brutal feeling throughout, so they both compliment each other so well. It feels like a safe haven for our heroes. You could argue that Dresden house has that feeling but I am inclined not to believe that as much. I am not sure how to articulate why exactly? like I have listed reasons, e.g. Dresden household feels more like a workstation with Bob below, Dresden always thinking about the job and taking priority and has a coldness to it. It's not even that feel like a home but conveys a different type. It might be because Dresden interprets its much differently than his home, which creates that sense of comfort. Thinking about that aspect more, it might be because of certain religious undertones. It's no secret that the Carpenter households are Christians. It might be the feeling of faith that makes the connection of that house resonate. Whenever Michael appears, the discussion of the nature of faith is explored.

The Theme of Faith is a subject that’s been touched for the 10 novels so far. But it's further examined here than any other Dresden novel so far. It’s one aspect I am very impressed by butcher as a writer. This is what makes the conversations with Michael so interesting because there is a consistent back and forth of ideology. They are other characters for sure, just more involved with the Carpenter household. In particular They other scenes but those are the clear cut ones. Anyways I really like how Faith is explored and the environment is used, all service to develop these wonderful characters.


The character this time around is so compelling. Everyone almost has something to do that I think is worth noting. The biggest surprise was the Thomas focused nature of the first half. Because even though White Night is technically his novel, I expected more Thomas. Here we deliver upon that

Michael: I’ve discussed him briefly above regarding the theme of Faith. Which is a prevalent aspect of his character. They are consistent debate between their philosophy’s. Dresden kinda views the applicability of faith, where Michael perceived it in a radically different light. Lost and helplessness is a big part of his character in the novel, though not having that much screen time is executed so brilliantly some of my highlights are just

Nick is the best antagonist in the series by far. At least a proper antagonist, not a side antagonist. If you thought he was great in Death Masks, here he is even worse (in a good way). I love this dude dialogue, he just carries a scene and he just has a ton of depth to him. They a lot you can discuss like his family is one. You understand the man’s motives, his drive, he is not just ruthless but just a mad manipulator.

Murphy, honestly at this point she steals the spotlight here is no exception. She slowly becoming one of my favourite characters, the more she appears. She has sacrificed so much and gets very little thanks from the people around her even Dresden taking advantage of his kindness ( though unintentionally). Loved the exploring and aftermath of Proven Guilty regarding her demotion and it still felt throughout. She always tackled the moral debate regarding the law and moral thing to do what is proper. This novel further explores that for her.

Dresden: I do not know what to say about this dude. Honestly from Death Mask onwards, this dude character growth has been extraordinary. 10 books in you get this extra level of complexity. I love Butcher how develops this man and the concept of power-ups. With the increase of power-ups, the increase of responsibility Dresden has to his peers. Molly is a character that he is directly responsible for really adds to this and my point. His interactions with the people I mentioned above have been incredible. Saying my favourite moments of Dresden in this novel is like preaching the entire book. But I say some standout moments throughout. I am not clever enough to talk about the theme of Faith and Hope that surrounds this series but it delivers upon that emotional resonates you get is extraordinary, to say the least.


In Conclusion, 10 novels in, finally the first 5 stars and well deserved. This is a beauty of a read, truly fantastic work. I can’t recommend this series enough and I am excited to continue forward.


Profile Image for Pranav Prabhu.
169 reviews57 followers
August 14, 2021
Small Favor, the 10th entry in the Dresden Files, continues to maintain the excellent quality that has come to be expected with this series since the previous few books. It has a compelling plot with great twists and some hard-hitting character moments.

The book features the return of some of the best antagonists in the series. The Denarians always feel like a genuine threat and their extreme pragmatism adds to the tension, never certain of what is going to happen or what they are going to do next. Harry and his interactions with characters like Michael and Murphy remain fantastic, and more depth is given to minor characters like the Archive and Kincaid. There is also some prominent long-term setup in this book, learning a few more details about the major background players, including the Fae Courts.

The only issue I had with this book was the action in its first quarter. After the amazing first chapter, the multiple fights with the Gruffs, while exciting, felt somewhat drawn out and tiring. However, the second half of the book was fantastic, with explosive action, tense standoffs, and emotionally charged moments. One of the most powerful moments was the scene at the end with Harry in the chapel. The humour makes it a lot of fun to read, even in the middle of tense confrontations because Harry can't stop himself from mouthing off. The resolution to the Gruffs plotline especially was both clever and hilarious.

Overall, Small Favor is another great Dresden book with an engaging plot, characters, and probably one of the best final acts thus far, though some of the early action scenes were not my favourite.
Profile Image for Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures).
1,547 reviews864 followers
March 18, 2019
WOW. Small Favor was another epic read in the Dresden Files series. Harry is in deep again.

After White Night, Harry has had some time to spend with his brother, friends, and his young apprentice, but now all that’s changing.

We have intrigue, betrayal, action-packed moments, and some surprises along the way.

Their’s a game a foot and lots of secrets. Molly, Thomas, Murphy, the Knights of the Cross, and Kincaid join Harry on this adventure. We also get the Billy Goat Gruff, Dark Magic, Summer trying to kill Harry, and Mab calling in an old favor.

Now, Harry only really has one option when it comes to Mab and it’s not the best, but it’s the lesser of the evils. I really loved having the gang together again. I liked that his friend have his back, even if it’s in question, they still stick by him. Bob, the talking skull always adds humor and I love seeing him. Harry finally learns something about “Fidelacchiu,” one for the swords of God, that he is holding on too and hasn’t given to anyone yet. We also see The Fallen and The Archive.

WOW! Just WOW! So much happens in Small Favor and it’s gripping. Butcher brings out the changes that are happening with Harry and around him. There where also some very emotional intense scenes and pivotal plot twists.

Small Favor was another stellar read in this series. I have no idea what’s next for Harry and the gang, but I’m looking forward to continue the adventure.

Rated: 4.5 Stars

Profile Image for HBalikov.
1,733 reviews648 followers
December 12, 2017
My intention is to keep this review short since many of you already know that I consider Jim Butcher’s Dresden series one of the finest collections of contemporary fantasy writing…and because I want to avoid any spoilers for those of you who have yet to read Small Favor.

In this novel, there is plenty of action and Butcher keeps it going with imaginative variations. Harry finds that he is over his head almost right from the start and has to call on a large number of his allies in order to solve the underlying mystery of what has happened to Chicago’s number one crime boss. This becomes important because Harry has to pay a debt to Queen Mab of the Winter Court and that “small favor” leads to a conflict that threatens Earth as we know it.

For those of you who have read none of the Harry Dresden series, be aware that Harry is all that is keeping those other worlds of magic and demons from destroying the life that you hold dear. Harry works from Chicago and pays the bills by hiring out as a private investigator. He uses his skills (in white magic) as part of his investigations and his investigations usually come to involve the “supernatural.”

More than some of the books in this series, Small Favor drags in elements of the White Court, the Red Court, the Black Court, the Summer Court and the Winter Court. These are terms I won’t explain in detail except to say that we are given a fully developed alternate world with characters who interact in ways that may or may not affect the plot. There are those who say they are on the side of good, and those who say that they serve some other goal and those who are just out for anything they can get. They may be ghouls, vampires, pixies or succubae. Harry has powers, some of them pretty awesome, but there are costs to using them and costs to resisting their use. We find out a lot more about the balance of power as Harry Dresden must counter the challenge posed by the Danarians led by Nicodemus.

As I said earlier, there is plenty of non-stop action, and when you think it might be over, it isn’t. What may impress me most beyond the excellent writing is that Butcher keeps track of everything (like a professional juggler). There may have been something that occurred three or five books ago, but he has not lost track of it and blends it seamlessly into the story.
Profile Image for Richard.
452 reviews104 followers
January 7, 2016

Easily in the top 3 of the Dresden Files series and I’d go as far to say it’s my second favourite unable to pip Dead Beat by just a fraction (minus a star for no Polka music). The whole book was just fun to read, maybe it was the snowy Chicago setting and reading this over Christmas and the lack of snow provided by the weird British weather systems here. That’s a disservice though as there is so much going on in this book that it was hard to put this down and I was hooked up until the final sentence.

One thing that may have been a stroke of luck was that I listened to book 5, Death Masks, in the series which had many re-occurring plot points and characters in this book so these were nice and fresh in my mind. Things do get explained in the book to backfill which can be quite annoying at times, its book 10 of the series. I know Dresden is a wizard by now and that certain characters are linked to Harry. Sometimes it is handy as there have been 10 books and I’m not reading back to back so I do forget certain plot points so I can let the re-caps slide.

I won’t reveal anything related to the plot as there would be some spoilers to things earlier in the series but there are some really good action scenes in this one with at least 3 specifically that spring to mind which had me figuratively on the edge of my seat. One scene specifically made me carry on reading until the book was finished even though it was way past my bedtime which shows how much I was into this book.

The series continues to impress, 10 books in and I’m happy that I’ve still got a fair amount to go at. Jim Butcher manages to keep things interesting and unique enough in each book to make me want to grab the next one but also links them enough to make you care about the characters and what is going to happen to them and what is going to happen in the next outing. This is fast becoming one of my favourite series.
Profile Image for Anup Antor.
73 reviews32 followers
April 12, 2019
A solid 5 star...

জিম বুচার আসলে সাইকো লেভেলের জিনিয়াস।। কাহিনী কোন দিক থেকে কোন দিকে যে নিচ্ছে এই দশম বইয়ে এসেও ঠাওর করতে পারছি না।। এবং তারজন্য আমার বিন্দুমাত্র আক্ষেপ নেই।। নতুন নতুন সারপ্রাইজ পাচ্ছি, লেখকের লেখার সাথে পরিচিতি আছে বলেই জানি আরও ভয়াবহ লেভেলের সারপ্রাইজ বাকি।। :D

সময়ের সাথে সাথে লেখকের লেখাও যেনো অনেক পরিণত হয়েছে। শুরুর দিকের বইগুলোর সাথে তুলনা করলে সেগুলোকে ছেলে ভুলানো রুপকথা বলে মনে হয় এখন।।
Profile Image for Michael Britt.
171 reviews1,997 followers
June 7, 2017
I recently realized I didn't give this book a real review last time. So i will today!

I'm weird about audiobooks. I can't listen to a book I've never read, but I also get kind of bored listening to books I've already read. Weird situation. This was my first Dresden Files audiobook and man am I glad I chose this one. Small Favor reminds me why I love this series. It's got all my favorite characters and my favorite villain(s). We've got Mouse, Toot-Toot, Molly, Murphy, Ivy and Michael. And my favorite villain squad, Nicodemus and his Blackened Denarius' (hope I spelled that right). This is also 1 of the 3 books that have made me tear up. Butcher never fails to lay the feels down thick.

Each book seems to focus a little more on one side character than the others, without it being obvious, and i feel like it was Michael in this one. That may also be because Michael Carpenter is the man I wish I could be, i dont know. But he is definitely the focus for the last 10% or so. Which is something I loved, despite the ending tear

The quality of this audiobook is bar none. Marsters brings an amazing performance as Harry and the rest of the cast, but he plays Harry perfectly.
Profile Image for Seth.
122 reviews180 followers
September 30, 2008
About 1/4 into Small Favor I found myself wondering if Harry Dresden was about to magically jump a shark. By the end, I had decided it might be the best book in the series.

Well, he actually does kind of jump a shark, but he was in an aquarium at the time.

Favor put us firmly back in Dresden's home territory. Someone has kidnapped his least-favorite sometimes-ally "Gentleman" Marcone and he's being coerced into saving him by an old enemy. His allies in faerie-land are trying to kill him. His friend Michael is seriously doubting whether Harry is trustworthy. And he winds up stuck in the convergence of conflicts between the Seelie and Unseelie courts and between the Knights of the Cross and the Denarian demons. And just for fun, with Kincaid and Sergeant Murphy along for the ride, still bristling from their breakup.

Thematically, this book is about divided loyalties, trust, and--most centrally--what it means to be good instead of evil. The central morals of Harry, Sergeant Murphy, Michael, Sanyo (another Knight of the Cross), and even the mercenaries Kincaid and Gard are roughly similar, but each draws different lines around what is required and what is allowed to be good.

Marcone and The Archive (a super-efficent magical database of all written knowledge ever, but housed in a little girl) serve as the background to the moral debate: Marcone's morality is strongly personal, running his criminal empire and ruining whatever lives it costs while still going out of his way to save and help individuals he sees in distress. The Archive is impersonal, fighting to keep emotional attachments from driving her insane while she hold humanity's heritage against any disaster. They are each afraid to join human society fully, worried that they won't be able to reconcile their job with their humanity.

The book is back in classic Dresden form in other ways, too. Harry doesn't rely on odd moments of insight that come like deus ex machina in some of the other books. He doesn't build plans that last longer than a day. And he doesn't ever rely on his intelligence over his wit, his wits, and his ability to break things very, very well. He's good at mouthing off, pushing people into making mistakes, and doing not-subtle magic with collateral damage. And he has charisma and leadership only Murphy can match. In Small Favor he leaves the other stuff to the pros. Just like the good old days.

In a lot of ways, this is what Storm Front would have been if Butcher had been a better writer at the time. It has more complex character interactions than the first book in a series can sustain and it assumes some (but not too much) knowledge of the backstory, but it hits the themes of the series without sacrificing the action and faith in himself that make Harry who he is.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,717 reviews462 followers
October 11, 2021
This review can also be found at https://carolesrandomlife.com/

I had a great time with this audiobook! This is such a fantastic series. I love Harry and most of the other regularly appearing characters in this series. As I have come to expect with this series, this book was exciting, entertaining, funny, and even thoughtful. The audio is superb and really takes everything to the next level. If you have not tried this series yet, I highly suggest you pick up the first book and give it a read.

Harry owes Queen Mab a favor and she is calling it in. She needs him to find and rescue John Marcone. To make things more interesting the Billy Goats Gruff are out to get Harry. Throw in some excitement from the Denarians with their evil coins, the Knights of the Cross, and the Archive, and things get exciting really quick. There was a lot of action in this book and quite a few threads to keep track of but it all came together in the end.

James Marsters does an amazing job in bringing this series to life. I love all of the voices that he uses for the various characters. I almost felt like I was right there with Harry anytime I picked up my headphones to listen. He adds a lot of emotion and excitement to the story and he helps to make Harry’s sense of humor shine. I believe that his narration added to my enjoyment of this story.

I do highly recommend this book. This is a series that just gets better and better as you work your way through the series. This was my second time reading this book, the first time with the audiobook, and I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. I cannot wait to pick up the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Mike's Book Reviews.
139 reviews5,685 followers
May 15, 2020
Full Video Review Here: https://youtu.be/rVlYaimtnNA

After having some mixed opinions on White Night, this book was exactly the shot in the arm I needed to get recharged on the series going forward. With the return of the Denarians and my favorite series Big Bad, as well as my favorite supporting characters in the Knights of the Cross, this almost felt like the direct sequel to Death Masks (my favorite book in the series thus far).

The grading curve I use for these books are villain, case, and supporting cast. This one nails all three of those requirements as Harry looks to help Michael and the Knights rid humanity of the Denarians and their coins once and for all.The return of Ivy, Kincaid, Sanya, and other familiar faces helped Butcher to continue building this fascinating world he has created without anything feeling formulaic.

While everything with the Fae continue to (intentionally) confusing, the case is a compelling one since it deals with a personal fave in gentleman Johnny Marcone. Butcher taking a spin of classic fairy tale creatures like the Three Billy Goats Gruff is always amusing in a way that continues to give Dresden Files the charm it has become famous for. Just a fun ride that is in the upper third of my first 10 Harry Dresden adventures.
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