In the latest Dresden Files novel, the Accorded Nations have to face an ancient weapon - the Eye of Balor.

Harry has this slightly confusing conversation with the Queen of Air and Darkness

"The Eye," I said. "It was made of pure hate. I felt that. [...] "It destroyed everything it touched, except you. Why?"

"Why?" Mab’s mouth turned up into a faint smile. "Everyone," she said, "thinks that hate and love are somehow opposite forces. They are not. They are the same force, facing opposite directions." She glanced aside at me. "Love is a fire, my Knight. Love turned the wrong way has killed as many as hate. Reason, young wizard, is the opposite of hate, not love."

Looking at the dictionary, we can find easily that reason is:

the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgement logically.

So what is Mab trying to say here? That she is very logical? Very intelligent? Understandable? Reasonable?

Why she is indeed cold (for a Queen of Winter it is kind of a job requirement), she is far from being a passionless machine. She is smart, but I wouldn't call her a genius. And as someone who lives in a world where you are either predator or prey, she is DEFINITELY not a understandable person.

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    I think she just want to say: "You are a wizard Harry" – someoneuseless Oct 2 '20 at 4:27
  • Well, a few lines later she said she 'ran the numbers' and determined she could handle the attack. Sounds pretty cold and methodical to me. – AerusDar Oct 2 '20 at 6:07
  • @AerusDar kind of.... I can calculate my odds at winning in poker, but that doesn't make me cold and methodical – Yasskier Oct 2 '20 at 10:24
  • @yaskier but if you are calculating your odds, not certainty, of surviving an attack on your life, that is a bit colder. – Verdan Oct 2 '20 at 13:07
  • We don't have spoiler tags here? That book is like out a week or so? :-) Now I have to unread that! :-P – Martin Oct 8 '20 at 11:24

Mab is telling him that she is the opposite of Ethniu.

"Peace Talks" and "Battle Grounds" make it very clear that the conflict is sparked by Ethniu's personal hatred towards Mab, and towards the end, we witness multiple times how

that hatred clouds Ethniu's judgement on multiple occasions - I mean, it even ends with Marcone chiding her for not simply attacking Chicago unannounced and winning the day.

A few times throughout the novel, Mab's former humanity has been hinted, and the idea that people don't necessarily love you when you protect them - they might even hate you - is discussed between Harry and Mab directly above the quote you provided. She even confirms directly that this is a problem that also applies to her:

"You begin to see the shape of my problems, my Knight." She glanced at me. "You are a wolf. A predator. One they need."

It's in this context about being loved for doing the right thing where Mab then talks about reason. Hatred has clouded Ethniu's judgement multiple times, and Mab's ability to reason has led to Ethniu's defeat.

Mab's sister, Titania, can in many ways be considered the opposite of Mab. The battle took place during the time where Mab was at her weakest, but Titania was at her strongest. Yet, Titania feared the Eye and didn't touch it - Titania, same as Ethniu, was being guided by her emotions instead of rationality.

Mab, on the other hand, ran the numbers, and that reasoning was enough for her face the Eye without any hesitation.

So essentially, she says: Ethniu lost because she was emotional, I won because I was rational, rationality is what helped me figuring out that I survive the Eye, not love.

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    Very good answer. – tharibo Mar 15 at 20:01

One way to look at Mab is that she is the epitome of cold reason. Although the Winter Knight (much to Harry's chagrin) is a creature driven by passion, Mab has consistently been shown acting on inhumanly cold logic. If someone must be sacrificed to attain her goal, she does it, even trusted allies such as Harry himself.

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    Ever heard of Cold Equation, also known as Cold Calculus? That's Mab! (warning, tv tropes link) tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColdEquation The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. That is the "I'm old and decrepit and we don't have the food for everyone to last a winter. I'm going fishing. I might be a while." "But you do not even have a fishing rod with you, grandpa." "Shh! Let grandpa go fishing.He loves to fish, our grandpa." Mab sometimes thinks in strange ways for Harry, but there is always a lot of logic and calculation behind it. – jo1storm Oct 2 '20 at 5:29
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    What's more, her sacrificing someone else isn't driven by malice, it simply is what she determines is the most logical course of action. It doesn't mean she's necessarily right, but emotion doesn't play a role in it. – Keith Morrison Oct 2 '20 at 22:28

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