The Dresden Files Book Order | 2 Ways to Read Jim Butcher’s Books

The Dresden Files Book Order

The Dresden Files is an Urban Fantasy series by Jim Butcher with a total of 17 published books and host of short stories, graphic novels, and novellas as of the time of this writing. With so many books, what is the best Dresden Files book order?

What is The Dresden Files?

Before we answer that question, it’s helpful to understand a little bit more about Jim Butcher, Harry Dresden, and The Dresden Files.

The first book, Storm Front, was written in 2000 and the idea came about from a bit of dare that Jim Butcher had made for himself. He was attempting to prove a college professor who’d published more than 40 books that her cookie cutter method for writing a book couldn’t produce a publishable manuscript.

Instead of proving her wrong, the opposite was true and The Dresden Files was born.

The Dresden Files centers around Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first and only Wizard P.I. and the adventures that his work takes him on.

The series has 20+ books planned.

#1 The Dresden Files Book Order by Content Type

The following is a list of only full novels in the Dresden Files book order if you’re the type of person who only reads longer books. We’ll go over the short stories a little later.

The Dresden Files Books in Order

  1. Storm Front (2000)
  2. Fool Moon (2001)
  3. Grave Peril (2001)
  4. Summer Knight (2002)
  5. Death Masks (2003)
  6. Blood Rites (2004)
  7. Dead Beat (2005)
  8. Proven Guilty (2006)
  9. White Night (2007)
  10. Small Favor (2008)
  11. Turn Coat (2009)
  12. Changes (2010)
  13. Ghost Story (2011)
  14. Cold Days (2012)
  15. Skin Game (2014)
  16. Peace Talks (2020)
  17. Battle Ground (2020)
  18. Twelve Months (TBA)
  19. Mirror Mirror (TBA)

The Dresden Files Short Stories

The following two books are short story collections that take place in The Dresden Files world.

  1. Side Jobs (2010)
  2. Brief Cases (2018)

The Dresden Files Graphic Novels

The following books are Graphic Novels collecting all of the comics written in a particular series. You could purchase the comics individually, but it’s easier (and cheaper) to get the completed collections listed below.

  1. Welcome to the Jungle (2008)
  2. Storm Front, Vol. 1 (2009)
  3. Storm Front, Vol. 2 (2009)
  4. Fool Moon, Vol. 1 (2011)
  5. Fool Moon, Vol. 2 (2013)
  6. Ghoul, Goblin (2013)
  7. War Cry (2014)
  8. Down Town (2015)
  9. Wild Card (2016)
  10. Dog Men (2018)

#2 The Complete Dresden Files Book Order

The question then becomes, if you want to read everything in the order they were written, what Dresden Files book order should you follow?

Here is a list of all of the books, short stories, and graphic novels in one big, complete Dresden Files book order.

  1. “Restoration of Faith” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  2. Welcome to the Jungle (Graphic Novel)
  3. Storm Front
  4. Storm Front Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel)
  5. Storm Front Vol. 2 (Graphic Novel)
  6. Fool Moon
  7. Fool Moon Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel)
  8. Fool Moon Vol. 2 (Graphic Novel)
  9. Ghoul, Goblin (Graphic Novel)
  10. “B is for Bigfoot” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  11. Grave Peril
  12. Summer Knight
  13. Death Masks
  14. “A Vignette” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  15. Blood Rites
  16. Dead Beat
  17. “I Was a Teenage Bigfoot” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  18. War Cry (Graphic Novel)
  19. “Something Borrowed” in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (Short Story)
  20. Proven Guilty
  21. White Night
  22. Down Town (Graphic Novel)
  23. “It’s My Birthday Too” in Many Bloody Returns (Short Story)
  24. Wild Card (Graphic Novel)
  25. “Heorot” in My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (Short Story)
  26. Small Favor
  27. “Backup” in Side Jobs (Novella)
  28. “Day Off” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  29. “The Warrior” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  30. “Curses” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  31. “AAAA Wizardry” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  32. “Last Call” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  33. Dog Men (Graphic Novel)
  34. Turn Coat
  35. “Bigfoot on Campus” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  36. “Even Hand” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  37. “Love Hurts” in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  38. Changes
  39. Aftermath in Side Jobs (Short Story)
  40. Ghost Story
  41. “Bombshells” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  42. Cold Days
  43. “Cold Case” in Shadowed Souls (Short Story)
  44. Skin Game
  45. “Jury Duty” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  46. “Day One” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  47. “A Fistful of Warlocks” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  48. “Zoo Day” in Brief Cases (Short Story)
  49. Peace Talks
  50. Battle Ground
  51. Twelve Months (TBA)
  52. Mirror Mirror (TBA)

The Dresden Files Books

Storm Front The Dresden Files Book Order

Storm Front

As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play well with humans. And those that do enjoy playing with humans far too much. He also knows he’s the best at what he does. Technically, he’s the only at what he does. But even though Harry is the only game in town, business—to put it mildly—stinks.

So when the Chicago P.D. bring him in to consult on a double homicide committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name…


Fool Moon Jim Butcher

Fool Moon

You’d think there’d be a little more action for the only professional wizard listed in the Chicago phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work: magical, mundane, or menial.

Just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. There’s a brutally mutilated corpse, and monstrous animal markings at the scene. Not to mention that the killing took place on the night of a full moon. Harry knows exactly where this case is headed. Take three guesses—and the first two don’t count…


Grave Peril Jim Butcher

Grave Peril

Harry Dresden’s faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory, when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: the spirit world’s gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble—and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone—or something—is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself…


Summer Knight Jim Butcher

Summer Knight

Ever since his girlfriend left town to deal with her newly acquired taste for blood, Harry Dresden has been down and out in Chicago. He can’t pay his rent. He’s alienating his friends. He can’t even recall the last time he took a shower. The only professional wizard in the phone book has become a desperate man.
 
And just when it seems things can’t get any worse, in saunters the Winter Queen of Faerie. She has an offer Harry can’t refuse if he wants to free himself of the supernatural hold his faerie godmother has over him—and hopefully end his run of bad luck. All he has to do is find out who murdered the Summer Queen’s right-hand man, the Summer Knight, and clear the Winter Queen’s name.
 
It seems simple enough, but Harry knows better than to get caught in the middle of faerie politics. Until he finds out that the fate of the entire world rests on his solving this case. No pressure or anything…


Death Masks Jim Butcher

Death Masks

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing professional wizard, should be happy that business is pretty good for a change. But he also knows that whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Such as:

  • A duel with the lethal champion of the Red Court, who must kill Harry to end the war between vampires and wizards…
  • Professional hit men using Harry for target practice…
  • The missing Shroud of Turin–and the possible involvement of Chicago’s most feared mob boss…

Blood Rites Jim Butcher

Blood Rites

Harry Dresden has had worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. Like fleeing a burning building full of enraged demon-monkeys, for instance. Or going toe-to-leaf with a walking plant monster. Still, there’s something more troubling than usual about his newest case. The film’s producer believes he’s the target of a sinister curse—but it’s the women around him who are dying, in increasingly spectacular ways.

Harry’s doubly frustrated because he only got involved with this bizarre mystery as a favor to Thomas—his flirtatious, self-absorbed vampire acquaintance of dubious integrity. Thomas has a personal stake in the case Harry can’t quite figure out, until his investigation leads him straight to the vampire’s oversexed, bite-happy family. Now, Harry’s about to discover that Thomas’ family tree has been hiding a shocking secret: a revelation that will change Harry’s life forever.


Dead Beat Dresden Files Book Order

Dead Beat

Paranormal investigations are Harry Dresden’s business and Chicago is his beat, as he tries to bring law and order to a world of wizards and monsters that exists alongside everyday life. And though most inhabitants of the Windy City don’t believe in magic, the Special Investigations Department of the Chicago PD knows better.

Karrin Murphy is the head of S. I. and Harry’s good friend. So when a killer vampire threatens to destroy Murphy’s reputation unless Harry does her bidding, he has no choice. The vampire wants the Word of Kemmler (whatever that is) and all the power that comes with it. Now, Harry is in a race against time—and six merciless necromancers—to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead…


Proven Guilty Jim Butcher

Proven Guilty

There’s no love lost between Harry Dresden, the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and the White Council of Wizards, who find him brash and undisciplined. But war with the vampires has thinned their ranks, so the Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City.

As Harry adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend—all grown up and already in trouble. Her boyfriend is the only suspect in what looks like a supernatural assault straight out of a horror film. Malevolent entities that feed on fear are loose in Chicago, but it’s all in a day’s work for a wizard, his faithful dog, and a talking skull named Bob…


White Night Jim Butcher

White Night

Someone is targeting the members of the city’s supernatural underclass—those who don’t possess enough power to become full-fledged wizards. Some have vanished. Others appear to be victims of suicide. But now the culprit has left a calling card at one of the crime scenes—a message for Harry Dresden.

Harry sets out to find the apparent serial killer, but his investigation turns up evidence pointing to the one suspect he cannot possibly believe guilty: his half-brother, Thomas. To clear his brother’s name, Harry rushes into a supernatural power struggle that renders him outnumbered, outclassed, and dangerously susceptible to temptation.

And Harry knows that if he screws this one up, people will die—and one of them will be his brother…


Small Favor Jim Butcher Dresden Files

Small Favor

Harry’s life finally seems to be calming down. The White Council’s war with the vampiric Red Court is easing up, no one’s tried to kill him lately, and his eager apprentice is starting to learn real magic. For once, the future looks fairly bright. But the past casts one hell of a long shadow.
 
Mab, monarch of the Sidhe Winter Court, calls in an old favor from Harry. Just one small favor he can’t refuse…one that will trap Harry Dresden between a nightmarish foe and an equally deadly ally, and one that will strain his skills—and loyalties—to their very limits.
 
And everything was going so well for once…


Turn Coat Dresden Files Book Order

Turn Coat

When it comes to the magical ruling body known as the White Council, Harry is thought of as either a black sheep or a sacrificial lamb. And none hold him in more disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules. But now, Morgan is in trouble. He’s been accused of cold-blooded murder—a crime with only one, final punishment.

He’s on the run, wanting his name cleared, and he needs someone with a knack for backing the underdog. So it’s up to Harry to uncover a traitor within the Council, keep Morgan under wraps, and avoid coming under scrutiny himself. And a single mistake may cost someone his head.


Changes Jim Butcher Dresden

Changes

Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry’s Dresden’s lover—until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her caught between humanity and the relentless bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. She disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it. Now, she needs Harry’s help more than ever.
 
For the vengeful Duchess of the Red Court has discovered a secret Susan has long kept from everyone—including Harry—and she plans to use it. To prevail, Harry may have to unleash the full fury of his untapped power—and he may have no choice but to embrace the darkness within himself.
 
Because this time, he’s fighting to save his child.


Ghost Story Dresden Files Jim Butcher

Ghost Story

In his life, Harry’s been shot, stabbed, sliced, beaten, burned, crushed, and tortured. And after someone puts a bullet through his chest and leaves him to die in the waters of Lake Michigan, things really start going downhill.

Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save his friends and move on—a feat which would be a lot easier if he had a body and access to his powers. Worse still are the malevolent shadows that roam Chicago, controlled by a dark entity that wants Harry to suffer even in death.

Now, the late Harry Dresden will have to pull off the ultimate trick without using any magic—or face an eternity as just another lost soul…


Cold Days Jim Butcher Dresden Files

Cold Days

Harry Dresden is no longer Chicago’s only professional wizard. Now, he’s Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Her word is his command. And her first command is the seemingly impossible: kill an immortal. Worse still, there is a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could mean the deaths of millions.

Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent an apocalypse, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound infinite powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…

His soul.


Skin Game Dresden Files Book Order

Skin Game

As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry Dresden never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

Mab has traded Harry’s skills to pay off a debt. And now he must help a group of villains led by Harry’s most despised enemy, Nicodemus Archleone, to break into a high-security vault so that they can then access a vault in the Nevernever.

Problem is, the vault belongs to Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld. And Dresden is dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess…


Peace Talks Jim Butcher

Peace Talks

HARRY DRESDEN IS BACK AND READY FOR ACTION, in the new entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files.

When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil.

But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago—and all he holds dear?


Battle Ground Dresden Files

Battle Ground

Harry has faced terrible odds before. He has a long history of fighting enemies above his weight class. The Red Court of vampires. The fallen angels of the Order of the Blackened Denarius. The Outsiders.

But this time it’s different. A being more powerful and dangerous on an order of magnitude beyond what the world has seen in a millennium is coming. And she’s bringing an army. The Last Titan has declared war on the city of Chicago, and has come to subjugate humanity, obliterating any who stand in her way.

Harry’s mission is simple but impossible: Save the city by killing a Titan. And the attempt will change Harry’s life, Chicago, and the mortal world forever.


Looking for more books like the Dresden Files Book Order?

Check out my list of The Witcher Books in Order.

4 thoughts on “The Dresden Files Book Order | 2 Ways to Read Jim Butcher’s Books

    1. My purpose was to list the books in order, and I’m assuming if you’re looking for a reading order, you’re wondering how best to read them, thus it is assumed you should read them in the order provided.

      To offer a more direct answer, yes, you should read them in order. Characters are introduced in earlier books and are given little context in later books if you don’t already know who they are, plus previous history and knowledge gained on Harry’s part will be implied in future books.

    1. It looks like the micro-fictions themselves provide clues as to this.

      https://www.jim-butcher.com/books/dresden/side-jobs

      The above site lists that the first microfiction occurs between White Night and Small Favor.

      The second contains spoilers for Turn Coat, Changes, and Cold Days. So you’d want to read those three before reading the microfiction. Etc

      As I’m not well versed on the microfictions, I’m not able to offer anything more than the article above.

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