How to read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files?

Dresden Files Books in Order

Last Updated 6 months ago.Do you remember, a few years back, there was a TV show on the Sci-Fi Channel called The Dresden Files with Paul Blackthorne. I quite like it and I’d hoped to see more, but it was canceled after a short season. It was an adaptation and the book series is much bigger than the TV show, so here we go…

What are the Dresden Files?

Urban fantasy series written by Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files follows the investigations of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. The books take pace in a universe where magic is obviously real, also are vampires, demons, spirits, faeries, werewolves and other kinds of monsters.

Harry Dresden is walking the line between humans and supernatural beings by taking jobs from both sides, including the Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit. He works to protect the general public as he faces against a large variety of creatures.

What is the Dresden Files reading order?

The easiest way to read the Dresden Files is to follow the novels. Nevertheless, there are also short stories and a few comic books that you can read in order, if you like. I made two lists, you choose the one you prefer.

I. Only the novels

Storm Front Dresden Files reading order Fool Moon Dresden Files reading order Grave Peril Dresden Files reading order Summer Knight

  1. Storm Front – When the police bring Harry Dresden in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, He’s seeing a solution to his financial difficulties. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name…
  2. Fool Moon – Lately, Harry hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work – magical or mundane. But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise. A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses. And the first two don’t count …Magic – it can get a guy killed.
  3. Grave Peril – 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…
  4. Summer Knight – The Winter Queen of Faerie 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.

Death Masks Dresden Files reading order Blood Rites Dresden Files reading order Dead Beat Dresden Files reading order Proven Guilty Dresden Files reading order

  1. Death Masks – For Harry Desden, whenever things are going good, the only way left for them to go is bad. Way bad. Recent examples: a duel with the Red Court of Vampires’ champion, 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 (less missing than expected) and a headless corpse the Chicago police need identifying . . . Not to mention the return of Harry’s ex-girlfriend Susan, still struggling with her semi-vampiric nature. And who seems to have a new man. Some days, it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. No matter how much you’re charging.
  2. Blood Rites – Harry Dresden has had worse assignments than going undercover on the set of an adult film. 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.
  3. Dead Beat – 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…
  4. Proven Guilty – The White Council has drafted Harry as a Warden and assigned him to look into rumors of black magic in the Windy City. As he adjusts to his new role, another problem arrives in the form of the tattooed and pierced daughter of an old friend. 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 Dresden Files reading order Small Favor Dresden Files reading order Turn Coat Dresden Files reading order Changes

  1. 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. He 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.
  2. Small Favor – The White Council’s war with the vampiric Red Court is easing up, no one’s tried to kill Harry 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 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.
  3. Turn Coat – None hold Harry Dresden in more disdain than Morgan, a veteran Warden with a grudge against anyone who bends the rules. But now, Morgan has been accused of cold-blooded murder. 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.
  4. Changes – Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry’s Dresden’s lover. 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. 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.

Side Jobs Dresden Files reading order Ghost Story Dresden Files reading order Cold Days Dresden Files reading order Skin Game Dresden Files reading order

  1. Side Jobs – a collection of short stories – see Message 34 of this post for more detail.
  2. Ghost Story – After someone puts a bullet through his chest and leaves him to die in the waters of Lake Michigan, things really start going downhill for Harry Dresden. Trapped between life and death, he learns that his friends are in serious trouble. Only by finding his murderer can he save them and move on. 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…
  3. Cold Days – Harry Dresden is now 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…
  4. Skin Game – 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 Underworld. And Dresden is dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience.

Peace Talks Dresden Files Books in Order Battle Ground The Dresden Files Books in Order

  1. Peace Talks – 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?
  2. Battle Ground – Harry has faced terrible odds before. He has a long history of fighting enemies above his weight class. 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.

II. With short stories and comic books

Update, in june 2018 : A new anthology, Brief Cases, is now collecting twelve short stories.

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

Did I make a mistake? Did I forget something? To help me to complete this reading guide, leave a comment!

42 thoughts on “How to read Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files?”

  1. I’m not so sure about the placement of fistful of warlocks. Chronologically it is the first book but it probably shouldn’t be read until after Lucio is introduced. I don’t want to put it quite so close to the end either. Could we squeeze it in after deadbeat or proven guilty?

    1. I’d put it after Dead Beat, because that’s the first time Luccio really becomes a character for the reader. I think showing the flirtatiousness of her younger self BEFORE the main narrative picks up that side of her personality is appropriate.

  2. I asked how to read the files with side jobs included and you gave me a list I already have that list I want to know where to throw in side job stories so I can read them in order.

    1. At the beginning of each story from Side Jobs and Brief Cases, Butcher tells you exactly what novels the story falls between.

      The only problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a chronological list for the stories between novels. (e.g. There are 5 short stories between Small Favor and Turn Coat. What order do they read in?)

  3. HI! I see that you do not have Down Town, which takes place between White Knight and Small Favor. Just an FYI. Thank you for keeping this up!

  4. You’re missing several Comics. I am not sure of order due to that fact Some of them are Kindle exclusive and I don’t have a kindle. “Wild Card” “Dog men”are a couple of the titles missing. There are a few more.

  5. Hi

    Great list, but I think it could be better. Below is my version of the list and these are the changes I’ve made:

    * All of the graphic novels are added.
    * All short stories are referenced from either Side Jobs or Brief Cases
    * I think I added a short story that was missed (not sure)
    * In a few cases the order of short stories was changed – I just used the order they appear in in either Side Jobs or Brief Cases
    * I set Luccios story first because it takes place in the 1800 hundreds.

    I think that’s all the changes I did.
    01) A Fistful of Warlocks (Brief cases)
    02) Restoration of Faith (Side jobs)
    03) Welcome to the jungle (Graphic novel)
    04) Storm front
    05) Fool moon
    06) Ghoul, goblin (graphic novel)
    07) B is for Bigfoot (Brief cases)
    08) Grave peril
    09) Summer knight
    10) Death masks
    11) Vignette/Publicity and Advertising (Side jobs)
    12) Blood rites
    13) Dead beat
    14) I Was a Teenage Bigfoot (Brief cases)
    15) War cry (graphic novel)
    16) Something Borrowed (Side jobs)
    17) Proven guilty
    18) White knight
    19) It’s My Birthday, Too (Side jobs)
    20) Heorot (Side jobs)
    21) Down town (graphic novel)
    22) Small favour
    23) Harry’s Day Off (Side jobs)
    24) Backup (Side jobs)
    25) The Warrior (Side jobs)
    26) Curses (Brief cases)
    27) AAAA Wizardry (Brief cases)
    28) Last Call (Side jobs)
    29) Wild Card (graphic novel)
    30) Dog Men (graphic novel)
    31) Turn coat
    32) Bigfoot on Campus (Brief cases)
    33) Even Hand (Brief cases)
    34) Love Hurts (Side jobs)
    35) Changes
    36) Aftermath (Side jobs)
    37) Ghost story
    38) Bombshells (Brief cases)
    39) Cold days
    40) Cold Case (Brief cases)
    41) Skin game
    42) Jury Duty (Brief cases)
    43) Day One (Brief cases)
    44) Zoo Day (Brief cases)

      1. AAAA Wizardry mentions the Paranet, so it’s after White Night. Butcher’s notes in Brief Cases get much wrong. Like Placing Bombshells before Ghost Story and Cold Case before Cold Days.

    1. did bishop write harry into a corner and can’t figure out the next move? shake a literary leg and get me more harry. looking forward to new tv harry

      1. Butcher has had a busy life the last couple years that has made writing hard. Things are settling down though and he’s getting progress finally.

        1. Downtown and It’s My Birthday Too both happen on the same night, Feb. 14th. Harry’s coat gets slimed by a golem in the first story which is why he doesn’t have it in the second.

      2. Fabien,

        My wife and I are going through The Dresden Files for the third time, this time incorporating all the graphic novels and short stories. I printed out your list (what was online on March 20, 2019), read the previous comments in response to your list, and the timeline published at, and compared them to the March 20 2019 printout. These are the changes I would make to your list to create the optimal reading order for new and longtime disciples of Dresden.

        Chronologically “A Fistful of Warlocks” is the earliest entry in the Dresdenverse, and is listed as the first story in the JB website timeline, but it is not a good introduction to The Dresden Files. I agree with the thinking of Melissa and SheReads that it should be read sometime after the reader has come to know Captain Luccio. I have two reasons to read it right after “Dead Beat”. First, I concur with SheReads’ argument to show the flirtatious nature of Luccio’s younger self before her affair blossoms with Harry in the main narrative. Second, I would have folks read it post-DB in order to see the initial White Council battle against Kemmler and his disciples while the events of “Dead Beat” are still fresh in the readers’ minds.

        “Vignette” short story
        Should be between “Death Masks” and “Blood Rites” per the Butcher site.

        “Down Town” graphic novel
        Happens right after “White Night”, before the short story “It’s My Birthday, Too” per the Butcher website.

        “Wild Card” graphic novel
        Not in your list. Per the Butcher website, it takes place between the short stories “It’s My Birthday, Too” and “Heorot”.

        “AAAA Wizardry”
        Your placement agrees with the Butcher website placement. This short story in “Brief Cases” was originally published in The Dresden Files RPG: Our World. Others here have commented that it should be earlier than you have it, but at least after “Proven Guilty”, as Butcher himself mentions in his “Side
        Jobs”intro that it happen sometime after PG. Others have noted that since the Yardley family case study in Harry’s lesson mentions the Paranet, it must come after “White Night”, as that novel ended with Harry and Elaine Mallory making plans to establish the Paranet. But as far as where it fits in both the timeline and reading order – in the framing story Warden Dresden is teaching his junior Wardens some time after the events in the post-”White Knight” case study presented. This is probably why the Butcher website timeline places the framing story a little later, between “Small Favor” and “Turn Coat”, and more specifically between the short stories “Curses” and “Last Call”.

        “Dog Men” graphic novel
        Not in your list. Occurs between “Last Call” and “Turn Coat”.

        “Day One”
        A Butters POV story from “Brief Cases” that occurs after “Skin Game” per JB. The JB website timeline say it takes place “several weeks” after “Skin Game”, but then lists it as before “Jury Duty”. But “Jury Duty” starts with Harry bemoaning he was “back in the world less than a month” and they found him, which to me is less than “several weeks”, so barring other evidence to the contrary it seems it and “Zoo Day” come after “Jury Duty”.

        “Zoo Day”
        As I write this the JB website timeline does not include “Zoo Day”, but this story overlaps with “Day One”. This is evident because late in “Day One” Butters talks on the phone with Harry just before Harry, Maggie and Mouse head out on their zoo adventure.

        “Christmas Eve”
        Jim’s 2018 Christmas present to his fans, initially published on his website but now located at
        Based on the text it takes place the Christmas Eve after Peace Talks.

        And so I would include the work-in-progress main sequence novel “Peace Talks” on your list as well, just before “Christmas Eve”. According to the JB website, as of March 22 2019 chapter 50 of the draft was completed. No release date has been projected yet.

        Per the website, JB has projected there will be 4-5 more “case file” novels (NB: #12 “Changes” was originally planned to be #10, so there is a fudge factor at work in his projections) for a total of 20 or 21, and then an apocalyptic trilogy to finish the Dresden Files.

        1. Here’s my recommended reading order based on my notes and Priscellie’s comments:
          1 Restoration of Faith (Side Jobs)
          2 Welcome to the Jungle (graphic novel)
          3 Storm Front
          4 Fool Moon
          5 Ghoul, Goblin (graphic novel)
          6 B is for Bigfoot (Brief Cases)
          7 Grave Peril
          8 Summer Knight
          9 Death Masks
          10 Vignette (Side Jobs)
          11 Blood Rites
          12 Dead Beat
          13 I Was a Teenage Bigfoot (Brief Cases)
          14 Something Borrowed (Side Jobs)
          15 Proven Guilty
          16 White Knight
          17 Down Town (graphic novel)
          18 It’s My Birthday, Too (Side Jobs)
          19 Wild Card (graphic novel)
          20 Heorot (Side Jobs)
          21 Small Favor
          22 Backup (Side Jobs)
          23 Harry’s Day Off (Side Jobs)
          24 The Warrior (Side Jobs)
          25 Curses (Brief Cases)
          26 AAAA Wizardry (Brief Cases)
          27 Last Call (Side Jobs)
          28 Dog Men (graphic novel)
          29 Turn Coat
          30 A Fistful of Warlocks (Brief Cases; per Priscellie below; she edits the JB official website timeline)
          31 War Cry (graphic novel with a huge spoiler for Turn Coat at the end)
          32 Bigfoot on Campus (Brief Cases)
          33 Even Hand (Brief Cases)
          34 Love Hurts (Side Jobs)
          35 Changes
          36 Aftermath (Side Jobs)
          37 Ghost Story
          38 Bombshells (Brief Cases)
          39 Cold Days
          40 Cold Case (Brief Cases)
          41 Skin Game
          42 Jury Duty (Brief Cases)
          43 Day One (Brief Cases)
          44 Zoo Day (Brief Cases)
          45 Peace Talks (to be published)
          46 Christmas Eve (occurs after Peace Talks; Jim’s 2018 Christmas present to the fans, found on line at )

        2. DEFINITELY don’t read “War Cry” before you’ve read “Turn Coat.” There’s a MASSIVE spoiler in the final pages.

          Honestly, I’d just go with publication order. “A Fistful of Warlocks” probably isn’t as fun if you haven’t read “Dead Beat, “Small Favor,” and “Turn Coat” first. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

          1. +9000 for War Cry comment.
            Looking at the true publication order though – Aftermath was published a month before Changes, people definitely shouldn’t read it first.

            1. Oh, I got confused about American date format. Changes was published 11th of March, not 3rd of November. Ignore that. 🙂

          2. Thanks, I appreciate your work! I wanted to say that you might have missed the graphic novel Dog Men. Alas, my eyes aren’t as good asI might like. I don’t have the full list of graphic novels, but I came here to see where that one was placed. Thanks again!

          3. What about Christmas Eve after Battle Ground
            Kincaid has a short story. I think a Fist full of warlocks Is set 18 something something and it should be first. No micro fiction in the list.

          4. Thanks for your effort!

            I have started re-reading the series since there are three novels out now that I haven’t read. Yup, the last one I read was “Cold Days.”

            I’m probably going to go with Eric P. Dawson’s and Priscellie’s order, as it differs slightly from yours and I think I agree with their opinions.

            That’s with me excluding the graphic novels, as I have little interest for them, overall.

            There’s also a lot of fanfiction I want to sink my teeth into after re-reading and catching up with the series, so cheers!

          5. Some of the short stories are listed with their original anthology publications but we’re also republished in Side Jobs. Something Borrowed, It’s My Birthday Too, Heorot, people won’t have to get all the mixed anthologies if they don’t want to (although it’s a good way to find a new favorite author).

          6. 1 Restoration of Faith (Side Jobs)
            2 Welcome to the Jungle (graphic novel)
            3 Storm Front
            4 Fool Moon
            5 Ghoul, Goblin (graphic novel)
            6 B is for Bigfoot (Brief Cases)
            7 Grave Peril
            8 Summer Knight
            9 Death Masks
            10 Vignette (Side Jobs)
            11 Blood Rites
            12 Dead Beat
            13 I Was a Teenage Bigfoot (Brief Cases)
            14 Something Borrowed (Side Jobs)
            15 Proven Guilty
            16 White Knight
            17 Down Town (graphic novel)
            18 It’s My Birthday, Too (Side Jobs)
            19 Wild Card (graphic novel)
            20 Mike (online micro fiction 1)
            21 Heorot (Side Jobs)
            22 Small Favor
            23 Backup (Side Jobs)
            24 Harry’s Day Off (Side Jobs)
            25 The Warrior (Side Jobs)
            26 Curses (Brief Cases)
            27 AAAA Wizardry (Brief Cases)
            28 Last Call (Side Jobs)
            29 Dog Men (graphic novel)
            30 Turn Coat
            31 A Fistful of Warlocks (Brief Cases; per Priscellie below; she edits the JB official website timeline)
            32 War Cry (graphic novel with a huge spoiler for Turn Coat at the end)
            33 Bigfoot on Campus (Brief Cases)
            34 Job Placement (online micro fiction #4)
            35 Even Hand (Brief Cases)
            36 Love Hurts (Side Jobs)
            37 Changes
            38 Aftermath (Side Jobs)
            39 Ghost Story
            40 Bombshells (Brief Cases)
            41 Cold Days
            42 Goodbye (online micro fiction #3)
            43 Journal (online micro fiction #2)
            44 Cold Case (Brief Cases)
            45 Skin Game
            46 Jury Duty (Brief Cases)
            47 Day One (Brief Cases)
            48 Zoo Day (Brief Cases)
            49 Everything the Light Touches (online micro fiction #5)
            50 Peace Talks
            51 Battlegound
            52 Christmas Eve (online short story)
            53 The Good People (online micro fiction #6)

            Going to re-read it this way and make sure it works.

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