Urban Fantasy At Its Best: 17 Dresden Files Book Order

Writer of the Dresden Files, Jim Butcher once said that detectives and wizards do exactly the same things.

And this is what makes the Dresden Files so spectacular. This urban fantasy series is an exciting mix of fantasy fiction with grounded detective work.

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Jim Butcher became a writer because he was looking for a specific type of fantasy book. When he couldn’t find it, he started putting his visions of a new fantasy genre down.

His urban fantasy novels feature the charismatic PI Harry Dresden and his more unusual, paranormal clients.

The best way to enjoy the Dresden Files books is by reading them in the right order. This allows you to get to know all the characters and never miss a development in the plot.

About The Dresden Files Books

From werewolves, vampires, and other monsters, the main character Harry Dresden accepts clients from all walks of life, including non-human and human beings.

The popular concept of a wizard detective has made it also into other formats, including comic books, short stories, a role-playing game, and a brief television series.

The Dresden Files Books In Reading Order

The easiest way to read the Dresden Files books is by reading them in the right order. Here is the best reading order for all Dresden Files novels.

Storm Front

Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)

Harry Dresden is struggling financially, so he jumps on the chance when the police bring him in as a consultant for a black magic murder.

But this first case for the PI isn’t going to be easy to crack.


  • As the first Dresden Files book, Storm Front is a classic Jim Butcher read.


  • There are a lot of wizard clichés in this book.

Fool Moon

Fool Moon

After a slow month, Harry finally has another murder case on his hands. This one isn’t all as it seems in the bright moonlight.


  • Jim Butcher’s writing style is fun and witty.


  • This book of the Dresden Files is a bit heavy on werewolves.

Grave Peril

Grave Peril

Ghosts are tormenting the city of Chicago and Harry Dresden has to find out where they came from. And how to send them back.


  • Ideal for anyone who is interested in the Mercy Thompson series and the Kate Daniels series.


  • Some readers aren’t happy with Dresden’s new sidekick.

Summer Knight

Summer Knight: A Novel of the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, Book 4)

Harry has to make a deal with the Winter Queen of Faerie. Unfortunately, you don’t always win when you bargain with a magical creature.


  • This book introduces a new paranormal species beyond werewolves and vampires.


  • Some readers found Summer Knight difficult to follow.

Death Masks

Death Masks (Dresden Files)

Harry Dresden is disillusioned with his PI lifestyle. There just seem to be too many challenges that it’s not worth bothering, no matter how much you charge.

But he eventually picks himself up to run into his ex-girlfriend’s arms.


  • This book has a fantastic writing pace that’s the reason why so many people love the Dresden Files.


  • Some readers find that Harry Dresden doesn’t develop very fast.

Blood Rites

Blood Rites

Harry Dresden is undercover at a film set but this is not one of the usual paranormal cases.

The producer thinks he is cursed as all the women around him die in a tragic way.


  • Blood Rites has some fun dialogues that make you laugh out loud.


Dead Beat

Dead Beat (Dresden Files (ROC Paperback))

Harry’s best friend Karrin Murphy is threatened by a killer vampire, so he steps in to investigate this gruesome creature.

But this doesn’t turn out to be so easy because it’s the time of year when monsters are allowed to come out: Halloween.


  • There is a great surprise twist in the Dead Beat plot.


  • Some readers found this book too similar to others in the Dresden Files series.

Proven Guilty

Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8)

Harry is drafted in as a Warden for the White Council in Chicago. Just as he is getting used to his new role, the daughter of an old friend appears and her boyfriend is causing trouble.


  • The Dresden Files are not just well written but Jim Butcher knows how to create a complex plot.


  • Some reviews found that Proven Guilty doesn’t contain many new characters.

White Night

White Night (The Dresden Files, Book 9)

The supernatural lower class of Chicago is threatened by a mysterious force. One by one starts to vanish and they show up as murder cases or suicides.

While the serial killer left a clue for Harry Dresden, he can’t believe the obvious suspect is truly guilty.


  • In White Night, the reader learns more about Harry Dresden’s family and his relationship with his brother.


  • Some readers found this book a little too slow in places.

Small Favor

Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10)

For a short moment, Harry can breathe. No one has tried to kill him recently and the war between the Red Court and the White Council is coming to an end.

Even his apprentice is more eager to learn about white magic. But the peace and tranquility don’t last long. An old friend is calling in a favor that’s going to test Harry’s loyalty.



  • Some readers found that this book didn’t have all the usual interpersonal connections that we are used to from other Dresden Files books.

Turn Coat

Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11)

Morgan is one of Harry Dresden’s arch-enemies, but even our enemies need help sometimes.

When Morgan is accused of murder, he turns to the only Chicago sleuth in town.


  • Jim Butcher keeps up the good work with his eleventh book in the Dresden Files book series.


  • The location is a bit repetitive. Harry Dresden is back on the deserted island, just as in the last book.


Changes (Dresden Files)

Susan Rodriguez used to be Harry’s lover. After she disappeared to South America, he hadn’t heard from Susan for a while.

When she shows up to ask for help, Harry is ready to jump at the chance to be the knight in shining armor.

But Susan has a secret that will land both of them in mortal danger.


  • Changes really shows Harry Dresden’s development as a character.


  • Some readers said that the book wasn’t as funny as some others in the series.

Ghost Story

Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13)

Harry Dresden realizes that this must be the low point of his life. Being shot and left to die, he is trapped between death and life.

But Harry can only escape these realms when he finds his murderer.


  • Ghost Story also shows the genuine human side of this wizard-for-hire.


  • This book contains some major spoilers, so make sure to read the Dresden Files in order of publication date.

Cold Days

Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files

Harry Dresden is set for another challenge when he is asked by the Queen of Air and Darkness to kill an immortal.

That’s not Harry’s only problem though. A darker force threatens to blow away the city of Chicago and millions of citizens.


  • Similar to some other books in the Dresden Files, you can read this novel without too many spoilers.


  • Some readers said that there are far too many different ghouls and spirits to keep track of.

Skin Game

Skin Game (Dresden Files)

Harry Dresden has to work with his most despised enemy. This story leads him into the underworld but can Harry also return from the darkness?


  • Skin Game is an enjoyable read with all the classic wizardry Jim Butcher fans love.


  • Some reviewers said that this book only contains a couple of new characters.

Peace Talks

Peace Talks (Dresden Files)

Harry Dresden is part of the White Council security team when supernatural nations meet to negotiate a peace treaty.

But there is dark magic overshadowing the talks. Can Harry stop them before everything descends into chaos?


  • There are a lot of surprises and twists in the 16th book of the Dresden Files.


  • Peace Talks seems to contain a lot of different story plots.

Battle Ground

Battle Ground (Dresden Files)

Harry has fought a lot of heavy-weight enemies in his lifetime but this one isn’t just the average danger.


  • Battle Ground proves that even after 18 books, the story following Harry Dresden doesn’t get boring.


  • Some readers found that the plot is too much for one book.

Final Thoughts

The Dresden Files book series is one of the most popular urban fantasy sagas. Jim Butcher’s witty writing style is fun and exciting to read.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Book 18 Of The Dresden Files?

Yes, number 18 in the Dresden Files saga will be called Twelve Months.

How Many Books Will Be In The Dresden Files?

Jim Butcher hasn’t set a fixed number of books he wants to write about his famous professional wizard, Harry Dresden.

With over 25 fantasy novels, we are likely to see a lot more books, comics, and short stories with the famous Chicago detective.

What Age Group Are The Dresden Files Books For?

The Dresden Files fantasy saga isn’t suitable for children but young adults and mature teenagers will enjoy it.

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Anna Davis