Jim Butcher

Well known fantasy author Jim Butcher is highly regarded thanks to his popular series of novels ‘The Dresden Files’ as well as the ‘Codex Alera’ saga. All this has helped secure him a place as a New York Times best-selling author.

Early and Personal Life

Jim Butcher gained an interest in the fantasy and science-fiction genres at an early age after being bedridden by strep throat as a child. It was then that his sisters happened to introduce him to ‘The Hans Solo Adventures’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a way of passing the time and from that moment on his fate was secured. With an interest in C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander he sought inspiration for his material as his career began to grow.

Born in 1971 on the 26th of October in Independence Missouri he still lives there today with his dog. Being the youngest of three children he is a father himself with one son. He’s also known to be a keen gamer largely dealing with the role-playing fantasy genre both online and off. This has helped to inspire a number of properties built from his own backlog of material. With a degree in English he began his literary career back in college when he created the now infamous character of Harry Dresden as part of a class writing exercise. This was then how he would make his name as he soon found himself reaching number 2 in The New York Times best-seller list.

Writing Career

The Dresden Files were to be the first books that Jim Butcher was to have published, with ‘Storm Front’ being released on the first of April, 2000. Over the course of the Dresden Files series there has been fifteen novels released to date. Chronicling the exploits of wizard and private investigator Harry Dresden, they follow him as he goes about his day-to-day business in Chicago. Incorporating both fantasy and science-fiction, they have become his most successful franchise so far. With a short-lived television series that received cult appeal after its cancellation, graphic novels, role-playing games and even a rumored movie at one point, this has now more than proven to be the case. It also appears that he’s not finishing this series any time soon.

After seeing the success that the Dresden franchise brought him, Jim Butcher decided to opt for a more traditional fantasy setting for his next series. The Codex Alera series was first presented to the public with the ‘Furies of Calderon’ novel, which was published in 2004. With six novels in the series, it has also proven to be popular as it charts a young man, Tavi, who comes of age and his place within a fantasy land that’s in turmoil. Whilst maybe not as successful as Harry Dresden, it still retains a loyal following with its rich and vibrant world.

Next in store from Jim Butcher is ‘The Cinder Spires’ trilogy, which he says will incorporate elements of the steam-punk genre as it charts a fictional war set in an alternate universe. The first novel set to be published will be titled ‘The Aeronaut’s Windlass’.

Storm Front

Taking place within modern Chicago, this is the first novel to introduce Harry Dresden of ‘The Dresden Files’. Here he is hired by a woman who is looking to track down her husband, who is also a magician like Harry named Victor Sells. Soon after he’s called up by Lieutenant Karrin Murphy along with her partner, as they inform him he’s the prime suspect in a murder case involving two people who have had the hearts ripped out. Being a magician is what places him under the suspicion of the Special Investigations Unit as he protests his innocence.

Over the course of the novel he comes into contact with a variety of different supernatural creatures, such as vampires and warlocks, whilst discovering the truth of the situation. As it turns out there’s a drug being manufactured which, going by the name of ‘ThreeEye’, allows humans to get ‘the sight’ giving them powers, but also turns them insane. It then turns out to be Victor Sells who’s creating the drug. He’s doing this so as to bring down a mob boss name Johnny Marcone so he can take over the drug trade himself, which he’s managing through the power of storms. It is then up to Dresden to come face-to-face with sells. Will he be able to manage it? Will he regain his name and prove his innocence? This was the book that introduced so many to the world and characters of Harry Dresden.

Furies of Calderon

This was the book where Jim Butcher brought his readers into the Codex Alera series and the world of the Aleran Empire. In it there are ‘crafters’ who are able to control the elements by using their fury. This is where Amara comes in, a young woman who happens to be on the way to her graduation as she is traveling with Fidelias, her mentor, as she is a ‘cursori’ in training. Soon he betrays her though as she finds herself infiltrating a camp of mercenaries, but not before she escapes making her way to the First Lord Gaius who tells her to head to the city of Garrison.

After this Bernard is introduced as he controls a steadholt. With the rest of his family gone, he now resides with Isana, his sister, and Tavi, his furyless nephew. After they are attacked, they’re then propelled into a new world whereby Tavi meets up with Amara when he’s attacked by a furystorm. Heading back to the steadholt Tavi and Amara come into contact with her original captors from the mercenary camp and she makes her escape once again, this time with Tavi and a slave named Fade.

Over the course of the rest of the novel they form bonds and friendships as they overcome obstacles and find their way. With battles fought against proud warrior tribes, such as the Marat, will Tavi get to truly prove himself? Will they overcome evil and reunite the lands defending the city of Garrison in the process? The world of the Aleran Empire was brought to life here by Jim Butcher as the overall tone of the series was set.

Books published in order by series

Dresden Files Books

Storm Front(2000) 
Fool Moon(2001) 
Grave Peril(2001) 
Summer Knight(2002) 
Death Masks(2003) 
Blood Rites(2004) 
Dead Beat(2005) 
Proven Guilty(2006) 
White Night(2007) 
Small Favor(2008) 
Turn Coat(2009) 
Ghost Story(2011) 
Cold Days(2012) 
Skin Game(2014) 
Peace Talks(2020) 
Battle Ground(2020) 

Dresden Files Collections

Side Jobs(2010) 
Working for Bigfoot(2015) 
Brief Cases(2018) 

Codex Alera Books

Furies of Calderon(2004) 
Academ’s Fury(2005) 
Cursor’s Fury(2006) 
Captain’s Fury(2007) 
Princeps’ Fury(2008) 
First Lord’s Fury(2009) 

Cinder Spires Books

The Aeronaut’s Windlass(2015)

Standalone Novels

Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours(2006) 

Dresden Files Graphic Novels

Welcome to the Jungle(2008) 
Storm Front: Vol. 1(2009) 
Fool Moon: Vol. 1(2010) 
Storm Front: Vol. 2(2011) 
Fool Moon: Vol. 2(2013) 
Ghoul Goblin(2013) 
War Cry(2014) 
Down Town(2015) 
Wild Card(2016) 
Dog Men(2018) 
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