This is a timeline of events that take place in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Since the series is not set in a specific year, Guilty Pleasures is year 0, and the timeline counts from there to either direction.
The references of time novel-to-novel (measured in weeks/months) and the references to years within the story begin to contradict each other around the events of Micah. Anita's age also no longer corresponds with the passage of time beginning in Incubus Dreams. See the inconsistencies section below for more information.
Anita and Jean-Claude meet with Sabin (rotting as a results of abstaining from blood) and his human servant, another necromancer, Dominic who are in a triumvirate with wolf Cassandra
Anita has accepted being Jean-Claude's "declared vampire servant" at the beginning of the book.
Anita and Richard form a vampire triumvirate with Jean-Claude, accepting the first three "marks". In addition, Jean-Claude and Richard announce that they are allies within the supernatural community. Taken together, these changes make it impossible for Anita to completely separate her life from Jean-Claude or Richard.
Anita acquires a magical mentor, the Wiccan Marianne. (Marianne is not a lycanthrope but works with the local werewolf pack in Tennessee).
Marianne and her pack's Ulfric, Verne, begin teaching Anita how to be a better leader of the wereleopards.
Anita's faith in God, and herself as a Christian, is reaffirmed when she faces down a demon with prayer and Bible recitation.
Anita and Richard become lovers
We learn Damian is showing signs of being Anita's vampire servant and that Jean-Claude gains power from sex. The latter frightens Anita enough that she demands a break from both Jean-Claude and Richard; Marianne helps her to temporarily close off her metaphysical "marks" to them.
Anita is accidentally, but gravely injured by Gregory and develops secondary signs of lycanthropy.
Anita develops the ardeur, a rare power seen only in vampires of Belle Morte's bloodline, after Jean-Claude used it to "feed" through her. Although this power allows Anita to draw energy from lust, it also requires her to have intercourse multiple times per day, at least in its early days.
In Anita's absence, Damian, her vampire servant, has become a feral vampire.
Richard has attempted to substitute democracy for the strictly hierarchical nature of the local werewolf pack. Jacob, a new werewolf in town, seeks to take advantage of this chaos by planning to kill first Sylvie, then Richard. The eventual split would probably destroy the pack.
A new alpha wereleopard, Micah has arrived with his pard of wereleopards, and seeks to merge groups with Anita and become her Nimir-Raj and mate.
Micah and Anita have sex within hours of meeting each other because of the unexpected appearance of the ardeur
Anita becomes Lupa of the Thronnos Rokke Clan (again after initially being voted out by the machinations of Jacob), but also becomes its Bolverk.
Jason's hometown and family are revealed, and J. J. is introduced.
Marmee Noire rolls Anita for two days, causing her to have sex with two weretigers: Crispin, a 21-year-old white tiger who becomes her tiger to call, and Alex Pinn, son of the queen from the red-tiger-clan.
Jason becomes Anita's wolf to call.
Anita gains the ability to feed on anger, and first uses it on Richard.
Richard is released from the anger he inherited from Anita, but inherits his own version of the Ardeur instead.
There is a notable inconsistency in the time reference between Obsidian Butterfly and The Harlequin. When referencing time novel-to-novel, it's just seven months between the events of the two novels. But in The Harlequin, the events of Obsidian Butterfly are stated to be a year and a half earlier.
Time references novel-to-novel showing only a seven month difference:
Narcissus in Chains takes place within a month of Obsidian Butterfly, as stated in Narcissus in Chains chapter 10: "You almost died in New Mexico less than a month ago."
Cerulean Sins takes place a few months after Narcissus in Chains, as stated in Cerulean Sins chapter 11: "I'd done my best to forget what happened when Belle Morte caused the ardeur to rise months ago. Thanks to her, I’d participated in the closest thing I hoped to ever get to an orgy." Narcissus in Chains takes place in June, and Cerulean Sins takes place in September, so the events of these novels are three months apart. Obsidian Butterfly happened four months prior.
Incubus Dreams is just a month after Cerulean Sins. In Cerulean Sins, Tammy is three months pregnant, and Incubus Dreams opens with her being four months pregnant. Cerulean Sins takes place in September, and Incubus Dreams takes place in October, so the events of these novels are one month apart. Obsidian Butterfly happened five months prior.
Micah takes place the following month. Tammy is five months pregnant, and it's November. Obsidian Butterfly happened six months prior.
Danse Macabre also takes place in November, referencing several recent sexual encounters in Incubus Dreams that might attribute to Anita's possible pregnancy. Obsidian Butterfly happened six months prior.
The Harlequin takes place in December, and references several events in Danse Macabre as being one month before. The Harlequin, chapter 10: "I had a serious pregnancy scare last month." Obsidian Butterfly happened seven months prior.
By these references, it's just seven months between Obsidian Butterfly and The Harlequin.
But then Obsidian Butterfly is stated to be 1.5 years earlier:
Micah, chapter 02: "You worked a serial killer case in New Mexico about two years ago."
The Harlequin, chapter 10: "Oh, so not two years since I saw him (Peter) but more like a year and a half."
Although the time between The Harlequin and Obsidian Butterfly is notably inconsistent, the time between The Harlequin and Narcissus in Chains, which takes place the month after Obsidian Butterfly, is more accurately represented in The Harlequin. Nathaniel and Anita both say it's been seven months since the events of Narcissus in Chains (June) when the they and Micah started living together, although it's been closer to six months.
This inconsistency with Obsidian Butterfly taking place much earlier in the timeline is brought up again in Affliction. The events of Narcissus in Chains (when Nathaniel, Micah, and Anita started living together) are referred to as happening three years earlier, while the events of Obsidian Butterfly (regarding Van Cleef and his men) are referred to happening four years earlier, although the events should have been only a month apart and should have both happened about three and a half years earlier.
Anita's age becomes inconsistent after the first ten novels.
The first ten novels are consistent regarding Anita's age, and her aging corresponds with the passage of time. In the first four novels, which take place between July and December, Anita is stated to be 24 years old. In the tenth novel Narcissus in Chains, which takes place two years later in June, Anita is stated to be 26 years old, which is consistent. This places her birthday prior to June, which is confirmed in Narcissus in Chains when she states that she had "turned twenty-six early in the year."
In Incubus Dreams, which takes place in October four months after Narcissus in Chains and two years after the start of the series, Anita indicates that she's about 27 years old. In Danse Macabre, which takes place a month later in November, she is stated to be 27. But based on her stated age in the first four novels, she should be 26 during this time. Additionally, in Narcissus in Chains, Anita states that she had "turned twenty-six early in the year," placing her birthday for the year before June; so she could not have aged up from 26 to 27 between Narcissus in Chains (June) and Incubus Dreams (October) or Danse Macabre (November), since she'd already had her birthday that year.
In Hit List, which takes place less than two years after Danse Macabre, Anita is stated to be 30 years old. But even if she were 27 in Danse Macabre, she wouldn't be older than 29 at this time. Based on her age in the first ten novels, she should be 28 at this time.
In Kiss the Dead, which takes place in the year following Hit List, Anita is stated to still be 30 years old. Based on her age in the first ten novels, she shouldn't be older than 29 at this time; she should probably be 28 based on her birthday being "early in the year" as stated in Narcissus in Chains. In Affliction, which takes place five or more months later, Anita is stated to be 30 years old, but based on her age in the first ten novels, she should be 29.
Anita is stated to be 30 years old in four novels: Hit List, which takes place in August; Kiss the Dead, which takes place the following year in May; Affliction, which takes place at least five months after Kiss the Dead, so October or later; and Jason, which takes place within a few months of Affliction. This is more than a year of her being 30 years old, so even if Anita is 30 (and not 28) in Hit List, she should have aged up by one of the later novels. This is possibly an attempt to correct some of the previous inconsistencies with her age, since it brings her age closer to what it should be.
In Dead Ice, there is a discrepancy with Anita's age; in two chapters, she is stated to be 30 years old, and in four chapters, she is stated to be 31 years old. Based on her age in the first ten novels, she should be 30.
In Serpentine, Anita says that she's "over thirty." Based on her age in the first ten novels, she should be 30.
In Sucker Punch, Anita says twice that she's thirty two. This doesn't really fit with Marshal Newman having been a marshal for barely two years (since shortly before Hit List) or Affliction having occurred last year, but would fit if Dead Ice had been last year and the chapters where Anita is said to be 31 happened to be correct. The book doesn't mention anything concrete about seasons, but the focus on how dark it is at night could indicate that the events occur during a fall. That would fit better with the Affliction than Dead Ice version.
In Rafael, Anita says that both she and Micah are over thirty.
In Circus of the Damned Anita was eight when her mother died, and her dad and Judith married when Anita was ten.The Killing Dance again mentions the marriage was two years after Anita's mother died., as does Obsidian Butterfly In Blood Noir Anita claims Grandmother Blake took care of her for two years, until her dad met Judith, which would mean they got married pretty fast after meeting. However, in Flirt Anita claims she was only raised by Grandmother Blake for about a year. It seems likely that this is meant to correct Blood Noir's claim in order to give Anita's dad and Judith a bit longer courting period. Fast marriages do happen, but it's not an unreasonable idea that a widow and a widower who both have a pre-teen daughter of their own might take things a bit more slowly.
There is some inconsistency on when Addison v. Clark happened, in either year -2 or -3. This inconsistency begins in Burnt Offerings.
Guilty Pleasures, Bloody Bones, and The Killing Dance place the court case in year -2.Burnt Offerings and Cerulean Sins place the court case in year -3. Notably, Guilty Pleasures and Burnt Offerings both take place in July, one year apart; in Guilty Pleasures, Anita claims the court case happened two years prior, while in Burnt Offerings, she claims the court case happened four years prior.
In Dead Ice, Anita claims to have been in her senior year in college at the time of Addison v. Clark, and she graduated at about age 21. Anita is 24 in Guilty Pleasures (July year 0), and her birthday is stated to be "early in the year" in Narcissus in Chains. If Anita graduated in May as Larry does, then she graduated in year -3 at the age of 21. Her senior year in college would be from year -4 to -3, indicating that Addison v. Clark took place in year -3.
↑This happens sometime after Saint Patrick's Day, as in Bloody Bones Anita says she's been working with R.P.I.T. for almost three years, and a few weeks before The First Death.
↑Guilty Pleasures, chapter 17: "Animators Inc. had new offices. We'd been here only three months." Guilty Pleasures takes place in July, so the move is in April.
↑Guilty Pleasures, chapter 34: "It seemed to glow in the hot July sunshine."
↑Guilty Pleasures, chapter 35: "I had decided to sweat in the July heat so I could carry arsenal."
↑The Laughing Corpse, chapter 01: "The house gleamed in the hot August sunshine."
↑Circus of the Damned, chapter 02: "It was October and the grass was still green."
↑The Lunatic Cafe, chapter 01: "December was our slowest season for raising Zombies."
↑The Lunatic Cafe, chapter 02: "It was a short but lonely walk on a December night."
↑Bloody Bones, chapter 01: "It was St. Patrick's day..." St. Patrick's day is March 17th.
↑Blue Moon, chapter 05: "In March, vampire executioners had been officially licensed."
↑The Killing Dance, chapter 10: "It was May in St. Louis."
↑Burnt Offerings, chapter 30: "The July sun beat down my back through the black coat."
↑Blue Moon, chapter 01: "It was August, and the second full moon was only five days away."
↑ 22.022.1Obsidian Butterfly, chapter 01: "It was May, but it felt like April."
↑Narcissus in Chains, chapter 01: "June had come in like its usual hot, sweaty self..."
↑Cerulean Sins, chapter 01: "It was early September, a busy time of year for raising the dead."
↑Incubus Dreams, chapter 01: "It was an October wedding." Note that although the wedding is Halloween-themed, it does not take place on October 31st, but is earlier in the month.
↑Incubus Dreams, chapter 71: "It was mild for October, and lycanthropes tend to run warm."
↑Micah, chapter 09: "I shivered, but it wasn't from the early November cold."
↑Danse Macabre, chapter 1: "It was the middle of November."
↑The Harlequin, chapter 41: "It was December, but it wasn't that kind of cold."
↑Blood Noir, chapter 01: "The color not of spring, but of summer skies, before the heat has gotten too hot, but you know it's not May anymore." Not May but early summer, so June is most likely.
↑Skin Trade, chapter 04: "Two months ago, some very bad men had captured the both of us." Those events are from Blood Noir, which is estimated to be set in June, placing Skin Trade in August.
↑Hit List takes place in August and is a month after the events of Bullet, placing the events of Bullet in July.
↑Hit List, chapter 01: "It was fifty freaking degrees here. Whoever heard of fifty being the regular temperature in August?"
↑Hit List, chapter 03, regarding Anita killing Haven in Bullet: "It's only been a month since you had to make the hardest kill of your life, Anita."
↑Kiss the Dead, chapter 15: "I took a deep breath of the fresh late-spring air, and let it out slow." It's late spring, and spring ends in June, but it isn't June yet, per chapter 46: "I've lived with Nathaniel for three years, four in June."
↑Dead Ice, chapter 61: "Crime-fighting was hard to schedule, but I didn't mind as I drove home from the airport in the soft spring dark, or was that early-summer dark? May was one of those months that could be either in St. Louis, late-summer cool or almost midsummer hot."
↑Wounded: "He'd already started tanning again from running outside, even though it was only May."
↑Crimson Death, chapter 38: "It felt like autumn although I knew it was still July here, just like home." and "I'd have liked to ask someone if it was always like this in July..."
↑Serpentine, chapter 11, it's been a "few months" since Crimson Death.
↑Sucker Punch, chapter 21, Affliction was last year.
↑ 42.042.1A temporary short story, may not be considered official canon.
↑The Harlequin, chapter 05: Nathaniel on his relationship with Anita: "Honestly, I didn’t think we’d still be together this long. Seven months is the longest relationship I’ve ever had." Seven months since the events of Narcissus in Chains (June), although it's actually about six months.
↑The Harlequin, chapter 41: "Micah’s been living with me for seven months." Seven months since the events of Narcissus in Chains, although it's actually about six months.
↑ 47.047.147.2Guilty Pleasures, chapter 16: "She's worried that I will be an old maid at the ripe age of twenty-four."
↑ 48.048.1The Laughing Corpse, chapter 09: "It offended some deep part of Rosita that I was twenty-four and had no prospects of marriage."
↑ 49.049.1Circus of the Damned, chapter 33: "How old are you?" ... "Twenty-four."
↑ 50.050.1The Lunatic Cafe, chapter 03: "I was twenty-four years old and the pain of that first loss was still raw."
↑ 51.051.151.251.3Narcissus in Chains, chapter 01: "I'd turned twenty-six early in the year, and, frankly, at the rate I was going, I probably wouldn't have to worry about hitting thirty."
↑ 52.052.1Incubus Dreams, chapter 01: "I've only got three years to go until the big 3-0; so far panic has not set in."
↑ 57.057.1Jason: "I was only five or six years older than he was -- depending on the time of year, our birthdays seemed to make us gain or lose a year on each other. At twenty-five and thirty it wasn't a big age difference; at nineteen and twenty-five it had seemed like more."
I blinked at him. "I'm older than she is. I wouldn't have called that."
"Me either," Kaitlin said. "I thought you were my age."
"How old are you?"
"I smiled and shook my head. "I've got you by seven years."
↑Sucker Punch, chapter 31: "You've been doing this barely two years."
↑Hit List, chapter 08: The bad news was that the powers that be gave Karlton's vacated warrant to another new marshal who had about as much experience. Ironically, his last name was even Newman.
↑Sucker Punch, chapter 21: Last year I’d raised a zombie army to combat one raised by an ancient evil vampire.
↑ 66.066.1Rafael: Micah on the other hand still treaded that androgynous line, and he sort of hated it. We were both over thirty, so there wasn’t going to be a growth spurt for him or me.
↑Blood Noir, chapter 24: "Yeah, but Grandma Blake, who raised me for the two years before my father found Judith, well, that's a different problem."
↑Serpentine,chapter 28: She (Donna) was the only person I knew who kept a picture of her first husband when she was with someone else, but maybe that was because she'd been widowed. No, that couldn't be it, because my father didn't keep any pictures of my mother out, and my stepmother, Judith, didn't keep any of her first husband out either, and they were a widow and a widower.
↑ 69.069.1Guilty Pleasures (July year 0), chapter 01: "It had only been two years since Addison v. Clark." Places the court case in year -2.
↑Bloody Bones (March year 1), chapter 08: "It had only been three years since Addison v. Clark made vampires legally alive." Places the court case in year -2.
↑The Killing Dance (May year 1), chapter 02: "Three years of legalized vampirism and Vlad syndrome was the highest rising birth defect in the country." Places the court case in year -2.
↑ 72.072.1Burnt Offerings (July year 1), chapter 42: "But that (before Addison v. Clark) was four years ago, and the world had changed." Places the court case in year -3.
↑Cerulean Sins (September year 2), chapter 04: "It had only been five years since Addison V. Clark had made vamps “alive” again, at least to the law." Places the court case in year -3.
↑Dead Ice, chapter 04: "It was my senior year of college when it (the law) changed. I guess I hadn’t thought what I’d missed."
↑Circus of the Damned, chapter 32. Anita started working for Bert at 21 when she had "just graduated college."