Tad Williams’ new novel is the longest epic fantasy book of all time … before edition


Epic fantasy books have a reputation for being very long, and the latest entry in Tad Williams’ Last King of Osten Ard trilogy could surpass them all.

Epic fantasy books tend to be long. I don’t need to tell anyone who’s already fallen for George RR Martin A song of ice and fire, or that of Robert Jordan The wheel of time, or even that of JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, which has a fairly modest word count in comparison. The whole point of epic fantasy is to be… well, epic, which translates into many sets of books that also serve as bumper collections.

As you can see from the graph above, The wheel of time and Raymond E. Feist The Rift War Cycle take the top honors when it comes to the longest series, but what about the longest individual epic fantasy delivered?

According to Deborah Beale, wife of fantasy author Tad Williams, this could be Williams’ last book The children of the browser, the third book of his Last king of Osten Ard trilogy. Williams has just completed a draft of The children of the browser, and it’s apparently even longer than his 1993 novel Towards the tower of the green angel, which was a staggering 520,000 words, 60,000 words longer than the entire The Lord of the Rings, according to The Wertzone.

Granted, the new book will be “stupendously cut,” so the word count may drop below its current amount of binder breakage, but we’ll still raise a drink while we can.

The Last king of Osten Ard The trilogy follows that of Williams Memory, grief and thorn trilogy, which ran from 1988 to 1993. The first two books, The witch’s wooden crown and Grass empire, deal with the stirring Norn elves to reclaim their ancestral lands, which are now ruled by mortals.

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