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

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

Epic fantasy books tend to be long. I don’t have to tell anyone who’s ever cracked George RR Martin A song of ice and fireor that of Robert Jordan The wheel of timeor even JRR Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, which has a fairly modest word count by comparison. The point of epic fantasy is to be…well, epic, which translates to many book series that double as doorstop collections.

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

According to Deborah Beale, wife of fantasy author Tad Williams, this could be Williams’ last book Navigator’s Childrenthe third book of his Last king of Osten Ard trilogy. Williams has just completed a draft of Navigator’s Childrenand it’s apparently even longer than his 1993 novel Towards the tower of the green angelwhich contained a staggering 520,000 words in length, 60,000 words more than the entire The Lord of the Ringsaccording The wetland.

Granted, the new book will be “wonderfully trimmed,” so the word count may fall below its current binding breakage amount, but we’ll still raise a glass while we can.

The Last king of Osten Ard the trilogy follows that of Williams Memory, sorrow and thorn trilogy, which ran from 1988 to 1993. The first two books, The Witch Crown and grass empireface the norn elves who are agitating to reclaim their ancestral lands, which are now ruled by mortals.

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