Epic Fantasy by the Numbers

If you've been reading The Wheel of Time from its inception, then you've been following the same characters for twenty six years. That's longer than all but the most ancient television shows, and a couple years more than my entire life. Epic Fantasy is either a serious commitment or a gateway drug. Here's what your getting into when you pick up the first book in a series:

The Original: JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
  • Number of Books: 4 (sort of)
  • Total Number of Pages: 1,856
  • Average Pages per Volume: 464
  • Years in the making: 18

Robert Jordan's The Wheel of time
  • Number of Books: 13 (so far)
  • Total Number of Pages: 10,508
  • Average Pages per Volume: 808
  • Years in the making: 26

Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn
  • Number of Books: 3
  • Total Number of Pages: 2,480
  • Average Pages per Volume: 827
  • Years in the making: 5

George RR Martin's Song of Ice and Fire
  • Number of Books: 4 (so far)
  • Total Number of Pages: 3,188
  • Average Pages per Volume: 797
  • Years in the making: 9

Terry Brooks Shannara Series
  • Number of Books: 14
  • Total Number of Pages: 6,486
  • Average Pages per Volume: 463
  • Years in the making: 28

Tad Williams' Otherland
  • Number of Books: 4
  • Total Number of Pages: 3,352
  • Average Pages per Volume: 838
  • Years in the making: 5

Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth
  • Number of Books: 11
  • Total Number of Pages: 6,290
  • Average Pages per Volume: 572
  • Years in the making: 13

Stephen Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Nonbeliever
  • Number of Books: 8 (so far)
  • Total Number of Pages: 4,460
  • Average Pages per Volume: 558
  • Years in the making: 23

No one beats Robert Jordan in pure text volume, or even comes close, although Tad Williams and George RR Martin are both writing some hefty volumes. If you're not into the long haul, look to Williams, who had two series complete in just ten years of work.


Anonymous said...

wheel of time would be a much better series if RJ hadn't found out around the 6th book that he was being paid per word...

i swear, if one more shawl gets tugged im going to cut a bitch!

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