Ever wondered which are the longest fantasy series of all time? Fantasy books are usually longer than in other genres. While the standard word count for a novel is 80.000 this is not so if we are speaking of science and fantasy fiction. Here, the word count increases significantly falling within 90.000-120.000 words per novel. Yes, fantasy and sci-fi novels are considered the longest ones (along with historical fiction).
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Longer does not mean better. But at least we can say, that their movie adaptations may gross more, just check The highest grossing fantasy movies of all time. This, of course, if the movie adaptation goes well, just check what happened with Percy Jackson movies instead…
Why are the longest books usually Fantasy and Science fiction series?
Mostly, because Fantasy and sci-fi books stories are usually set in fictional worlds. While in a novel taking place in our world (low fantasy for example) we know the locations, we know the rules and how our world is governed. After all, we live on this planet, so the basic rules are already set. Meanwhile, in a fictional world all of this remains unknown, and therefore requires further explanation and depiction. In conclusion, Fantasy and sci-fi novels are longer because of all the worldbuilding, we have to explain the world we made up to the reader so he can be fully immersed in it.
Of course, in Fantasy, there are long novels, but there are also really long book series. Which are the longest fantasy book series by word count ever? Let’s take a look.
Words vs pages: longest fantasy book series
Quick clarification here, when we compare book lengths, it must be done using word count. The number of pages can be misleading. This is because in some cases, mostly because of dialogues, some text might occupy more space but that doesn’t mean it will take more time to read. Just see for yourself:
See? Bet The Hobbit excerpt was longer to read.
These are the longest fantasy series:
Here you have some of the longest fantasy series in history. If you want to start reading any of this series, you can purchase the first book in the series by clicking on each the covers shown (the link will take you to Amazon):
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia
- Wordcount: 345.535
- Books: 7
Speaking of The Chronicles of Narnia:
→If you like books for kids take a look: Book suggestions for kids.
→ Want to start reading this series? check The Chronicles of Narnia reading order.
The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings
- Wordcount: 481.103
- Books: 1 (but published in 3 different volumes)
Speaking of Lotr:
→ Do you like quizzes? Discover which race would you be in the Lotr universe.
→ The new upcoming Amazon LOTR tv series is being produced: see here.
→ Did you know J.R.R Tolkien is the reason the fantasy genre is how it is now? This is how Tolkien influenced Fantasy.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians
- Wordcount: 432.494
- Books: 5
Speaking of Percy Jackson:
→ If you are wondering why its adaptation flopped, check what happened to the Percy Jackson movies.
→ Want to start reading this series? check Percy Jackson reading order.
The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of The wind
- Wordcount: 650.000
- Books: 2
Speaking of The Kingkiller Chronicle:
→ If you are wondering when the third volume of this series going to be published, check The Doors of Stone.
Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
- Wordcount: 1.084.170
- Books: 7
Speaking of Harry Potter:
→ Do you miss magic? here you have some books like Harry Potter.
→ Quiz: Discover which animal is your Patronus.
→ The leaked Harry Potter rpg.
The Black Company by Glen Cook
The Black Company
- Wordcount: 1.087.747,00
- Books: 9
Speaking of The Black Company:
→ Check the Black Company reading order.
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
The Dark Tower
- Wordcount: 1.670.000
- Books: 7
Speaking of Stephen King:
→ Did you know about Laurie, a download free short story written by the author?
→ Pet Sematary, a new movie adaptation of one of King’s most notorious works, was recently released.
→ Stephen King was influenced by H.P Lovecraft: The influence of H.P Lovecraft.
The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson
The Stormlight Archive
- Wordcount: 1.269.212
- Published books: 3
Speaking of Brandon Sanderson:
→ Discover more about one of his most famous series: Mistborn.
→ Brandon Sanderson recently published Skyward.
Crown of Stars by Kate Elliot
Crown of Stars
- Wordcount: 1.924.112
- Published books: 7
A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin
Game of Thrones
- Wordcount: 1.749.211
- Published books: 5
Speaking of ASOIAF, Game of Thrones:
→A weird progression in the latest published works by the author might tell us when Winds of Winter will be published: This is why you shouldn’t read GOT.
→ Will George R.R Martin finish Game of Thrones? Discover what would happen if he didn’t finish his series.
→ Are you a GOT fan? these are the best presents for GOT fans!
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Dresden Files
- Wordcount: 2.251.400
- Published books: 15
Speaking of The Dresden files.
→ Check The Dresden files reading order.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
- Wordcount: 3.227.831
- Published books: 8
Speaking of Outlander:
→ Check Outlander reading order.
Saga of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Saga of Recluce
- Wordcount: 3.899.213
- Published books: 21
Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb
Realm of the Elderlings
- Wordcount: 4.061.121
- Published books: 16
The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind
Sword of Truth
- Wordcount: 4.138.677
- Published books: 21
Speaking of The Sword of Truth:
→ Want to start reading this series? here you have the The Sword of Truth all you need to know
→ If are you a fan of quizzes: how much you know about swords challenge.
Valdemar Universe by Mercedes Lackey
- Wordcount: 5.082.433
- Published books: 22
Xanth by Piers Anthony
- Wordcount: 4.719.200
- Published books: 40
Discworld by Terry Pratchett
- Wordcount: 5.625.321
- Published books: 41
Speaking of Discworld:
→ Want to start reading Discworld? here is Discworld reading order.
→ Which items are a must have for every Fantasy fan? here you have 9 must have items.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (finished by Brandon Sanderson)
The Wheel of Time
- Wordcount: 4.082.665
- Published books: 15
Speaking of The Wheel of Time:
→ Discover everything about the upcoming The Wheel of Time tv series.
→ Check The Wheel of Time reading order.
The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist
The Riftwar Cycle
- Wordcount: 4.755.902
- Published books: 30
Which is the longest fantasy book series ever written?
Drums, if you please:
Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Malazan Book of the Fallen
- Wordcount: 5.630.199
- Published books: 13
Speaking of Malazan:
→ Want to start reading Malazan? Here’s an all you need to know guide about Malazan Book of the Fallen.
There you go. The longest fantasy book series right now is no other than Malazan Book of The Fallen.
What’s the longest book title ever?
The longest book title ever has 11.284 characters, it was achieved by Srijan Timilsina (Nepal) in Lalitpure, Nepal, on 19 February 2014. It is a Guinness world record, therefore you can see the original title (sorry for not including it here, but come on 11k characters!) on Guinness official site: see here. So here you have the longest b
What is the longest book in the world?
Right now, The longest book in the world is The Blah Story by Nigel Tomm, which has more than 3 million words. It is followed by Marienbad My Love by Mark Leach with 2.5 million words. Too long?
Discover more on Wottaread.
6 Comments on "Longest fantasy series by word count"
I feel like the Warriors series by Erin Hunter should be mentioned. The series includes over 70 books and is at least over 2.000.000 words long.
Plus, the series is still going on.
Kim: this is by multiple authors, so i’m not sure if this should count.
Russian author Yuri Nikitin with pseudonym Gaius Julius Orlovsky have written 56 book fantasy series Richard Long Arms. Word count in every book is ~100000. Maybe there will be more books.
Hi, I’ve wondered why Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern aren’t included, is it too sci-fy-y for the list? I’ve personally always felt it was a sci-fi series masquerading as fantasy novels 🙂 Thanks
Didn’t see terry brooks shannara books.
Another honorable mention would Norman’s 36 book series about Gor, the counter earth. 4,000,000+ words