Great Epic Fantasy at less than 100k words (per novel)

As you no doubt know, the group has been worrying about breaking into the publishing industry when the bar for new authors in the epic fantasy is 100k words (max).  Epic Fantasy lately seems to be incredibly bloated with some books coming in at an average of around 360k.

It actually took me a visit to my own bookshelf to find a couple of great novels whose novels no doubt come in under 100k. These were novels which shaped my formative high school years and I could barely wait to get home to read these novels.  It’s actually pretty hard to think that these novels are between twenty to thirty years old.

Some of the novels which I’m talking about are:

  1. The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  2. The Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  3. The Drizzt Du’Uurden saga by R.A. Salvatore

I know I probably misspelt Drizzt’s surname but you know who I’m talking about.

These novels had me rushing home after school so I could carry on with the adventures in Krynn, Arianus, Abarrach and Faerun.  I wanted to explore the worlds with Haplo, searching for the “evil” Sartan and then making a stand against his former Lord, Xar.  I wanted to stand alongside Sturm as he faced Kitiara and her Dragonlord armies.  They made me believe in magic.

Nowadays, we have bloated series’ like The Wheel of Time which is now thirteen novels in and only one away from apparently coming to an end in book number fourteen.  If each of them were at an average 300k each, it means the series comes in at 4,2m words.  I have to admit that the first half a dozen books were good but the latter books seem to be over-inflated and the story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

I’d rather have a shorter novel where something actually happens.

Please feel free to add the names of any other great works of Fantasy which clocks in at less than 100k.


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