Vengeful Binge

Rhythm of War & Other Best Fantasy Doorstoppers – Den of Geek

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The Inda series by Sherwood Smith, which begins with a novel of the same name, launches readers into the deeply developed world of Sartorias-deles, in a nation where training for war is a way of life. Even as a child, Inda is a master strategist, but when he is forced to flee his home country and live in exile, he becomes a leader of marine mercenaries—and one day plans to make it home to his family. The books range from 580 to 780 pages each.

Like Jemisin’s, two of L. Penelope’s Earthsinger Chronicles novels clock in at just under 500 pages, but they’re so close (and so worth reading) that it’s worth letting those few pages slide. (The series also includes three novellas between volumes, giving readers who love doorstoppers and shorter fantasy the best of both worlds.) Set in a world with more advanced technology (telephones and early automobiles) than most of this list, the series centers on Jasminda, an Earthsinger whose Elsiran mother was disowned by her wealthy family for marrying a former prisoner of war from Lagrimar, an enemy nation. Scorned by the people of her hometown for both the color of her skin and her magic, Jasminda may be the only hope to prevent war from breaking out between the two nations once again—a war that would leave Elsira destroyed. Including the novellas, the entire series hits almost 2500 pages of captivating worldbuilding and magic.

R. F. Kuang’s The Poppy War launches an epic military fantasy trilogy inspired by Chinese history. Rin is a dark-skinned peasant girl whose formidable smarts get her into the most elite military academy in the Nikara Empire. But Nikara is on the edge of war as foreign interests threaten to invade—and as Rin develops shamanic powers that link her to the vengeful god, the Phoenix, she has to fight not only for the best interests of her people, but to keep her god from burning it all down. With the second volume hitting almost 700 pages, this series runs about 1800 pages across three novels—with a free download featuring scenes from the first two novels in a different POV adding to the page count.

Unlike the other titles on this list Fonda Lee’s Green Bone Saga is set in a more modern world, where submachine guns and magic are equally dangerous. Kekonese jade allows those who wear it to unlock amazing enhanced abilities—but without training, a jade addict quickly burns out. The Kekonese who wear Jade are divided into clans, which operate like organized crime families, giving the series a mixed fantasy, crime, and noir feel that stretches across over 1800 pages and three novels, the final of which, Jade Legacy, hits bookshelves on November 30, 2021.

The dragons of the Inheritance Cycle

The Younger Crowd

Tales of a certain boy wizard have paved the way for longer middle grade novels, many of which can be enjoyed by both younger readers and adults. Fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians middle grade novels by Rick Riordan, in which a group of Greek demigods save the world from a mad Titan, are sure to have already noticed that the second series set in that world, the Heroes of Olympus quintet features all novels over the 500 page mark. The series, which straddles the middle grade/YA line, jumped from first person narration with a young narrator to third person, multiple perspectives and slightly older characters—all of whom are still involved with saving the world on a deadline. 

Riordan’s truly excellent “Rick Riordan Presents” middle grade imprint has also introduced some lengthy, though not quite doorstopper, series that feature young demigods and heroes in different world mythologies; of these, J. C. Cervantes’s Stormrunner and sequels are the longest in the high 400 pages per book, and Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky hits a solid 499 pages, followed by shorter sequels.

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