June 2024 – more Tchaikovsky
May 2024 – Janny Wurts finale, Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (added the two smaller books)
Feb 2024 – Modesitt – all of Recluce // Abercrombie Age of Madness
Nov 2023 – Hamilton more precise counts Reality Dysfunction 385k > 372k, Neutronium Alchemist 393k > 378k, Naked God 452k > same
Oct 2023 – Michelle West
Jun 2023 – Esslemont, Forge of the High Mage
Sep 2022 – Solzhenitsyn, not fantasy but epic in all the wrong ways
July 2022 – Into the Narrowdark, Tad Williams
May 2022 – Jenn Lyons, complete
Jan 2022 – Jenn Lyons, A Chorus of Dragons
Dec 2021 – The Expanse, complete
Nov 2021 – Diana Gabaldon – Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone
July 2021 – Added Instrumentalities series by Glen Cook (sadly suspended after book 4) + David Hair Sunsurge Quartet complete
May 2021 – Erikson’s latest (is quite “short”)
December 2020 – Recalculated Hamilton’s The Naked God, since it didn’t seem likely after looking again at the physical book in my hands. Updated from the previous 469k down to the corrected 452k. Not a big change actually.
November 2020 – Rhythm of War, Sanderson
August 2020 – Gap Cycle, Donaldson
July 2020 – Upcoming Sanderson
12 January 2020 – 8th Expanse
Jun 2019 – Tad Williams & latest Esslemont
11 December 2018 – Anniversaries – Uwe Johnson
27 November 2018 – Martin’s Fire and Blood
05 February 2018 – Tchaikovsky + Peake + Expanse 7
29 November 2017 – Deadhouse Landing (definitive)
16 November 2017 – Oathbringer
29 October 2017 – Deadhouse Landing, Esslemont (approx)
21 October 2017 – The Expanse 6th
14 October 2017 – Janny Wurts Destiny’s Conflict & Sanderson

When this post was originally written I used it just to track an handful of authors, then I kept adding stuff along the years. There’s no real order to this list, it simply grew in a haphazard way. The selection of authors also simply follows my curiosity and nothing else. The numbers are approximate and should omit indexes, appendices and stuff not directly belonging to the text itself.

To have an idea of a standard pagecount you can use this model:
100k = 250 pages
200k = 500 pages
400k = 1000 pages
(it’s 400 words on a single page, on average. Which is both a good overall average of a default layout being generally used and an easy calculation too)

Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring: 186k
The Two Towers: 154k
The Return of the King: 130k

Total: 470k

Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World: 301k
The Great Hunt: 261k
The Dragon Reborn: 244k
The Shadow Rising: 386k
The Fires of Heaven: 346k
Lord of Chaos: 395k
A Crown of Swords: 289k
The Path of Daggers: 223k
Winter’s Heart: 239k
Crossroads of Twilight: 265k
Knife of Dreams: 314k

Total: 3M 263k

New Spring: 121k

Brandon Sanderson takeover

The Gathering Storm: 296k
Towers of Midnight: 325k
A Memory of Light: 355k

Total global: 4M 360k

Stormlight Archives – Brandon Sanderson

The Way of Kings: 380k
Words of Radiance: 400k
(Edgedancer): 39k (bridging novella)
Oathbringer: 450k (Nov 2017)
Rhythm of War: 453k (Nov 2020)
Book 5: (fall 2024)

A Song of Ice And Fire – George R. R. Martin

Fire and Blood: 250k (not counted in total)

A Game of Thrones: 295k
A Clash of Kings: 322k
A Storm of Swords: 419k
A Feast for Crows: 298k
A Dance with Dragons: 415k

Total: 1M 749k

Malazan Cycle – Steven Erikson & Ian C. Esslemont

Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erikson

Gardens of the Moon: 204k
Deadhouse Gates: 267k
Memories of Ice: 355k
House of Chains: 302k
Midnight Tides: 267k
The Bonehunters: 358k
Reaper’s Gale: 382k
Toll the Hounds: 389k
Dust of Dreams: 370k
The Crippled God: 380k

Total: 3M 274k

Kharkanas Trilogy – Steven Erikson

Forge of Darkness: 293k
Fall of Light: 356k
A Walk in Shadow: ? (stalled & postponed)

Sequel Trilogy

The God is not Willing: 190k

Bauchelain & Korbal Broach novellas – Steven Erikson

Blood Follows: 21k
The Lees of Laughter’s End: 23k
The Healthy Dead: 23k

Crack’d Pot Trail: 50k
The Wurms of Blearmouth: 41k
The Fiends of Nightmaria: 26k (April 2016)

Total novellas: 184k

Total Erikson: 4M 297k

Ian C. Esslemont:

Night of Knives: 86k
Return of the Crimson Guard: 275k
Stonewielder: 234k
Orb Sceptre Throne: 218k
Blood and Bone: 227k
Assail: 207k

Sub-series total: 1M 247k

Prelude Trilogy

Dancer’s Lament: 145k (25 Feb 2016)
Deadhouse Landing: 130k (Nov 2017)
Kellanved’s Reach: 112k
Forge of the High Mage: 150k

Total Esslemont: 1M 784k

Total global: 6M 81k

The Second Apocalypse – R. Scott Bakker

Prince of Nothing Trilogy

The Darkness that Comes Before: 175k
The Warrior-Prophet: 205k
The Thousandfold Thought: 139k

Total: 519k

The Aspect-Emperor Trilogy(?)

The Judging Eye: 151k
The White-Luck Warrior: 202k
The Great Ordeal: 160k
The Unholy Consult: 150k (225k total, 5k summary, 12k short stories, 58k glossary)

Total: 663k

Total cycle: 1M 182k

Solar Cycle – Gene Wolfe

The Book of the New Sun

Shadow and Claw: 195k
Sword and Citadel: 195k

The Urth of the New Sun: 117k

Total: 507k

The Book of the Long Sun

Litany of the Long Sun: 203k
Epiphany of the Long Sun: 259k

Total: 462k

The Book of the Short Sun

On Blue’s Waters: 128k
In Green’s Jungles: 123k
Return to the Whorl: 148k

Total: 399k

Total cycle: 1M 368k

The Acts of Caine – Matthew Stover

Heroes Die: 209k
Blade of Tyshalle: 289k
Caine Black Knife: 128k
Caine’s Law: 142k

Total: 768k

The First Law – Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself: 191k
Before They Are Hanged: 196k
Last Argument of Kings: 231k

Total: 618k

Best Served Cold: 225k
The Heroes: 201k
Red Country: 172k (official)

A Little Hatred: 175k
The Trouble With Peace: 192k
The Wisdom of Crowds: 197k

Total: 564k

Total First Law: 1M 780k

Instrumentalities of the Night – Glen Cook

The Tyranny of the Night: 170k
Lord of the Silent Kingdom: 192k
Surrender to the Will of the Night: 189k
Working God’s Mischief: 159k

Total: 710k

A Land Fit for Heroes(?) – Richard Morgan

The Steel Remains: 141k
The Cold Commands: 165k
The Dark Defiles: 243k

Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne – Brian Staveley

The Emperor’s Blades: 179k
The Providence of Fire: 228k
The Last Mortal Bond: 290k (March 2016)

The Moontide – David Hair

Mage’s Blood: 233k
Scarlet Tides: 220k
Unholy War: 264k
Ascendant’s Rite: 270k

Total: 987k

Empress of the Fall: 227k
Prince of the Spear: 214k
Hearts of Ice: 211k
Mother of Demons: 216k

Total: 868k

Series total: 1M 855k

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever – Stephen R. Donaldson

The First Chronicles

Lord Foul’s Bane: 163k
The Illearth War: 177k
The Power That Preserves: 166k

Total: 506k

The Second Chronicles

The Wounded Land: 184k
The One Tree: 182k
White Gold Wielder: 182k

Total: 548k

The Last Chronicles

The Runes of the Earth: 231k
Fatal Revenant: 277k
Against All Things Ending: 263k
The Last Dark: 237k

Total: 1008k

Total Cycle: 2M 62k

The Gap Cycle – Stephen R. Donaldson

The Gap into Conflict: The Real Story: 44k
The Gap into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge: 139k
The Gap into Power: A Dark and Hungry God Arises: 164k
The Gap into Madness: Chaos and Order: 233k
The Gap into Ruin: This Day all Gods Die: 235k

Total Gap: 815k

The Wars of Light and Shadow – Janny Wurts

Curse of the Mistwraith: 226k

Ships of Merior: 200k
Warhost of Vastmark: 152k

Fugitive Prince: 214k (1997)
Grand Conspiracy: 228k
Peril’s Gate: 292k
Traitor’s Knot: 212k
Stormed Fortress: 239k (2007)

Initiate’s Trial: 243k
Destiny’s Conflict: 189k

Song of the Mysteries: 278k (May 2024)

Total: 2M 473k

Essalieyan universe? – Michelle West (by reading order)

The House War (part 1)

The Hidden City: 230k
City of Night: 178k
House Name: 246k

Total: 654k

The Sun Sword

The Broken Crown: 266k
The Uncrowned King: 252k
The Shining Court: 273k
Sea of Sorrows: 279k
The Riven Shield: 244k
The Sun Sword: 353k

Total: 1M 667k

The House War (part 2)

Skirmish: 224k
Battle: 268k
Oracle: 269k
Firstborn: 228k
War: 223k

Total: 1M 212k

The Burning Crown

Hunter’s Redoubt: 299k (October 2023)

Total Cycle: 3M 829k

The Saga of Recluce – L. E. Modesitt Jr.
(publishing order is not internal chronological order, but the intended reading order)

The Magic of Recluce: 159k (Jan 1, 1991)
The Towers of the Sunset: 148k
The Magic Engineer: 201k
The Order War: 182k
The Death of Chaos: 211k
Fall of Angels: 180k
The Chaos Balance: 182k
The White Order: 145k
Colors of Chaos: 248k
Magi’i of Cyador: 166k
Scion of Cyador: 209k
The Wellspring of Chaos: 136k
Ordermaster: 175k
Natural Ordermage: 178k
Mage-Guard of Hamor: 214k
Arms-Commander: 185k
Cyador’s Heirs: 189k
Heritage of Cyador: 188k
The Mongrel Mage: 211k
Outcasts of Order: 244k
The Mage-Fire War: 192k
Fairhaven Rising: 190k
From the Forest: 184k (Jan 23, 2024)
Overcaptain: (forthcoming Nov 12, 2024)
Sub-Majer’s Challenge: (forthcoming 2025)
Last of the First: (forthcoming 2025)

Total Recluce: 4M 317k

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn – Tad Williams

Brothers of the Wind (prequel): 103k (2021)

The Dragonborne Chair: 286k
Stone of Farewell: 264k
To Green Angel Tower: 522k

Total: 1M 72k

The Heart of What Was Lost (transition): 74k (2017)

The Last King of Osten Ard

The Witchwood Crown: 338k (2017)
Empire of Grass: 305k
Into the Narrowdark: 272k
The Navigator’s Children: (now late 2024)
The last two were meant as one volume, but the publisher decided to split it in two smaller books

Osten Ard Total: 2M 164k

Otherland – Tad Williams

City of Golden Shadow: 297k
River of Blue Fire: 258k
Mountain of Black Glass: 275k
Sea of Silver Light: 359k

Total: 1M 189k

Greater Foundation – Isaac Asimov

(ideal reading order, not chronological)

The Complete Robot: 191k

Caves of Steel: 70k
The Naked Sun: 67k
The Robots of Dawn: 140k
Robots and Empire: 139k

The Currents of Space: 69k
The Stars, Like Dust: 69k
Pebble in the Sky: 70k

Foundation: 66k
Foundation and Empire: 72k
Second Foundation: 70k

Foundation’s Edge: 134k
Foundation and Earth: 142k

Prelude to Foundation: 129k
Forward the Foundation: 120k

Total: 1M 548k

Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune: 188k
Dune Messiah: 60k
Children of Dune: 148k
God Emperor of Dune: 138k
Heretics of Dune: 164k
Chapterhouse Dune: 141k

Total: 839k

The Night’s Dawn Trilogy – Peter F. Hamilton

The Reality Dysfunction: 372k
The Neutronium Alchemist: 378k
The Naked God: 452k

Total: 1M 202k

The Expanse – James S. A. Corey

Leviathan Wakes: 166k
Caliban’s War: 171k
Abaddon’s Gate: 165k
Cibola Burn: 171k
Nemesis Games: 161k
Babylon’s Ashes: 167k
Persepolis Rising: 169k
Tiamat’s Wrath: 164k
Leviathan Falls: 159k

Total: 1M 493k

Baroque+Crypto – Neal Stephenson

Cryptonomicon: 415k

Quicksilver: 390k
The Confusion: 348k
The System of the World: 387k

Total: 1M 540k

The Dark Tower – Stephen King

The Gunslinger: 55k
The Drawing of the Three: 123k
The Waste Lands: 173k
Wizard and Glass: 256k
Wolves of the Calla: 241k
Song of Susannah: 129k
The Dark Tower: 279k

Total: 1M 256k

The Realm of the Elderlings – Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy

Assassin’s Apprentice: 157k
Royal Assassin: 260k
Assassin’s Quest: 339k
Total: 756k

Liveship Traders Trilogy

Ship of Magic: 310k
The Mad Ship: 310k
Ship of Destiny: 305k
Total: 925k

The Tawny Man Trilogy

Fool’s Errand: 239k
The Golden Fool: 255k
Fool’s Fate: 325k
Total: 819k

The Rain Wild Chronicles

Dragon Keeper: 179k
Dragon Haven: 180k
City of Dragons: 137k
Blood of Dragons: 169k
Total: 665k

The Fitz and the Fool Trilogy

Fool’s Assassin: 257k
Fool’s Quest: 292k
Assassin’s Fate: 357k
Total: 906k

Total cycle: 4M 61k

A Chorus of Dragons – Jenn Lyons

The Ruin of Kings: 208k
The Name of All Things: 208k
The Memory of Souls: 214k
The House of Always: 223k
The Discord of Gods: 201k

Total: 1M 54k

Shadows of the Apt – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Empire in Black and Gold: 190k (+30k short stories)
Dragonfly Falling: 209k
Blood of the Mantis: 132k
Salute the Dark: 140k
The Scarab Path: 218k
The Sea Watch: 215k
Heirs of the Blade: 200k
The Air War: 210k
War Master’s Gate: 214k (+18k short story)
Seal of the Worm: 196k

Total cycle: 1M 924k

More Tchaikovsky

Children of Time: 154k
Children of Ruin: 146k
Children of Memory: 120k

Shards of Earth: 139k
Eyes of the Void: 155k
Lords of Uncreation: 160k

City of Last Chances: 161k
House of Open Wounds: 185k
Days of Shattered Faith: (late 2024)

Lymond + Niccolò – Dorothy Dunnett

The Game of Kings: 205k
Queens’ Play: 195k
The Disorderly Knights: 230k
Pawn in Frankincense: 232k
The Ringed Castle: 235k
Checkmate: 273k

Total Lymond: 1M 370k

Niccolò Rising: 224k
Spring of the Ram: 220k
Race of Scorpions: 244k
Scales of Gold: 223k
The Unicorn Hunt: 269k
To Lie with Lions: 264k
Caprice and Rondo: 242k
Gemini: 307k

Total Niccolò: 1M 993k

Total Lymond + Niccolò: 3M 363k

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

Outlander: 305k
Dragonfly in Amber: 339k
Voyager: 382k
Drums of Autumn: 401k
The Fiery Cross: 502k
A Breath of Snow and Ashes: 501k
An Echo in the Bone: 402k
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood: 395k
Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone: 441k

Total: 3M 668k

Gormenghast Trilogy Mervyn Peake

– 466k (of which the last volume is 90k)

Ash: A Secret History – Mary Gentle

– 500k (of which 7k are notes)

Imajica – Clive Barker

– 354k

Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace

– 545k (484k without notes)

William Gaddis

– The Recognitions: 419k
– JR: 344k

Parallel Stories – Peter Nadas

– 550k

Against the Day – Thomas Pynchon

– 443k

Jerusalem – Alan Moore

– 615k

Anniversaries – Uwe Johnson

– 660k (recent unabridged English translation)

Bottom’s Dream – Arno Schmidt

– 1M 325k (source) (not sure how accurate)

Solzhenitsyn (all refers to published english wordcounts)

The Red Wheel (wrote 4 volumes… of a planned 20)

First Node – August 1914: 410k
Second Node – (October) November 1916: 480k
Third Node – March 1917: (split in 4 volumes, only first 3 out) roughly 200-250k each?
Fourth Node – No english version

The Gulag Archipelago

Volume 1: 226k
Volume 2: 243k
Volume 3: 202k

In the First Circle: 297k

Italian Epic

OGA MAGOGA, cunto di Rizieri, di Orì e del Minatòtaro – Giuseppe Occhiato: 600k~

Chinese Classics

Dream of the Red Chamber/The Story of the Stone: 850k~ (rather inaccurate)
Romance of the Three Kingdoms: 700k~ (rather inaccurate)

Indian Epic

The Mahabharata: 2M 539k (free english version)


  1. Yo. You don’t say how you came about these word counts – could you explain where they came from?

    I’m interested because I’m trying to quantify the lengths of books I’m reading and I’ve been using page count but wanted to improve on it. At first I thought I’d just use word count but, apart from the difficulty in finding them, it seems they’re highly variable anyway, depending greatly various choices made in order to make them.

    Personally I’ve basically been counting the words manually on one page and then multiplying by the page count (I’m a bit more anal than that – I flick through and count the blank pages too – but you get the idea). But then of course I have assumed the whole book is as dense as whatever page I choose to use, and pages vary a lot in word-density…

    Anyway, finding posts like this – with a list of word counts – is easy but you rarely get told what you really need to know: where they come from.

  2. Easy – just use an ebook and some program for counting words, such as UNIX command ‘wc’. You convert the ebook to plain text and then just run “wc -w ebook.txt” and it produces a number of words in that book. For example, I have War and Peace here from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2600 and that comes out to 565450 words.

    • Abalieno
    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 3:39 am
    • Permalink

    Comments temporarily disabled on this post only because of spam.

13 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] But what’s that figure like for one user? I made you this graph, using figures from this website: […]

  2. […] The longest so far is "The Shadow Rising" (394,000). In fact if you look here: http://loopingworld.com/2009/03/06/wordcount/ Most of the first volumes of these series' are around 200,000 words or […]

  3. […] self-reflection alone is the single element that made me want to embark in this epic journey (some two million words by the end of it). And very long too considering my usual pace moving through series, so it will […]

  4. […] Twitter about “Dune”, so that was enough to spark my interest. I added the series to my wordcount page (it’s 860k overall) and started looking for the usual stuff, like dates, structure […]

  5. By By the Numbers: July 2013 | EMM Blogs on 01 Aug 2013 at 5:59 am

    […] just over 20k words. There are about 100k words in a novel (unless you’re George R.R. Martin, then it’s between 300k and 450k per novel…). So, at this rate, this may take me a while. But, my goal is just to ignore the “this […]

  6. […] Word count estimates courtesy of Looping Wor(l)d   […]

  7. […] word length of the first five books is 1.77M words according to loopingworld. Wolfram Alpha tells us that the average word length in English is 5.1. We might expect a deviation […]

  8. By 32 tales or one Novel? on 21 Apr 2015 at 2:42 pm

    […] One of my new beta readers feels that “Ironmaster & Other Tales” is too big and intimidating for most Kindle readers (who like a book they can read in a couple of sittings). I’ve looked at the word count of what I’ve edited so far (and the bits I haven’t yet) and it’s around 230,000 (or 230k) words (or so and still falling as I edit although that is a Word Wordcount) but still a novel starts at 40k words and often is less than 100k these days – this seems massive – that said while Ironmaster is only a little bigger than any one “Lord of the Rings” volume it is about half the length of the trilogy as a whole and smaller than most volumes of the “River of Time” series – at least according to this. […]

  9. […] Compare Bakker’s numbers to, say, A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons, each of which clocks in at well over 400k words.  The Prince of Nothing trilogy, by contrast, is only around 520k words all together, putting it […]

  10. By A quest to write a quest – Prince of Spires on 26 Oct 2019 at 8:34 pm

    […] is a piece of writing of at least 50.000 words. The average length is about twice that number and some authors go way beyond that. In terms of pages, there is a writing rule of thumb which guestimates that you get about 250 […]

  11. By A quest to write a quest – Roderick Donatus on 27 Jul 2020 at 2:00 pm

    […] is a piece of writing of at least 50.000 words. The average length is about twice that number and some authors go way beyond that. In terms of pages, there is a writing rule of thumb which guestimates that you get about 250 […]

  12. […] word counts of most big-name series (The Expanse, Wheel of Time, etc) have been complied on this helpful blog, and most any others can be found on the book’s Kobo Store […]