1. Fanfic Competition -- Topic -- HOGWARTS DAYS

    Word count? 500-17500 words!

    Due date? October 2nd! CLICK HERE! write now!

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Hi there, Guest

    Only registered users can really experience what DLP has to offer. Many forums are only accessible if you have an account. Why don't you register?
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Introducing for your Perusing Pleasure

    New Thread Thursday
    +
    Shit Post Sunday

    READ ME
    Dismiss Notice

Series (4+ novels or 500k+) with a satisfying conclusion?

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Ched, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,377
    Location:
    The South
    EDIT - I've gotten some great recs, thanks all, but there is a bit of a mis-understanding with what I'm looking for here (and that's on me). The thread is still amazing though, and hopefully it's helped others too.

    But. I'm not looking for recommendations on things to read or good stories that are lengthy.

    I'm looking for long over-arching plots that were tied off into satisfactory endings. Even if the series/story itself was mediocre and you don't recommend it.

    I've realized that I'm almost never satisfied with an ending to a story that long. And since I want to eventually write things that long, I'm looking for authors who managed it without fucking up their ending.

    == == == ==

    What are some long works (roughly 500k+) with a satisfying conclusion? Typically I'm looking for at least 4 books in a series though some trilogies, such as LotR, sneak past the 500k point. So think of LotR as a minimum length, but really looking for longer works than the basic trilogy.

    Lord of the Rings ? I didn't find the ending to be all that satisfying, though it wasn't bad. The whole ending bit in the Shire felt a bit strange and half complete, somehow. Frodo going West was good but overall his character arc didn't pay off for me - but I freely admit it's been years since I read LotR and there are likely many lore-related things I've missed.

    Harry Potter ? Again not very satisfying. I wanted Harry to actually die when he sacrificed himself, not come back due to the power of Love. That would have been a more satisfying arc given that Harry himself never became a badass (imo he was a talented kid in over his head). I wasn't a huge fan of the epilogue either but it bothers me less than the climax, honestly.

    Percy Jackson ? I don't remember how these ended. I found them boring and while they had interesting ideas I didn't enjoy them enough to remember jack shit about them.

    The Dark Tower ? I'm not a Stephen King fan, so I wasn't into these as much as I wanted to be, but they were good. The ending (the real ending, with the 'reset') was actually pretty decent. I wasn't a huge fan of what happened to all of Roland's companions but overall yeah, actually a decent ending here that didn't tie things off neatly but heavily implied that things would be different next time.

    Animorphs ? For all that most of these books were written with shite quality, the ending wasn't awful. There was a main character death and the implications of War being bad and not glorious and whatnot. If the writing in this series had been half decent it'd really be a classic. As it is I think (from my vague memories) the ending was decent.

    Mother of Learning ? I was a huge fan of this story - still am - and, well. I can see that the author really put some effort into making the ending satisfying and foreshadowing it, but it fell flat. I wasn't disappointed but it was also exactly what I expected, which is it's own problem. I was meant to be highly invested in Zorian's solution but since I predicted it perfectly I wasn't. A robust epilogue would have also been nice.

    Mistborn ? Yeah it's a trilogy (there are more books than that but the 'main story' is just three books) but it's well over 500k I think, so whatever. Yeah, IIRC Sanderson tied off the ending pretty well here. I was very into these books when I was reading them - and I read them twice - but in both cases I immediately stopped caring about and/or thinking about the story as soon I finished them. Not much staying power for me and I can never remember why I liked them so much. But I think Sanderson tied everything up into a satisfactory ending, even if I only vaguely remember what that was.

    Malazan Book of the Fallen ? I haven't read this.

    Ender's Saga / Shadow Saga ? I haven't read all of these but they seemed to be more standalones that were interconnected rather than a single story from what I remember. Willing to be wrong there. No clue how satisfying the ending is/was as I haven't read all of them.

    The Black Company ? I haven't read this yet, but it's soon on my list. I hear it has an excellent ending but I don't actually know.

    Chronicles of Amber ? I read these when I was a kid and I remember never being quite sure WTF was going on. I don't trust my memories from that young to comment on the ending here.

    Dresden Files / Cradle / Stormlight Archive / Song of Ice and Fire etc. aren't finished. I don't have high hopes of the endings being satisfying, but I do have hope.

    Anyway. I ask here because I can't think of a single story of 500k+ that I both enjoyed and thought had a satisfying ending. There are stories with satisfying endings and ones that I enjoy but rarely do those come together in a genuinely long story. I want to find more with the satisfying ending, enjoyable stories or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
  2. Miner

    Miner Order Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2015
    Messages:
    834
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    East Coast
    I think the word length requirement is what makes this ask difficult. Most "good" stories don't require 500k to finish. You get mostly bloated books and kids series that never wrap up in this word count category.

    I'm sure some people would mention Worm, but I didn't particularly think the ending was good, let alone satisfying.

    My inner weeb would mention the Monogatari Series, but that's incomplete and also probably not what you're looking for.

    I remember Brandon Mull's (Fablehaven, Beyonders) stuff to be enjoyable as a kid, but I haven't read those in a while and I'm sure my opinion would have changed.

    Honestly, the fact that nothing comes to mind after about ten minutes of considering the question is probably telling in itself.
     
  3. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,377
    Location:
    The South
    Exactly! Hence the thread. Most ‘good’ stories don’t need this many words to wrap up, but I still like longer works. Much like I prefer TV series with a single storyline to movies.
     
  4. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,159
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    High Score:
    4400
    The Legend of Drizzt series that ended with Relentless did a good job wrapping up the character I felt. And overall it was a fun ride.
     
  5. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene Auror –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    623
    High Score:
    4,492
    This is the only work by King that I have read and I feel like the story peaked with Drawing of the Three and gradually slid downhill from there, though Wizard and Glass was the last good entry and once we entered Wolves of the Calla the descent gained momentum faster than Blaine the Mono. I absolutely hated the true ending. It felt like such a slap in the face. Maybe if I ever read the series over properly instead of just indulging in Drawing, I might be able to reassess the ending, but I don't have the time to sink into a series that I disliked the first time through.

    I have read them all. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow and phenomenal. Speaker for the Dead never felt like a proper continuation of Ender's story, but I eventually came around to enjoying it. I believe the other titles were Xenocide and Children of the Mind, and while I applaud Card's depth, I did not find the conclusion to be a particularly good read(once such reason being way Jane was handled earlier on to shift over her loyalties, and much later on that Ender's entire net worth is only barely able to afford a starship. Like goddamn how expensive are these things??)

    Shadow of the Hegemon by comparison stands strong as a followup to Ender's Shadow. But once we enter Shadow Puppets, the characterization began to dip hard. I still find the ending to that novel as good as it could have been given the circumstances leading up to it, but I have never liked how Shadow of the Giant followed from there and put a nice little bow on the different character arcs. Some are believable, others bland, Randi can die in a fire.

    Then we come to Shadows in Flight. Yuck. Just... yuck.

    Ender in Exile is weird in its own ways.

    Given the final book supposed to reunite the two series has not come out(so far as I am aware) I'd say you don't lose anything by skipping the above 2 novels for now.

    I've been happier with the novels focusing on the first invasion and leading up to the second, though I haven't caught up on that in a few years so maybe it is out by now. tl;dr Neither Ender series has had satisfying conclusions for me. Quite the opposite tbh.
     
  6. Majube

    Majube Order Member DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Canada
    High Score:
    0
    I liked Wheel of Time and recc that. Also, that Deverry series I shilled for a lot on here I quite liked and the ending for it was unexpected but satisfying.

    I absolutely adored the Memory, Thorn and Sorrows. It's a trilogy(technically its four books since the last was so long it had to be split into Part 1 and Part 2 books) that wraps up great and it has a sequel trilogy with the last book and a prequel book coming out in just a few months, I've been holding off on reading it until then but I trust the author has written it brilliantly as well.

    Riftwar cycle series is also on my list, I've only read one trilogy of the many books and I liked it and have been meaning to finish the rest.

    Most are 80s/90s fantasy reccs (not the latest deverry book and Tad Williams series) so keep that in mind, might not be what you like. They all fit the 500k+ req though.
     
  7. Villanelle

    Villanelle Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    360
    High Score:
    0
    I'd avoid the first trilogy (published between 82-86). It's not terrible per se, but I read them after I read The Conclave of Shadows (02-04), and there's a sharp contrast in quality. The first novel in the next trilogy, Flight of the Nighthawks, was pretty good, but the other two were pretty forgettable, and I believe that's when I stopped with the series.

    My favourites were King of Foxes and Exile's Return. It was relatively straightforward to get into the series with Conclave. The first three books were OK at best, and I dropped the other books I tried, which were Krondor's Sons and Legends of the Riftwar.

    I've heard it said, and many times at that, that The Serpent War saga is Feist at his peak.

    With all that said, it's been over ten years since I read those books, so take that with a pinch of salt.
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,377
    Location:
    The South
    @Villanelle how are the endings specifically? There’s loads of good series out there, I just usually feel they don’t stick the ending.

    I specifically want long stories of any genre with good endings… honestly I don’t even know if I care if the story is good or not, just curious how many lengthy tales with excellent endings actually exist without falling short.

    Thanks for the Faust rec though for sure.
     
  9. Skeletaure

    Skeletaure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,596
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    High Score:
    13,152
    Magicians Trilogy by Trudi Canavan - ties off quite neatly, but the world is pretty shallow compared to most.

    Age of the Five by Trudi Canavan - extremely predictable, but competently done and again, the ending is satisfying.

    Tales of the Otori - alas, literally "rocks fall everyone dies".
     
  10. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2017
    Messages:
    1,159
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Georgia, USA
    High Score:
    4400
    More young adult, but I remember TA Barron's Merlin series being really good.

    The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander were long and ended well.
     
  11. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Chief Warlock DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,414
    Location:
    UK
    Narnia. The last Kingdom is an excellent swan song for a series overshadowed by the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. It pairs well with the opening of The Magician’s Nephew, and continues the weird and uncomfortable darkening that the Silver Chair started.

    His Dark Materials. The ending and culmination of that is excellent. It’s a reall comprehensive ending to a sprawling, multiversal stories. In the context of my not having read any of this more recent Book of Dust stuff.
     
  12. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    UK
    High Score:
    2,296
    I remember being pretty satisfied with the conclusion to Malazan, although it's maybe worth mentioning that there's a kinda-sorta spin-off series that takes it further which I've not read it. Seconded on Mistborn, which I thought tied things up very nicely (there's a novella which expands on some behind the scenes stuff, so to speak, if you've not read it - The Secret History, I think it's called).

    You could maybe make an argument for some of the Discworld mini-series, although most of them don't have conclusions as such.

    Depending on how you count it, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman is worth a mention here; traditionally broken into 10 volumes, but no idea about the word count, and obviously a comic book/graphic novel rather than a 'normal' book, for want of a better term.
     
  13. Majube

    Majube Order Member DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Canada
    High Score:
    0
    I'll take your word for it. I've only read the Empire series/trilogy which was co-authored, I know its pretty different from the rest. I'd recc the long series the co-author has The Wars of Light and Shadow btw Ched. Haven't read it but I've read a few of their other stand alone books.
     
  14. Gengar

    Gengar Degenerate Shrimp –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    Messages:
    343
    High Score:
    7901
    It'd either become overly bloated and be disappointing, or the world would ensnare me utterly, and thus my vehicle for experiencing it would end and thus... be disappointing.
     
  15. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,377
    Location:
    The South
    I’ll be honest - I’m not looking for good things to read. My reading list is massive!

    I’m looking for examples of endings that worked for stories this long to use as examples. Don’t really care about genre or if I’d like the story or not - just want satisfying endings specifically.
     
  16. Majube

    Majube Order Member DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    Canada
    High Score:
    0
    Ah, I didn't get that. I'd say all of my recc's from my original post stand except for WoT and Riftwar.
     
  17. Villanelle

    Villanelle Groundskeeper

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    360
    High Score:
    0
    I really liked Conclave at the time, and if you add the first book of the next trilogy, you could call it a four book series.

    Each arc had a satisfying conclusion, but it's almost always 'The End ... but!' which is a cheap device to set up the next series. The world is quite big, and by the time you reach Book Four (Flight), you're following the narrative with a new set of protagonists.

    Books One and Two follow the same protagonist, and Book Three's main POV is that of the primary antagonist of the first two books.

    At any rate, the character arcs generally have a satisfying conclusion, and by that metric, we do have satisfying endings here. But they're also not long! The story that begins with Conclave effectively ends at Book Two, and you could stop there and be happy. Book Three is almost self-contained, and Book Four is just a bonus if you want to see what happens next with the Big Bad.

    I stopped at that point, and was relatively content. I didn't feel the need to return to the series, but that's also because I can accept that the books are serial, cyclical even. Something bad happens, our heroes go to extreme lengths to stop it, they succeed, but then another bigger bad happens, and the stakes are even higher, and then our heroes do even more shit to put an end to it, and they succeed, but then ... well, whatever.

    In some sense, the author is writing the same story over and over, and you can decide which iteration is more to your tastes. I suspect that he found a good thing, and milked it for as long as he could.

    So, you could argue that there are satisfying endings, but it's on the reader to find and take them. The series in themselves, however, spanned thirty odd years and novels, and god knows how much in-story-time which occurred across multiple dimensions.

    I looked at the synopsis for Magician's End, and couldn't care for it at all; it sounds like an amalgam of different aspects of the series. With that said, it's the sort of story that doesn't need fanfiction, because the author rewrote it a dozen times. Some people would find that satisfying.

    Does the story itself come with a satisfying end, after thirty novels? I'd bet on No, because it's the same ending rewritten for the nth time, and so the story was already over (and reset) a bunch of times before the last trilogy began. But my friend loved it, and I think he read all the solo Feist books.

    I prefer shorter stories. I imagine people lose steam or get too caught up with perfectionism (*cough* Rothfuss *cough*) as the word count increases.

    From Talon of the Silver Hawk to the end of Flight of the Nighthawks, we have 420k words or so. Rothfuss' Name of the Wind is 250k words, and Wise Man's Fear is 400k. No end in sight for that one.

    The entirety of the Riftwar Cycle is over 4.7 million words, and Pratchett's Discworld encompasses over 5.6 million words. The difference is Discworld isn't one ongoing narrative, but multiple narratives within a larger universe. I've only read The Colour of Magic, so I don't really have a clue, but fans of the series really love it, from what I can tell.

    Is 500k not enough to tell a very long story? That's seven 250-300 (?) page novels, at around 70k words per novel; or three chunky books.

    Past that point, I think we're talking stories within stories, more than a straight-up single story.
     
  18. TheWiseTomato

    TheWiseTomato Prestigious Tomato ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    885
    Location:
    Australia.
    High Score:
    3694
    If you want a satisfying series, I'd recommend anything by Tamora Pierce. Her series tend to be in the 4 book range, and while they don't break the 500k mark on their own, they tend to be set in one of two universes, so even though the main character changes, you're still following the same timelines. She writes some of the best female protagonists I've ever read, too.
     
  19. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Messages:
    8,377
    Location:
    The South
    @TheWiseTomato Thanks! But again (I need to edit the OP) I'm not looking for a good series or some recs. I'm looking specifically for overarching storylines that went really long and that the author managed to tie off well - even if those series are shit and not fun to read.

    Any of those in particular that tied things off neatly? Or did all of hers? I haven't read Pierce since I was a kid... and this reminds me I would quite like to read her again. I have fond memories.
     
  20. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    UK
    High Score:
    2,296
    It's a bit different genre wise from the other series mentioned here, but Lindsey Davis' Falco books - about an informer (private detective) in Rome during the reign of Emperor Vespasian - had a satisfying conclusion after about 20 books. Shame about the sequel series, but you can't have everything...
     
Loading...