Brandon Sanderson's seminal work, The Stormlight Archive, has set the fantasy world ablaze for more than a decade now. Its epic structure, heroic characters, and sheer volume have made it an instant classic.
In fact, the bestselling series is hardly contained by its bindings, and the rollout for each book can span several months, if not years. Take a look at the fifth entry, with a working title of Knights of Wind and Truth.
Though the book will not be released until 2024–and though Stormlight 4.5 remains unpublished–Sanderson has already begun to unveil his plans for the finale (of the first arc, at least). He first published the first draft of his prologue on March 31, 2022. You can read the prologue in its entirety on his website or listen to Sanderson’s reading below:
Sanderson has warned his fans that these early drafts are subject to change, but clearly, the prolific author has an end goal in mind. Given his machine-like efficiency, it's likely he has pieces of the second arc planned already.
If you're a Stormlight fan eagerly awaiting Knights of Wind and Truth, you'll appreciate these series, which share Sanderson's love of world-building, well-structured planning, and most of all, regular updates.
Half a King
Next came the standalone novels: Best Served Cold, The Heroes, and Red Country. These three titles weren't a trilogy, but they did share a theme. Each one explored the vast and impressive world Abercrombie established in his original trilogy.
Perhaps the most impressive aspects of Abercrombie's works are his quality and consistency. No trilogy has taken more than two years to complete, and all of them are must-reads for grimdark fans.
The Shepherd's Crown, published posthumously in 2015, marked the 41st and final installment of the late Terry Pratchett's beloved Discworld.
The prolific nature of Pratchett's magnum opus is something to behold. Not only did he manage to publish 41 Discworld books over the course of 32 years, but he also published at least one Discworld book every year from 1986 (Discworld No. 2, The Light Fantastic) to 2007 (Discworld No. 36, Making Money).
While many of the stories form distinct arcs, each Discworld book was written to stand alone. That means no waiting for a long-delayed sequel.
The Fifth Season
One essential aspect to winning three years in a row? Publishing three years in a row.
It makes sense that the trilogy should be published in such orderly fashion, given how Jemisin begins the series: "Let's start with the end of the world, why don't we? Get it over with and move on to more interesting things."
If you're already familiar with The Broken Earth, Jemisin's most recent series, the Great Cities Duology, concluded in 2022.
Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings is both expansive and prolific. Beginning in 1995 with fantasy classic The Assassin's Apprentice, Hobb has continued to add to the world of her original series, The Farseer Trilogy, over the course of 20 years.
The focus of the world always comes back to that original protagonist, however: the eponymous assassin Fitzchivalry Farseer. Fitz returns in the third (Tawny Man) and fifth (Fitz and the Fool) series, giving readers a wide view of the world without straying too far from their first love.
Age of Empyre
After finding his following through his debut series, The Riyria Revelations, Michael J. Sullivan chose an interesting tact for his prequel series, The Legends of the First Empire.
Using crowdfunding through Kickstarter, Sullivan raised more than $100,000 for the series finale, Age of Empyre. Due to the unique fashion of publication, Sullivan chose to finish his books prior to seeking funding.
As a result, each installment of the six-book series released in short order: Age of Myth came first in 2016, and the final installment published in 2020. Multiple books in the series, which depicts a world of elves, dwarves, and men divided by prejudice and past injustices, reached the New York Times bestseller list.
Featured photo: Randy Vargas, Dragonsteel Entertainment / Reddit