Storytelling: tying up the ends

This is a thought that I had a few times at the end of a longer series, especially if the world-building was complex and many factions took part in it. Some of these will have longer ends, adding several pages and chapters even after the threat is dealt with to show how its demise changed the people and the world.

I think that Paolini’s Inheritance series is one of those with a longer ending. Some even ask if the last 60 pages are worth reading and I admit I was surprised when I saw 80% done (or, 20 to go) on my e-reader when Eragon fought Galbatorix. The ending, as long as it is, shows the impact of the political turmoil created during and after Galbatorix’s reign and how his fall changes it.

Of course, not all series have the story written in a way that requires tying up several loose ends to make the story feel truly finished. To some, these parts are not even necessary – all they want to know is who won and that’s it. Yet, it might feel more complete if there’s an end that shows how the world changed beyond the tyrant’s death.

Why am I mentioning all of this? After finishing the Chronicles of the Black Gate series ending with The White Song (my review), I expected longer ending. Maybe not in the scope of Inheritance but definitely longer than a single chapter.

It can also be spread out more – characters can have plans about the situation before it gets there (which is definitely the case in White Song) but even then, for me, it’d be nice to see at least a hint that some of the possibilities either came to pass or was put in motion.

I’m curious about what the books I’ll read in the coming month and years be like in this regard. Will I see more books with a simple ending just knowing that the threat is gone, or will I see more with a detailed ending? Time will tell.

Feel free to add your opinion on endings in books.