Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two)

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9780812570694: Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two)

Volume Two of The Runelords

Raj Ahtan, ruler of Indhopal, has used enough forcibles to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. Ahtan seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule-destroying anything and anyone that stood in his path, including many friends and allies of young Prince Gaborn Val Orden. But Gaborn has fulfilled a two-thousand-year-old prophecy, becoming the Earth King-a mythic figure who can unleash the forces of the Earth itself.

And now the struggle continues. Gaborn has managed to drive off Raj Ahtan, but Ahtan is far from defeated. Striking at far-flung cities and fortresses and killing dedicates, Ahtan seeks to draw out the Earth King from his seat of power, to crush him. But as they weaken each other's forces in battle, the armies of an ancient and implacable inhuman enemy issue forth from the very bowels of the Earth.

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Review:

David Farland's "Runelords" fantasy sequence began in 1998 with The Sum of All Men, a career-relaunch novel whose sales far outstripped earlier SF published under his real name Dave Wolverton. Runelords are supermen whose strength, stamina, and vision, and other physical abilities are multiplied by magical "endowments" transferred from unfortunate donors who are crippled by their loss: the archvillain in the story is virtually invincible thanks to tens of thousands of endowments.

This second book avoids middle-volume doldrums by introducing a vast onslaught of still tougher and memorably unpleasant nonhumans who even the villains must oppose. Meanwhile, various characters skirmish on different parts of the map, and the hero struggles with unreliable powers conferred on him when he was chosen as Earth King to save the land and humanity--or maybe only a tiny part of each.

Farland maintains a steady flow of new situations, reversals, gambits, and surprises ... it's a real shock when one chap who has incurred a dreadful penalty for virtuous reasons is not spared (as expected in the normal chivalry of fantasyland) but rather pays the full, eye-watering price. One small criticism: the writing contains occasional sloppiness and repetition. Nonetheless, this is a rousing, painfully gripping story. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

From the Publisher:

Praise for David Farland's The Runelords:

"The Runelords heralds the arrival of a serious contender for the Jordan crown." --Michael Stackpole

"A first-rate tale, an epic fantasy that more than delivers on its promise. Read it soon and treat yourself to an adventure you won't forget." --Terry Brooks

"When I reached the end of this first volume and saw grace arise from a devastating battlefield where too many great hearts lay dead, Farland had earned the tears that came to my eyes. It was not sentiment but epiphany." --Orson Scott Card

"In The Runelords David Farland has created a vivid, detailed, different world that becomes perfectly believable. The characters are real, the action fast, and the sum a brilliant and engrossing novel." --David Drake

"David Farland is the single greatest discovery of my professional career." --Algis Budrys

"With The Runelords, David Farland breaks new ground in fantasy fiction and wakes up anyone who thought they'd read everything the genre had to offer." --Kevin J. Anderson

"A bloody, violent, grim saga, with thoughtfully devised magics and a well-turned plot...satisfying and involving." --Kirkus Reviews

"The Runelords is a wonderful fantasy novel." --Robert J. Sawyer

"The intriguing hook behind Farland's first novel--and launch of a new fantasy series--is a complex magical technology whereby abilities such as wit, brawn, and stamina are transferable from person to person. The magic is basic to Farland's story, not just painted on, and it and the society in which it plays out are rigorously and imaginatively elaborated." --Publishers Weekly

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