The Sum of All Men (The Runelords)

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9781841495606: The Sum of All Men (The Runelords)

[Read by Ray Porter]

David Farland's acclaimed 'Runelords' series introduces a world where the social structure is based upon the magical exchange of ''endowments'' such as stamina, grace, and wit. The Runelords are those who receive these endowments from their vassals, becoming superhuman in exchange for the responsibility of caring for those they have deprived of strength, or beauty, or sight.

Young Prince Gaborn of Mystarria is traveling in disguise on a journey to ask for the hand of the lovely Princess Iome of Sylvarresta. Armed with his gifts of strength and perception, the prince and his bodyguard stop at a local tavern, where they spot a pair of assassins who have their sights set on Princess Iome's father. As they race to warn the king, they realize that more than the royal family is at risk: the very fate of the Earth is in jeopardy.

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Review:

The Runelords is that rare book that will remind you why you started reading fantasy in the first place. Much of the setting--and even some of the story--is conventional fantasy fare, but David Farland, aside from being a masterful storyteller, has built his world around a complex and thought-provoking social system involving the exchange of "endowments." Attributes such as stamina, grace, and wit are a currency: a vassal may help his lord by endowing him with all of his strength, for instance, and in turn the vassal comes under the lord's care as his "dedicate," too weak to even walk. A Runelord might have hundreds of such endowments, giving him superhuman senses and abilities, but he then must care for the hundreds that he has deprived of strength, or beauty, or sight.

Runelords excels because this novel idea is not mere window dressing--Farland uses it to explore fundamental questions of life and morality. The story's hero, the young Runelord Gaborn, struggles to define his role in this "shameful economy" while keeping his commitments to himself, to his people, to the woman he loves, and to the earth itself. We end up asking ourselves the same questions: Should you choose your friends based on insight or virtue? Is it better to be just or good? Competent fantasy lets you escape to adventure in faraway lands, but exceptional fantasy makes sure you have something to think about when you get back. Runelords accomplishes the latter. --Paul Hughes

From the Publisher:

"The Runelords is 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, The Runelords, 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

"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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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the first book of The Runelords, Raj Ahten, the Wolf Lord of Indhopal, uses magic to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. He seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule - destroying anything and anyone in his path. Standing in his way is Prince Gaborn Val Orden, who must fulfil a 2,000-year-old prophecy and become the Earth King, a mythic figure who can unleash the forces of the earth itself. Only then will humanity have a chance to survive. . . Bookseller Inventory # AA29781841495606

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the first book of The Runelords, Raj Ahten, the Wolf Lord of Indhopal, uses magic to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. He seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule - destroying anything and anyone in his path. Standing in his way is Prince Gaborn Val Orden, who must fulfil a 2,000-year-old prophecy and become the Earth King, a mythic figure who can unleash the forces of the earth itself. Only then will humanity have a chance to survive. . . Bookseller Inventory # AA29781841495606

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; In the first book of The Runelords, Raj Ahten, the Wolf Lord of Indhopal, uses magic to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. He seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule - destroying anything and anyone in his path. Standing in his way is Prince Gaborn Val Orden, who. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9781841495606_rkm

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