Book Reviews of The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1)

The Runelords  (The Runelords, Bk 1)
The Runelords - The Runelords, Bk 1
Author: David Farland
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ISBN-13: 9780812541625
ISBN-10: 0812541626
Publication Date: 4/15/1999
Pages: 624
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 95

3.7 stars, based on 95 ratings
Publisher: Tor Fantasy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

11 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
"The Runelords"

By David Farland



Synopsis: Gaborn Orden, the next King of Mystarria is headed to the kingdom of Heredon to ask the lovely Princess Iome for her hand in marriage. Castle Sylvarresta however is under attack by the evil Raj Ahten, the Runelord of all Runelords. With thousands of endowments taken from other men and women he is truly a man among men and takes over Castle Sylvarresta without a single drop of blood being shed. Gaborn however can see through this ruthless man. Endowed with the Gift of the Earth and deemed to be the future King who will seek revenge upon Raj Ahten Gaborn flees with the Princess and King Sylvarresta to beat Raj Ahten to the fotress where he has mistakenly hidden several thousand forcibles, the key to his power. With the power of the Earth behind him Gaborn must turn away from the lessons he was taught as a child in order to defeat the powers of evil and learns the lesson that all rulers must learn: Anyone can win a fortress, but few can win the hearts of his people.

"The Runelords" was a surprisingly good read. I did not have high hopes for it when I started it as the pace seemed to be dragging to an extent. It took quite a few chapters to get the feel of Farland's writing style and to keep the idea of the "Runelords" in mind. Basically the basic jist of a Runelord is that if one man is the "lord" he can take endowments or gifts from others to increase those powers in himself (ie I can endow you with my sense of sight and you will be able to see twice as well, but I will then be blind). However, if the person who gave the endowment (the dedicate) dies, the Runelord loses that power as it dies with the dedicate. If the Runelord dies the dedicate receives the endowment he/she gave back to their body. There are other rules and twists that apply to the "runes" and endowments that are given between dedicate and master and sometimes these things are hard to keep straight. It became easier and easier as the book went on however.

The idea is definitely original. I have never read about something even remotely similar to Farland's new theories of giving endowments to other characters. On the flip side however, Farland gives a lot of emphasis to elemental wizards, something that is tired and has a sort of "been there, done that" feeling it does not distract from the main theme of the book as these wizards are decently minor characters with the exception of the Wizard Binnesman who represents the Earth.

A few characters were under-developed in my opinion. I could have used more from the Wizard Binensman in terms of background, and Iome, though central to the plot is surprisingly shallow. She becomes less so as the book goes on, but it was still slightly annoying nonetheless.

All and all I liked "The Runelords"! I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

Gripes:

· Slow start

· Some characters not developed

· Overused "Elemental" wizards

Raves:

· Original ideas for "endowments," creates an intriguing plot

· Very well written, had nice flow

· Great ending, makes you want to read the next book.

No major warnings for this book. Some blood, some violence, would classify as 12+ age group.

Four Stars.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
After a rocky first chapter or two, where it feels like the same old, same old (not that there's anything wrong with that), the Runelords really gets into its stride once the notion of /endowments/ is revealed: it's a very cool magic concept that adds plenty of flavour to what would otherwise be run-of-the-mill.

Instead, the tale becomes gripping, and having just consumed the first volume, I'm itching to devour the rest.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
If you like fantasy, this is a must read. I could not put it down. I have loved the whole series!
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed this series and would recommend any of the books from it.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
developer of properties for the gaming industry and a science fiction author (Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia) under his real name, Dave Wolverton, Farland once again proves himself a wizard at storytelling in this third installment of his epic fantasy series, The Runelords. Against a medieval-like diorama, Farland has established a social system around the magical exchange of "endowments" from vassals to lords. A Runelord might have thousands of endowments, acquiring attributes (vision, strength, stamina, beauty, grace, wit) from willing donors, who become weakened Dedicates, crippled by the loss yet a Runelord must care for those who make his superhuman abilities possible. The Runelords: The Sum of All Men (1998) introduced Mystarrian prince Gaborn Val Orden, a Runelord who battled the powerfully endowed, near-invincible Wolf Lord Raj Ahten. With Gaborn newly crowned Earth King, defeated archvillain Ahten renewed his attacks in Brotherhood of the Wolf (2000). Now Ahten, Gaborn and Gaborn's wife, Iome, return to face the Reavers, huge monsters with "crystalline teeth like scythes" that pose a grim threat to Ahten's empire. In his role as "mankind's protector," Gaborn, despite dwindling powers, senses the impending doom of an all-out Reaver war, and Averan, a wizardborn girl with magical insights into Reaver consciousness, aids his hunt for the creature hordes. This latest is certain to summon past readers of the series back to bookstores.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very fun and fast paced story. Lots of magic and mystery to keep you turning the pages. I've enjoyed the first 3 greatly and am in the process of getting to the 4th. I enjoyed this autur enough to add his series to my library of hardbacks.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 710 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
From the dust jacket: "A young Runelord, Prince Gaborn Val Orden of Mystarria, is traveling in disguise across the sunlit fall countryside of Sylvarresta, his only companion the warrior bodyguard Boeenson. Gaborn is absorbing the beauty of the land and becoming acquainted with its people, preparing himself to ask for the hand of Princess Iome, heir to the throne of Syulvarresta. While stopping at a local tavern Gaaborn notices a pair of foreigners, powerful men who move with supernatural grace and strength--assassins. This moment of recognition brings an abrupt end to Gaborn's sheltered upbringging, launching him into the dangerous realm of politics and treachery. His pleasant journey becomes a perilous race to warn the King of deadly danger. What seems to be a threat to the royal family rapidly escalates into a threat to all human life. The very Earth is in pain. Its wounds much be healed. There must arise a new king: the Earth King must be reborn. Only then will humanity have a chance to survive."
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 75 more book reviews
"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
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 552 more book reviews
From the Publisher
The first book of the saga of The Runelords

The very Earth is in pain. Its wounds must be healed. There must arise a new king: the Earth King must be reborn. Only then will humanity have a chance to survive.



From The Critics
Publishers Weekly
A developer of properties for the gaming industry and a science fiction author (Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia) under his real name, Dave Wolverton, Farland once again proves himself a wizard at storytelling in this third installment of his epic fantasy series, The Runelords. Against a medieval-like diorama, Farland has established a social system around the magical exchange of "endowments" from vassals to lords. A Runelord might have thousands of endowments, acquiring attributes (vision, strength, stamina, beauty, grace, wit) from willing donors, who become weakened Dedicates, crippled by the loss yet a Runelord must care for those who make his superhuman abilities possible. The Runelords: The Sum of All Men (1998) introduced Mystarrian prince Gaborn Val Orden, a Runelord who battled the powerfully endowed, near-invincible Wolf Lord Raj Ahten. With Gaborn newly crowned Earth King, defeated archvillain Ahten renewed his attacks in Brotherhood of the Wolf (2000). Now Ahten, Gaborn and Gaborn's wife, Iome, return to face the Reavers, huge monsters with "crystalline teeth like scythes" that pose a grim threat to Ahten's empire. In his role as "mankind's protector," Gaborn, despite dwindling powers, senses the impending doom of an all-out Reaver war, and Averan, a wizardborn girl with magical insights into Reaver consciousness, aids his hunt for the creature hordes. This latest is certain to summon past readers of the series back to bookstores. (Apr. 23) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

VOYA
This new fantasy series features an unusual world where magic is used to drain willing (and not so willing) donors of various endowments such as beauty, strength, brawn, wit, sight, voice, and hearing. Hot branding irons with the appropriate rune are applied to the donor in an excruciatingly painful process. Once the "gift" has been extracted, the same iron is applied to the Runelord, but in this case it is a pleasurable, almost orgasmic experience. Once drained, the donors become helpless Dedicates who must be preserved and protected by their Runelord because their gifts can only be used while they are alive. When the novel opens, Prince Gaborn Val Orden of Mystarria is in love with princess Iome. Before Gaborn can court her, however, fate intervenes in the person of Raj Ahten, the Wolf Lord of Indhopal. Ahten invades with a force of thousands, including sixteen-foot-tall frost giants, ape-like nomen, and invincible warriors (each possessing numerous endowments). Ahten's own rune-covered body reveals that he has been the recipient of hundreds of endowments, and his goal is to become like the famed "Sum of All Men," conquering neighboring kingdoms and leading a united force against the deadly reavers who threaten their way of life. All that stands between Ahten and victory is the youthful Gaborn, the Earth King newly appointed by the wizard Binnesman. Gaborn was crowned by Erden Geboren himself, leader of the spirits of the Dunnwood, who comes with his spectral army to fight against the Wolf Lord's armies. This rich, complex page-turner features a likeable protagonist and a fascinating new fantasy world. There is a satisfying resolution, but with (thank heavens) plenty of room for more to come. Good cover art will attract teen readers and the text will certainly not disappoint them. VOYA Codes: 5Q 4P S A/YA (Hard to imagine it being better written, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12 and adults).

Library Journal
Prince Gaborn's visit to the Kingdom of Heredon becomes a frantic race against time as he seeks to warn Heredon's royal family of the approach of an invincible warlord whose might threatens to consume the world. Farland launches his epic series with a powerful story of a prince's transformation from a Runelord who steals his abilities from others to a ruler dedicated to the preservation of life. The author's inventive approach to magic and his skill at depicting complex, believable characters make this tale a good choice for most fantasy collections.
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
this book suprised me, its not just another 'doorstop' fiction novel. I felt like it would be the same ol same ol cliche fantasy but i was pleasantly suprised, there were twists and turns in just the right spots. It was a good mix of everything. Nothing was too overpowering.

I enjoyed the book but have yet to read the next in the series and to tell you the truth, i am not in a huge rush to read the nexst book, but if it comes across my path i may order it.
for originality and ease of reading, david farland writes fast but forgets nothing, thats hard to find so with that in mind i --------

give this book 3 1/2 stars out of 5
reviewed The Runelords (The Runelords, Bk 1) on + 62 more book reviews
"The very Earth is in pain. Its wounds must be healed. There must arise a new king: the Earth King must be reborn. Only then will humanity have a chance to surive."

"The characters are real, the action fast, and the sum a brilliant and engrossing novel."--David Drake, author of The Lord of the Isles