• The Sum of All Men

  • The Runelords, Book One
  • By: David Farland
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Series: Runelords, Book 1
  • Length: 22 hrs
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-20-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (933 ratings)

Regular price: $31.47

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Publisher's Summary

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.
©1998 David Farland (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lore on 04-02-12

A world of interesting magics and moral choices.

David Farland has created a land where the rulers take advantage of a magical process by which one person can acquire the attributes of another, such as strength, stamina, glamour, metabolism, or grace. The person that gives the endowment loses the attribute and is "crippled" while the receiver is enhanced. These Runelords approach the process of receiving endowments from multiple moral perspectives and this adds to the richness of the story.

This ability to take/receive endowments re-defines how people live, rule, and fight wars and Farland goes into much detail explaining how this ability can be manipulated by good or evil. Rarely is such a structure governing magic so well defined in Fantasy books and for me it really helped make the magic seem more realistic and plausible.

Endowments aren't the only magic in this series and there is also a whole range of wizards that use various elemental magics, as well as strange creatures that live underground known as Reavers. Ray Porter does an excellent job of bringing all of these various characters to life with his narration.

This book hooked me pretty quickly and I have now listened to the first 4 books in the series. I have enjoyed them all, so this book is an excellent start to an excellent series.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew Stone on 06-07-09

Excellent Fantasy Series!

Exceptionally good book! Magic, romance, and characters that you love and others that love to hate.

It has been awhile for me to find a new series that is similar to and as good as the "Wheel of Time series" by Robert Jordan. Like the "Wheel of Time series", I am totally engrossed, sitting on the edge-of-my-seat listening. The plot is very interesting. Also, the book is up-beat (most of the time anyway). But, like George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series there are some tragedies.

NARRATION: The narrator reads the Prolog in a way that seems too overacting, but after that his style of reading changes and I enjoyed listening.

At this point, I have commited to purchasing books 2 thru 4. Book two, I downloaded. Books 3 and 4 are not available on Audible(at this time), so I ordered them 'used' from Amazon.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ryan on 01-25-16

An unexpected pleasure!

I had never read anything by David Farland before this novel, I only found it when I searched for other books narrated by Ray Porter as I love his narration and voice and have read many of the books he has narrated. This novel actually suited my love of fantasy, history and action, it had everything I could have wanted in a book. I was surprised to find out how many sequels there have been, I now have a lot of catching up to do and I carnt wait to follow the story to its conclusion and finally i have a few months of good novels to keep me occupied. I must admit that you carnt help but compare this novel to the Lord of the rings and game of thrones, but personally I have enjoyed this more than either of those. The characters are endearing, especially Gaborn and Iome and you feel you could follow them to the end of the earth and never waver and of course Ray Porters performance was flawless. I have already purchased book two and three and I will be speedily devouring them as soon as possible to catch up. In conclusion it's a must read for anyone who has enjoyed Game of thrones or Lord of the rings, or to be honest anyone who enjoys fantasy novels.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul (Shropshire) the Shire with no Hobbits on 06-11-15

The Runelords

A friend told me that I would enjoy these books. He was not wrong I cant wait to get into book 2, I did not think I could find a book like this something fresh after the hundreds of books I have read it can be hard to find new fresh ideas. However with the Runelords I have found a fresh and interesting store

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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