The Sum of All Men : Runelords

  • by David Farland
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • Series: Runelords
  • 22 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


There is a lot of stuff in this book, thrown at you every other paragraph. There are so many things, that we get told a lot of stuff, but not much showing. I lost count of how many times while our hero is running from various enemies, that he remembers back to an earlier time. This of course is an author's way of info dumping. Several authors have done this and I wish they would quit. If you are going to have a action scene, don't break away to remember the past. Who does that anyway? Last time you where in a car accident or something scary, did you start reminiscing about the past?

I also could not get into the story or care about the characters.

one highlight is Ray Porter. This is one of his earlier works and seems a little more subdued than his later works.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

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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- Lore

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-20-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.