The Runelords by David Farland
“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.”
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Reviews of David Farland’s The Runelords
“David Farland is the single greatest discovery of my professional career!” — Algis Budrys, 30-year veteran critic of the Chicago Sun Times
“The world of fantasy has a new king. Farland is already one of the genre’s all-time greats!” — John Jarrold, foremost fantasy critic in the UK.
“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, #1 New York Times Bestseller
“When I reached the end of this first volume of 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. David Farland is my favorite author, and THE RUNELORDS is his finest work”– Orson Scott Card, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and John W. Campbell Awards
“THE RUNELORDS heralds the arrival of a serious contender for the Jordan crown.” — Michael Stackpole, New York Times Best-selling Author
“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, New York Times Bestselling Author
“The RUNELORDS is that rare book that will remind you why you started reading fantasy in the first place.…Competent fantasy lets you escape to faraway lands, but exceptional fantasy makes sure you have something to think about when you get back. RUNELORDS accomplishes the latter.” —Paul Hughes, reviewer for Amazon.com
“Farland creates a fresh and unique world that emphasizes the complex issues of humanity, loyalty, and sacrifice. . . . highly recommended for all fans of fantasy.” KLIATT, Nov 1999
“Sure, BROTHERHOOD has incredible edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting battle scenes–the finale being an exceptional example–but Gaborn’s struggle to make a decision and then facing the consequences is equally thrilling. . . . Highly recommended”– Starlog Magazine
“Farland gets a prospective series off to a dynamic start with a compelling, action-packed story set in an intricate created world in which magical powers are unusual and convincing—it’s a surefire winner with teen fans of Robert Jordan and David Eddings.” Booklist, May 15, 1998
“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, New York Times Best Seller
“[Brotherhood of the Wolf] offers a powerful look at a fascinating world. . . . Once again an incredible cast of characters inhabits a complex, multi-layered fantasy. There are gory battles, deeds of heroism, and self-sacrifice, thwarted love and misunderstandings, and a final tragic confrontation between Gaborn and Raj Ahten . . . . Superior world-building results in another compelling and suspenseful work of fantasy. Voice of Youth Advocates, Dec 1999
“It seems that about once a decade a writer of traditional fantasy arrives on the scene who stands head and shoulders above the competition. Steven Donaldson and Robert Jordan come to mind. Last year, David Farland jointed that elite order with THE RUNELORDS. The second volume, BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF will serve to cement his reputation.” Suffolk County News, Sayville New York, April 22, 1999.
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. — Amazon.com reviewer Paul Hughes