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The Sum of All Men: The Runelords, Book One | [David Farland]

The Sum of All Men: The Runelords, Book One

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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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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (612 )
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4.1 (388 )
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  •  
    Jeri United States 06-07-12
    Jeri United States 06-07-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    99
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    696
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I just couldn't bring myself to care."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I might. The story was far too tedious for me. I just didn't care about the characters enough. I could tell that the author is talented, however something was just....missing. I don't feel that I am even interested in the next book of the series. I rely greatly on the reviews by Audible customers, but this is one time I did not agree.


    Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?

    Ray Porter is a mighty fine narrator. He was the best thing about the book. It was easy to differentiate between the characters, so any one of them was good.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jarred Evergreen, CO 02-09-11
    Jarred Evergreen, CO 02-09-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    7
    2
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    "Great Story"

    Very impressed with the story overall!! A very original idea that sparks a pretty incredible world and equally incredible characters that are constantly changing and evolving...literally. This world also leaves a lot opportunities for the story to go anywhere, and I enjoy the fact that the characters are grounded in good morals. Excellent narration by Ray Porter, and believe me I've suffered through some doosies but Mr. Porter really defines every character with their own tones and inflections. Not sure if it's the narrator or the director of the the narration, but I like that every break or chapter or change in story line is clearly defined.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David M. Alden 02-11-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Can't finish the book..."

    The narrator makes every sentence seem like it's the most important thing every spoken. All of the characters appear to be more powerful and stronger and smarter than the next one, this one has the wit of 10 men, that one has the charm of 20 women, he has the metabolism of 100 men, blah, blah, blah. I'm only on the first part of the first book, but I can NOT hear the name "Raj Atten" (spelling?) one more time or I will stab my ears.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claudia KALISPELL, MT, United States 04-17-12
    Claudia KALISPELL, MT, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Are we talking about the same book??????"

    I just can't finish this book, Donna summed it up correctly!! The narrator is horrible, he does not pull you in. There is no character development, you are just dumped into the story not sure who is who and why you should care for any of them. And yes the endowment's are way overdone. I would rather listen to "The blade itself" from start to finish again rather than listen to one more chapter of this train wreck.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Jordan, UT, United States 06-24-15
    David West Jordan, UT, United States 06-24-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
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    Story
    "Totally engrossing!"

    I loved the concept, the setting, and enjoyed the thought provoking moral dilemmas.
    I liked the logic and matching of wits between the hero and villain and of course who doesn't love a wizard who's gone rogue?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Bunting New Orleans 06-19-15
    A. Bunting New Orleans 06-19-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    45
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    Story
    "Fair to good mind candy."
    Would you listen to The Sum of All Men again? Why?

    I will probably check the next book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The vampire twist is interesting but pretty much it is standard YA otherwise.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Capable but not a top player.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    If you liked 1981 Dragon-slayer movie you will enjoy this. PS if you have not seen it give it a watch.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    matthew 06-11-15
    matthew 06-11-15 Member Since 2012
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    6
    2
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    Story
    "Awesome"

    Wonderful story. Gripping! I was sceptical at fist but 1 hour in I was hooked. Can't wait to listen to the rest of the series. All hail the Earth Lord!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audre 06-05-15
    Audre 06-05-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    16
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    "Not as good as I hoped"

    I only follow a handful of reviewers so when three of them ALL raved about this series, I was so excited. One even compared it to the Wheel of Time Series. I wish I could personally tell him how far fetched and crazy that is!

    Maybe I just expected too much...

    My biggest issue with the book is actually the main premise of the book - the Runelords who can take endowments. I like fantasy books because they are an escape to another world. In this book, I don't enjoy the world I escape to. I wouldn't want to live in a world where Kings and nobles cripple their people for their own power. I also find it hard to believe that so many people are willing to give up their strengths. Also, who don't more runelords have a problem with what they do? They are all fine destroying the quality of life for people just to make themselves more beautiful or stronger or to have a better voice? It's not believable to me, it's actually repulsive.

    I liked parts of the book. I'm intrigued with the powers of the Earth magic and where that will lead and I am also interested in where the author is going with the "days" chroniclers who follow the important people and are supposed to not get involved with the events they witness. It's obvious they are going to become important in some way.

    That said, I don't know that I will continue the series. I don't care enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 04-24-15
    James 04-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
    4
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    Story
    "a joy to listen to."

    I've read this book when it was first published in paperback. The altar rock the characters to life it maybe understand or the emotion in this book that I missed. in the first reading.
    I would highly recommend listening to this book if you have the opportunity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kal ridnab 02-24-15
    kal ridnab 02-24-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "I love David Farland's work"

    Roy Porter is a great narrator for this book. it is a great performance. just excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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