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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 (629 )
5 star
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3.9 (414 )
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4.1 (405 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    matthew 06-11-15
    matthew 06-11-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
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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
    16
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    18
    13
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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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    "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
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    3
    1
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    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
  •  
    Ali Cross 02-14-15
    Ali Cross 02-14-15 Member Since 2014

    inetsupergrrl

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    21
    15
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    "One of the best audiobooks I've heard"

    I'd read this book when it first came out, but never followed through with the rest of the story. When I saw it would out on audiobook, I thought I'd take a listen, as a refresher before starting the next book.

    I was blown away.

    I couldn't listen often enough I wanted to devour it all in one sitting (not possible - it's a giant book!). The voice talent was amazing. He did all the different characters, emotion, inflection so beautifully it had me marveling. His talent along with the author's made this a thousand gold stars. Love, love, loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. J. Thorne 11-07-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "Very interesting magic system!"

    One of my criteria for epic fantasy is the magic system has to be unique. I also enjoy learning about it as the characters in the book discover more about it (see Way of Kings for a perfect example). In this book, there is an established magic system that is very well known to the characters. Despite that not being something I like all the time, it was extremely interesting! It's also a bit dark.

    Gaboran (sp?), the protagonist, is a naive princeling and sometimes a little whiney. I think that's the point, however, and he does make big strides in character at the end of the book. His journey is interesting and compelling. His personal body guard guy, however, is probably the most interesting character to me. The author developed him well and I'm interested in his story as the I listen to more of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Long Beach, NY, United States 02-04-14
    James Long Beach, NY, United States 02-04-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nice Book"
    Where does The Sum of All Men rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the very best but it was good and enjoyable


    Any additional comments?

    The beginning was a little slow, but it picked up nicely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Winter Houston 12-10-13
    Winter Houston 12-10-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Cool magic system, Heavy Socialist overtone"
    Would you try another book from David Farland and/or Ray Porter?

    I will pass on any further Farland books. I consider myself an individualist and much of the first 3 Runelords books centered around sacrificing the self for the greater good of the collective. The whole magic system is built around this premise. That being said, the book was still well written and entertaining in many parts.
    Ray Porter is a great narrator. No complaints.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allen 08-20-13
    Allen 08-20-13 Member Since 2014
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    37
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    "Sum of all Men"
    If you could sum up The Sum of All Men in three words, what would they be?

    Power Ambition Right


    Would you recommend The Sum of All Men to your friends? Why or why not?

    This is a book that I think some people would enjoy but maybe not a lot of my friends would. If they were looking for a book to read and had read most of my top ten books then I would recommend this series.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-13-13 Member Since 2011

    cyd16

    ratings
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    77
    5
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    "The Sum of All Men: The Runelords, Book One"

    This book has possibilities. It attempts to be an epic fantasy series and succeeds up to a point. The story line is great with great powerful lords and the poor wretches on which the lords step on. I liked the length and the narrator was good. Although there were some mispronunciations, they weren't terribly annoying. Other than a few gramatical mistakes the writing was interesting and the dialogue of "Gaborn" (I have NO idea how his name is spelled having only heard it.) was deep and thoughtful. I really liked his character because how many men are really going to behave that way?! Loving a woman no matter what is an attractive quality in a man! The thing that disappointed me, or made me not rate it 5, was the constant explanations of how the gifts affected the lords in general. It was good in that you really could begin to imagine it, but once you understand it, you don't need it explained again and again ;) I'm listening to it again before I get the 2nd book in the series. I'm hoping for lots of growth. This was a really good start.Let's hear it for honor, goodness and true love!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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