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 ..Show More »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.
This is a great book, its quite a bit better than the first and really serves to flesh out the world and magic, whereas the first book is mostly const..Show More »rained to a small area of a single country this one wanders around quite a bit. The entire plot of this book takes place in the span of just over a week, starting immediately from where the first book left off - yet so much happens that there is never a dull moment.
The only problem with this series is that it turns out their are 8 of them in total, with the latest one to be published in October of this year (2009), and as of this review only the first two books exist in audio format. So if you want a series you can read strait through you might want to stick these on your wish list for now and check back later. This is definitely one to pick up though, the scope and quality are nearly on par with authors like Robert Jordan - and I truly don't say that lightly.
This is the best book in the series so far. I haven't listened to the 4th yet, but I liked Wizardborn more than the first two(I gave all 4 stars). D..Show More »avid Farland blends deep philosophy with near thriller-style pacing. The Runelords is a very different fantasy series for those two reasons. I highly recommend giving them a try, but you've got to start with the first or you'll be lost.
My review for the whole series (including this book) is pretty much the same as i gave it for the last book which i am copying below. The great thing ..Show More »about this book is that it completes the series.
If you are looking for the 'fantastic' part in a fantasy, this is your book.
World is vivid, and it is serious where people with power held up to serious responsibilities. The magic system is unique, and story line moves at a fast pace. Characters are flushed out, and narrator does justice to them.
My only gripe is that this is a very serious book and does not stop for any light moments. Though, given the background and pace of the book, i am not surprised.
I am a big fan of the Runelord series and the first three books were riveting. I loved the world created by David Farland and the moral choices that w..Show More »ere faced by those trying to defend their lands from other Runelords. With book four the story started to slide a little bit and unfortunately that trend has continued. Book 5, Sons of the Oak, passed the reins of the story over to Gaborn’s sons, Fallion and Jaz, and I just didn’t find them as interesting as Gaborn himself. Worldbinder continues with those same main characters; however, it changes just about everything else.
Farland hits the reset button on his story by having Fallion combine 2 completely different worlds together. The new world created is a hybrid of both old worlds and some characters who were dead on Fallion’s world are now back alive in new incarnations of themselves. Those who were alive on both worlds were combined into someone new with the memories of both. Anyone who did not have a counterpart on the other world remains the same but feels like half a person. I must admit this is a very interesting concept but the manner in which it is implemented just didn't sit well with me. Farland oversimplifies what happens during the binding into something that wasn’t very believable for me.
The transition from Gaborn to Fallion in book 5 lessened the franchise for me. When book 6 completely changed the world around Fallion I found my interest beginning to wane but I was going along hoping for the best. Then the book just ended. The story is incomplete and there is no resolution at all in Worldbinder. Do not pick up this book unless you are willing to be in it for the long haul as this felt more like half a story to me. Even Ray Porter's narration was not up to snuff and felt quite rushed at times. I will give book 7 a listen to see if it pays off but right now I feel like I should have called it a day after book 4.