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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    352
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    311
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    163
  • 2 Stars
    33
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    30

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    225
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    75
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    21
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    11

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic story

This story was one of the best developed and most creative I have ever read in my life. Full of drama, emotion, symbolism, action, and the human condition. The writing style was a little dry and corny in places, with a few failed attempts at prose, but the page-gripping story more than made up for it. I certainly recommend it.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • TheGoat
  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, United States
  • 12-30-15

Horrible Narration :(

Would you try another book from David Farland and/or Ray Porter?

This series was recommended to me by a friend. He read it a while back. I got to chapter 4 and that's all I could take. Ray Porter is really bad. I may try reading it instead of listening to give it another shot.

Would you ever listen to anything by David Farland again?

Yes if he does not have Porter narrate.

How could the performance have been better?

Use proper inflection and do not try so hard to make every single sentence sound as if its super intense.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Sum of All Men?

The scene where the chick lays down to pretend she is about to get nailed by a dude...

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amateurish garbage. paint by numbers fantasy.

Expect no surprises. if you want generic writing with amateur world building and no character development , this is book for you.

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  • Story

Well worth the listen

The narration of this book brings it life! The author provides bountiful detail that creates beauty and magic! Most of all this story creates such deep thought of the morals of mankind and in turn has the reader searching his/her own soul, pondering their own humanity. Very compelling novel! Now on to book two!

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Old Sy Fy Fan

Excellent book !! Fantastic narrator !!#
This will be a great series ..


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  • Bob
  • USA
  • 07-03-15

Okay story, Poor delivery.

Although I felt the story was good, Ray Porter's
delivery and inflection on certain words such as "voice" throughout the story was laboring to the point of being tedious at times. There are also noticeable audio differences at multiple breaks throughout the story, these things distract and lessen the experience.

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  • Story
  • David
  • West Jordan, UT, United States
  • 06-24-15

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?

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • 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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • 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!

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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.