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The Sum of All Men Audiobook

The Sum of All Men: The Runelords, Book One

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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

4.0 (850 )
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4.2 (611 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Carl Twilley 12-15-11 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I find the idea of endowments repulsive"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no, the protagonists aversion to endowments is encouraging


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

    The idea that some people would actually grant endowments willingly. Seems unlikely.


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Character portrayal is believeable


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not likely


    Any additional comments?

    I'm still in the middle of the series. The endowment stuff may get rectified before the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vbearski 01-18-15
    vbearski 01-18-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "BORING!!! AND PREDICTABLE"
    Would you try another book from David Farland and/or Ray Porter?

    Yes


    What could David Farland have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Not been so predictable


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ray Porter?

    Narrator was ok


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

    All the taking of people's attributes. It got really old after a while.


    Any additional comments?

    I've been an Audible member for many years. This, I think, is the worst book I have tried to date. I would like to be able to go into profound detail as to why I dislike this book so much. However, not possible as the only words of description that come to mind are boring and predictable. I read a review prior to purchase and was excited that I had found a new series. Maybe the review was mistakenly placed next to this title?? I gave it five hours and could not take the predictableness any longer. Probably a really good story line and although there are several more in the series, I just have to stop the listen. Hopefully, I can return it and not have to waste a good credit on such a horrible book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devon Canaseraga, NY, United States 11-02-11
    Devon Canaseraga, NY, United States 11-02-11

    I enjoy epic fantasy and biological science books. While biological science appeals to my professional life,epic fantasy gives me a break.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Balance of Lore, Magic and Warfare"

    This universe is setup great. The elemental magic system is not very original, but there take on it is different from most books. The real stand out element of there magic system is the concept of rune endowments, which can leave characters vulnerable through out the story; allowing for a dynamic change in a characters role in the story.

    The main character or at least the character that the story centers around is well developed and is portrayed as a protagonist that relays on intelligence and cunning. In general the whole cast of characters are well developed. The only weakness in cast characters is the antagonist who is your typical take from everyone world domination bad guy that is a bit overplayed. However, it is a minor weakness and does not keep you from enjoying the story.

    The narration is better done than most audio books.

    Overall, this is a great beginning to the story and balances sword, sorcery and the overall story. This could stand to be a true epic fantasy classic. There is a minor political aspect to the book, but if you more interested in political balance than warfare it may not be for you. The book is set over a matter of days and alot happens for just a few days. However, everything around the characters is supposed to move at a slower pace the characters because of "metabolism endowments"( a day can seem like a week or weeks) ; it causes you to be okay with the fast pace of the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David M. Alden 02-11-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Lee Lincoln, CA, USA 12-24-08
    Lee Lincoln, CA, USA 12-24-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    Interesting approach to the concepts of destiny, empowerment and the obligations of the privileged vs the commoner. Definitely worth the read, or listen. I hope the rest of the series makes its way onto
    Audible.

    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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Mark W. Stallings Colorado Springs, CO United States 05-24-17
    Mark W. Stallings Colorado Springs, CO United States 05-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    18
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    "A Deep Tapestry of High Adventure"
    Where does The Sum of All Men rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the better productions I have listened to. The material makes this a great saga of escapism adventure.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sum of All Men?

    When Gaborn is spurned by the lovely Princess Iome


    What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?

    Ray Porter does an excellent job of cadence and bringing the characters to life. The recording is of high quality and the voice characterization is fairly consistent.


    Any additional comments?

    The deep history of the land combined with believable characters makes this an amazing Epic tale. I am happy there are more books in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-17-17
    04-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    4
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    "amazing story. well written, and eveloping."

    This book was very captivating. from the start it is exceptionally detailed pulling you into the world. loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenton SANDY, UT, United States 03-17-17
    Kenton SANDY, UT, United States 03-17-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    10
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    "Couldn't Keep the Book in My Hands"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sum of All Men the most enjoyable?

    Interesting facts and details people and animals, i.e., a saddle that smelled of oil, bakers using the foam from the ale for leaven, and characters I cared to see fall in love and survive against impossible odds. I was introduced to magic I'd never imagined before. It was fascinating.


    What other book might you compare The Sum of All Men to and why?

    First time I've read a fantasy novel, and now I realize what I've been missing. I shared it with my son in-law who reads that genre and he agreed it was compelling.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Loved the emphasis, the expressions, the accent of his voice. I would read anything he performed.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me shudder, gasp, cry, laugh, even talk aloud, "OMGosh" Yes the full range of emotions and surprise. The last few scenes wrapped up the characters and held every bit as much intrigue and weight as at the first, and the very last line of the book gave me chills.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't keep this book in my hands because everyone else wanted to read it. I bought it three times, two paperback and the last one here on Audible where I could finally finish it. It was worth the wait, and I'm ready to grab the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bobby Williams 04-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "fantasy sleeper"

    Overall a great book. The reading was increasingly captivating, and the story full of resonance and historically styled telling. you start with the wonder, and you definitely will stay for the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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