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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » David Farland's the Runelords

   
Author Topic: David Farland's the Runelords
Stone_Wolf_
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I just finished The Lair of Bones, book four, the final book in the Earth King series, by David Farland.

I give the series a B-. While it was entertaining, and had an interesting premise, I found that there was a common thread of inconsistency, in what was possible in this world, editing, descriptions and writing quality. Character development was low, the books moving along more by "what's going to happen next" external problems.

The premise behind the series (with no spoilers) is that through magic, one (of many) attributes can be permanently transferred (drained) from one person to another. The giver of an attribute is called a "dedicate" and the receiver called a Rune Lord. Strength, grace, sight, hearing, metabolism, touch, memory, voice, glamor and stamina can all be given, with the dedicate then housed and protected for life by the lord. Once the lord dies, the attribute returns and the dedicate can never give away an attribute again. If the dedicate dies, the lord loses the extra attribute.

An attribute must be given, that is, you can cajole, blackmail, buy or be given in good grace, but can not actually force someone to give up an "endowment".

The whole series takes place over about two weeks. That being said, the pace of the books was not a page turning goodness.

One main villain is Raj Ahton, a "Wolf Lord" who covets endowments and uses every possible trick in the book to achieve his goals.

Another bad guy is the reavers, huge underground dwelling, magic using, buglike creatures which are nearly unkillable to easily dispatched, depending on when in the series you are reading.

There is also elemental magic, earth, wind, fire and water, who are represented by "wardens" although the concept is only limitedly and imperfectly perused. A major character as the series progresses is an Earth Warden, and this aspect is the most thoroughly and enjoyably written about.

One major flaw I see is what the effect of taking the attribute of "metabolism" does to a Rune Lord. I won't go into too much detail, as I don't want to spoil anything.

Did anyone else read this series? Anyone else think it was good not great?

I would recommend this series in general, as an entertaining read if you are in need of a decent book. But I would not recommend it if you are troubled by little inconsistencies or if you have a lot of books to read on your dance card.

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mr_porteiro_head
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I've read the first two books. I started the third, but got distracted by something more interesting book.

B- is about what I'd give it as well.

To me, it kinda reads like a low-rent version of Brandon Sanderson.

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Stone_Wolf_
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...looks up Brandon Sanderson.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I could never get into the Wheel of Time series, although I tried at least thrice.

Which series (other then co-writing with Robert Jordan) do you recommend?

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mr_porteiro_head
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Mistborn.
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natural_mystic
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I also only read the first two books. I'd give it a B- or C+. The 'attributes' premise was interesting, but then it did little to distinguish itself.

[ April 22, 2011, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: natural_mystic ]

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Jon Boy
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I tried reading the first book. I found the writing so awkward and amateurish that I gave up after maybe twenty pages.
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Kwea
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I love the concepts, but found the books to be a little difficult to read. I read the first 3, I think.

I love that magic has costs, and that those costs vary depending on the number of endowments and the types of endowments. I also like that you can take them from animals, although it was frowned upon.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I should also note that in book four the wrapping up loose ends part of the book was very well done and satisfying as few series endings I have read are.
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I could never get into the Wheel of Time series, although I tried at least thrice.

Which series (other then co-writing with Robert Jordan) do you recommend?

Sanderson is a brilliant, acessible writer. You can't go wrong. The Mistborn born books are great.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I will read them, thanks guys.
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Xavier
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I read the first book, and was entertained by it somewhat. If I had the second one in front of me I'm sure I'd probably have read it, but I wasn't about to make an effort to acquire it.
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Launchywiggin
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Wow. I ate these books up--clearly I'm not as avid a fantasy reader as others here, because I loved the Runelords. I thought that endowments were a very cool/creative magic system and spent lots of time picturing/imagining how badass some of the runelords were. I dunno--Superman is boring to me, but Raj Ahten, a dude with thousands of endowments of every kind is badass and cool. Thumbs up to Borenson and Binnesman, too--great characters.
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Magson
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If you want a stand-alone from Sanderson, try Elantris or Warbreaker. I think Warbreaker's actually up for free on his website if you don't want to buy it. Mistborn trilogy is wicked fun.

I also really enjoyed The Way of Kings and am very much looking forward to the next installment in that series. I'm actually considering re-reading it. Plus once he's finished WoT for Jordan I plan on going back and doing a big marathon read. . . .

Edit: Warbreaker is on his website here if you want to check it out.

Oh yeah. . . on topic. I kinda liked the 1st 2 or 3 books of the Runelords, but don't recall if I read the 4th or not. And I haven't read any other books set in that world either. I just lost interest.

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mr_porteiro_head
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According to Sanderson, Warbreaker isn't a standalone -- it is the first half of a duology.
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Magson
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Really? I need to follow up on him more often then, and I look forward to the 2nd half too.
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mr_porteiro_head
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Also, the Mistborn trilogy is the first in a trilogy of trilogies, with the last being basically allomancers in space.

It sounds like a joke, I know.

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docmagik
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I'm suprised anybody would find the Runelords to be amateurishly written. Not doubting it--I'm sure you did--just suprised.

I liked the second book better. It was when the characters started to come into their own for me. The third was so different I had a time starting it, but I usually have a hard time starting any book. I think the Hobbit took me at least a dozen tries.

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manji
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That's interesting, because David Farland taught the creative writing class that Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, and Stephenie Meyer were in.
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Kwea
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That's a push then. Sanderson is great.

Wells I have never heard of or read.

If Farland had ANYTHING to do with the Twilight crap from Meyer, he will have to answer to St. Peter for it.

[Big Grin]

[ May 03, 2011, 08:12 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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Magson
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I don't think the Runelords books were badly written, I just lost interest in the world. They'd "won" but more books kept coming and I just didn't care to read them.

FYI, David Farland = Dave Wolverton, so if you can find some of his older work like The Golden Queen or Serpent Catch, you might be pleasantly surprised. I read them long ago, but recall loving The Golden Queen, while thinking Serpent Catch was weird but good.

And of course now that I look it up on Amazon I see that The Golden Queen was 1st in a trilogy. Darnitall, now I gotta go back and find the whole trilogy so I can read it since there's no kindle version.

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Kwea
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I loved Serpent Catch and the sequel, and was aware of his duality. [Big Grin]
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