The Sum of All Men: Original ideas

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review David Farland The RunelordsThe Sum of All Men by David Farland

Gaborn Orden, the next King of Mystarria is headed to the kingdom of Heredon to ask the lovely Princess Iome for her hand in marriage. Castle Sylvarresta however is under attack by the evil Raj Ahten, the Runelord of all Runelords. With thousands of endowments taken from other men and women, he is truly a man among men, and he takes over Castle Sylvarresta without a single drop of blood being shed. Gaborn however can see through this ruthless man. Endowed with the Gift of the Earth and deemed to be the future King who will seek revenge upon Raj, Ahten Gaborn flees with the Princess and King Sylvarresta to beat Raj Ahten to the fortress where he has mistakenly hidden several thousand forcibles — the key to his power. With the power of the Earth behind him, Gaborn must turn away from the lessons he was taught as a child in order to defeat the powers of evil and he learns the lesson that all rulers must learn: Anyone can win a fortress, but few can win the hearts of his people.

The Sum of All Men was a surprisingly good read which would be suitable for adults and young adults. I did not have high hopes for it when I started it as the pace seemed to be dragging to an extent. It took quite a few chapters to get the feel of David Farland‘s writing style and to keep the idea of the “Runelords” in mind. Basically the basic jist of a Runelord is that if one man is the “lord,” he can take endowments or gifts from others to increase those powers in himself (i.e., I can endow you with my sense of sight and you will be able to see twice as well, but I will then be blind). However, if the person who gave the endowment (the dedicate) dies, the Runelord loses that power as it dies with the dedicate. If the Runelord dies, the dedicate receives the endowment he/she gave back to their body. There are other rules and twists that apply to the “runes” and endowments that are given between dedicate and master and sometimes these things are hard to keep straight. It became easier and easier as the book went on, however.

The idea is definitely original. I have never read about something even remotely similar to Farland’s new theories of giving endowments to other characters. On the flip side however, Farland gives a lot of emphasis to elemental wizards, something that is tired and has a sort of “been there, done that” feeling. However, it does not distract from the main theme of the book, as these wizards are decently minor characters with the exception of the Wizard Binnesman who represents the Earth.

A few of Farland’s characters were under-developed. I could have used more from the Wizard Binensman in terms of background, and Iome, though central to the plot, is surprisingly shallow. She becomes less so as the book goes on, but it was still slightly annoying nonetheless.

But, all and all,The Sum of All Men was very well written and had a nice flow with a great ending. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsJulie Waineo, one of our earliest guest reviewers, earned an MBA at Bowling Green State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in French. Now living in Virginia with her husband and dog, Julie is an avid reader of not only fantasy, but historical fiction, the occasional “chick lit,” and children’s literature.

The Runelords — (1998-2016) Publisher: The very Earth is in pain. Its wounds must be healed. There must arise a new king: the Earth King must be reborn. Only then will humanity have a chance to survive.

David Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland The Runelords 1. The Sum of All Men 2. Brotherhood of the Wolf 3. Wizardborn 4. The Lair of Bones 5. Sons of the Oak 6. Wolfbinder 7. The Wyrmling HordeDavid Farland Runelords 8. Berserker Lordfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews


SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail  FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

FanLit thanks this guest for contributing to our site!

View all posts by

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *