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  • The Sum of All Men

  • The Runelords, Book 1
  • By: David Farland
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 21 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (241 ratings)

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The Sum of All Men cover art

The Sum of All Men

By: David Farland
Narrated by: Ray Porter
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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 listeners say about The Sum of All Men

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

uninspiring

Good narration of a very flat uninspiring fantasy novel. Having just finished the last Covenant book the lack of imagination & use of standard D&D tropes was painful. The whole endowment concept was distasteful & the thought of further entries in the series does not attract me

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Can't get along with main character

Entertaining and gripping story but I find the main character selfish, stupid and annoying

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book read by the brilliant Ray Porter

Great book read by the brilliant Ray Porter. A fantasy epic anyone who loves the genre will enjoy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent storyline,delivered brilliantly!

It starts off slowly but as the story builds and the characters form the story becomes very enjoyable.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Totally absorbing

wonderfully written, and performed superbly. these adventures were a joy to be drawn into.
the only downside was that it ended rather too quickly; I feel there should have been so much more.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An unexpected pleasure!

I had never read anything by David Farland before this novel, I only found it when I searched for other books narrated by Ray Porter as I love his narration and voice and have read many of the books he has narrated. This novel actually suited my love of fantasy, history and action, it had everything I could have wanted in a book. I was surprised to find out how many sequels there have been, I now have a lot of catching up to do and I carnt wait to follow the story to its conclusion and finally i have a few months of good novels to keep me occupied. I must admit that you carnt help but compare this novel to the Lord of the rings and game of thrones, but personally I have enjoyed this more than either of those. The characters are endearing, especially Gaborn and Iome and you feel you could follow them to the end of the earth and never waver and of course Ray Porters performance was flawless. I have already purchased book two and three and I will be speedily devouring them as soon as possible to catch up. In conclusion it's a must read for anyone who has enjoyed Game of thrones or Lord of the rings, or to be honest anyone who enjoys fantasy novels.

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9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Excessive usage of name.

The story seems to be good but excessive use of Gaborn in every 2 seconds ruined the story for me. We already know the protagonist's name no need to repeat it in every breath. Could not continue listening because of this eventhough the narrator is really good.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Decent.

Exessive loredumping and juvenile writing lowers the score on this actually interesting story with good world building. The narrator is excellent, and the second half of the book is certainly better than the first. I will listen to the next one as well.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Epic Goodness

That was an exceptional first book in the RuneLords series, the first book is actually called The Sum Of All Men. This series has been out along time and I only noticed it when it came up as part of my audible membership, the whole series is available to download free as part of your membership if you're subscribed to audible. Anyway this is epic fantasy at it finest. The worldbuilding, setting and plot is excellent, David Farland storytelling is fantastic, his description of the magic that is used to destroy, create and use for good is is quite surreal. The magic system, whereby people can be empowered by taking endowments from people, like wit, stamina, brawn, sight, metabolism making the person recieving the the endowments more powerful but leaving the Dedicates, Facilitators or Vectors a wreck. At times this can be quite horrific or saddenning, depending on the situation, whether the endowments is taken by force or freely given and as a plot device it is really well used. In book one of The Runelords, Raj Ahten, the Wolf Lord of Indhopal, uses magic to transform himself into the ultimate warrior. He seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule, destroying anything and anyone in his path. Standing in his way is Prince Gaborn Val Orden, who must fulfil a 2,000-year-old prophecy and become the Earth King. The King of all Kings, only then do they have a chance to beat the Wolf Lord Raj Ahten. The intrigue, the suspense and emotions, you get from this book is brilliant. I very highly recommend....😁💙🔥💥

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent story

While the plot jumped around somewhat the overall story was interesting and kept my attention. Typically numbers were exaggerated beyond belief giving the book a low level of credence. The principle characters were not well fleshed out and it therefore lacked any real depth. Yet, it kept me interested so as long as you don’t expect too much from it it’s worth a listed. A good ‘actor’ helped a lot, very well voiced.

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