- Series: Runelords (Book 2)
- Mass Market Paperback: 659 pages
- Publisher: Tor Fantasy (September 15, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812570693
- ISBN-13: 978-0812570694
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 94 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brotherhood of the Wolf (The Runelords, Book Two) Mass Market Paperback – September 15, 2000
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"Farland creates a fresh and unique world that emphasizes the complex issues of humanity, loyalty, and sacrifice. . . . highly recommended for all fans of fantasy." --KLIATT
"Brotherhood of the Wolf, the sequel to The Runelords, is equally as strong in characterization, setting, and action. . . . A surefire read for fans of the first book."--Booklist
"[Farland] continues a powerful story of heroism and sacrifice set in a world of grim choices and potent, yet morally costly magic. The author's unique approach to magic and his skill at worldbuilding make this a good selection for most fantasy collections."--Library Journal
"A first-rate tale, an epic fantasy that more than delivers on its promise. Read it soon and treat yourself to an adventure you won't forget."--Terry Brooks
"With The Runelords, David Farland breaks new ground in fantasy fiction and wakes up anyone who thought they'd read everything the genre had to offer."--Kevin J. Anderson
"It seems that about once a decade a writer of traditional fantasy arrives on the scene who stands head and shoulders above the competition. ...David Farland jointed [the] elite order with The Runelords." --The Suffolk County News, Sayville New York
From the Back Cover
The Epic of the Runelords
"The Runelords heralds the arrival of a serious contender for the Jordan crown."-Michael Stackpole
Raj Ahtan, ruler of Indhopal, has used enough forcibles to transform himself into the ultimate warrior: The Sum of All Men. Ahtan seeks to bring all of humanity under his rule-destroying anything and anyone that stood in his path, including many friends and allies of young Prince Gaborn Val Orden. But Gaborn has fulfilled a two-thousand-year-old prophecy, becoming the Earth King-a mythic figure who can unleash the forces of the Earth itself.
And now the struggle continues. Gaborn has managed to drive off Raj Ahtan, but Ahtan is far from defeated. Striking at far-flung cities and fortresses and killing dedicates, Ahtan seeks to draw out the Earth King from his seat of power, to crush him. But as they weaken each other's forces in battle, the armies of an ancient and implacable inhuman enemy issue forth from the very bowels of the Earth.
"With The Runelords, David Farland breaks new ground in fantasy fiction and wakes up anyone who thought they'd read everything the genre had to offer."-Kevin J. Anderson
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Taking place over the course of just a few days, Brotherhood of the Wolf picks up right where The Sum of All Men left off without breaking stride. Gaborn is grappling with the ramifications of becoming the Earth King, as well as his marriage to Iome Sylvarresta, the daughter of the late King Jas Laren Sylvarresta. Determined not to use forcibles to increase his strength and power, Gaborn finds himself at an immediate disadvantage to Ahtan’s super human abilities, not to mention vulnerable to any who does not share his qualms.It is an ongoing source of dissonance for Gaborn: he sees the slavery and debilitation caused when ever one man gives his abilities to another, but is faced with an enemy that is prepared to end not just humanity but all life on the earth. Should he accept the endowments of other men to become strong enough for the coming battle, or should he rely on his new found abilities as the Earth King? With the selection by the Earth, though, comes responsibility above those of other men, and Gaborn must weigh the future of all men as he makes his decisions.
With how short a time as passes during the novel, events unfold at a breakneck pace. If only Farland would move his text as fast. Not atypical for an epic fantasy, Brotherhood clocks in at nearly 700 pages. Frequently I found myself wondering if a few of those pages weren’t unnecessary to the story.
The result is that Farland develops his characters more than might otherwise be possible in such a short period of time. The length of the novel lends itself to more viewpoints than a shorter story might allow, and shows the reader a broader vision of the events unfolding. While the story never drags–per se–a faster paced story might have spent less time with each view point.
If The Sum of All Men intended to introduce the main protagonist and antagonist of The Runelords series, then Brotherhood feels like a pulling back of the curtain. The threat to Rofehaven and the entire world is far greater than anything introduced in The Sum of All Men, and Farland takes advantage of the opportunity to hint at the scope of his series by introducing side plots, new abilities to what initially appeared to be small characters, and expanding his system of magic beyond the initial forcibles/endowments magic introduced in the first book.
Picking up a thick novel is always a risky endeavor. The time investment is long, and the pay-off may be a long time in coming. In the end, Farland provides, however, delivering a denouement that satisfies his promises, if not perfectly, at least satisfactorily. It’s a worthy successor to The Sum of All Men and continuation of The Runelords’ series. I ran into Farland at the Salt Lake FanXperience in April and picked up Wizardborn from him there. I look forward to following where he takes Gaborn, Iome, Ahtan, and the rest of his growing cast next.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF picks up the day after the close of the previous book, with Gaborn trying to decide how to deal with Raj Ahten's continued threat. We learn that Gaborn and Iome, and Borensen and Myrimma have quickly gotten hitched, and much of the world seems to be gathering at Sylvarresta to pay homage to the newly christened Earth King. The sense of celebration is short lived as a new threat is introduced in the Darkling Glory, a sort of elemental hunter summoned by Raj Ahten's flameweavers, presumably to seek out and destroy Gaborn. From there, the story branches out into a number of very interesting side stories that introduce some excellent new characters. A Wing Rider named Averen is among the first to witness the invasion by the Reavers, and is charged with a quest to deliver the news to the authorities. Her character promises to become one of the main focal points for the rest of the series as she finds herself helping/being helped by the elemental wylde summoned by Binnesman in book 1. Also of key importance in this book is Raj Ahten's most favored concubine, Saffira, who has been endowed with thousands of women's glamour and voice, and sets out to convince Raj Ahten to end the war by seeking peace with the Earth King. Remarkably well-developed for a secondary character, Saffira is one of my favorite parts of this book. Eventually all of the story-lines come together for an epic battle that takes up about a quarter of the book as the forces of man meet an unstoppable-seeming hoard of reavers (which turn out to be every bit as big and bad as they were sold as being). An awesome and devastating battle, this clash serves to demonstrate the talent of Farland and makes me eager to read more of the series.
There are many great aspects about these books, but what stands out the most is the uniqueness of the setting. Obviously, the endowment system stands out as original, but I also like the elemental magics, which give the elements themselves personalities and desires. You can take it literally when the Earth speaks to a character here. Also, the continued proliferation of strange and well-envisioned creatures makes this book stand out from other epic fantasies. Not just frowth giants, flameweavers, and ferrin; but draaks, reavers, glories, and world-worms populate these pages. I hope Farland can keep up the originality in the rest of the series. He's got a really good thing going here, and I look forward to reading more of it! Highly recommended.
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This book is in the opposite category. The whole book leads up to a fantastic climax.Read more