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View Full Version : Anyone read the Runelords?


Juan
01-11-2011, 11:22 PM
I don't read much in terms of "stories." But when I do it's always science fiction and it's always something like the Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the Runelords series. WOT is what got me into this many years ago. I think a Song of Ice and Fire came next, and later the Runelords, by David Farland.

I love all three. When I'm reading each series, that one becomes my favorite... But always when I don't read any of them, I realize that WOT is truly my favorite.. haha.

Anyway, obviously WOT is out of the way because this is a site dedicated to it.. And I've heard A Song of Ice and Fire mentioned on different threads multiple times. However, I have yet to see anyone mention the Runelords! I love that series too.

Anyone read it? What'd you think of it?

And if not, I recommend it!

Weird Harold
01-12-2011, 12:53 AM
I've read the first two, but lost interest partway through the third; even after a re-read of the first two leading into the third, it was like reading an entirely different series -- or like a fan-fiction only loosely based on the first two.

Farland isn't a bad author but I think he "lost control of his world" in the third book.

Juan
01-12-2011, 02:39 PM
I see what you mean. And I agree it felt a little off then... However, I read on because I saw a lot of potential in the story and I'm glad I did. The story got better and better in many ways and it sort of came together. I don't have the books on me right now, but I remember in one of the books, I was disappointed because the story stopped being about the previous main character, Gaborn, and focused on his son, Fallion. It was a drastic and weird change at first, (kinda like the star wars movies that go from anakin to luke). However, like Stars Wars, it worked and fit. And in fact, in some ways I like the books based on Gaborn better, and in many other ways I like the books on Fallion better. The story is wider, there's more going on, it's really amazing the way the world expanded and all that. But that's my take on it.

Basel Gill
01-12-2011, 04:42 PM
I read 3 books and kind of liked it. Cool ideas, but he lost me in book 4 and I quit. Haven't read anymore in 4-5 years.

Weird Harold
01-12-2011, 05:13 PM
it's really amazing the way the world expanded and all that. But that's my take on it.

Farland has fallen into the same trap that ruined Dune and Riftworld; he has either gotten trapped into writing endlelss sequels to appease fans or publisher, or he's lost sight of the original vision and can't find the logical ending of his story -- or both.

Even Eddings knew enough to foreclose the possibilities of more sequels and prequels after Polgara the Sorceress in the universe of the Belgariad. And they quit while ahead with the Mallorean in the Sparhawk uninverse.

Juan
01-12-2011, 09:04 PM
You're right in a way.

For me, WOT flows pretty much perfectly story-wise. Everything feels in place, even if sometimes I wish certain things had or hadn't happened.

ASOIF by GRR Martin is great too. He does some crazy ass and awesome twists, but his storyline flows really well in my opinion.

And the Runelords do not.. You're right in that he kinda struggled. I haven't read Dune or Riftworld, so I think I know what you're talking about, but the examples don't do too much for me.

To me, though, and if you were to continue I think you'd find the same-- Farland didn't lose sight of the original vision, nor is he writing to appease fans. Let me explain. RJ wrote the WOT and already knew what was going to happen at the end. And he had many notes and details in the first book about such an ending, so the storyline was essentially set, so after that, everything flowed smoothly. I think Farland's mistake was that in his first few books he didn't quite set up what he intended to be the ending. He sort of hinted at it, but in a way that's way too much of a stretch. Like for example, without ruining the books for you in case you ever want to read them again. The story started with Gaborn fighting Raj Ahten and the first few books was about that. He slowly he started introducing the reaver monsters, which in a way sort of deviated from what you thought was the main storyline. But really the main storyline was the reaver attack and all that. And later when Gaborn's son, Fallion, becomes the main character, you realize the main storyline wasn't really the reaver attack either! It's been about the creature of evil taking over the multiple worlds in the universe, and all that. So you see, from the first few books, you didn't really know that. Raj Ahten, the reavers, and what happened in Fallion's storyline, were all things that happened to set the story, introduce the characters for the main storyline. And by the last book that came out, you realize how all of that made sense. However, before then, it just seemed like he was jumping from storyline to storyline. I think that's his mistake, he should've tried to set it up in a better way, made the different stories flow more smoothly. I don't know exactly how he should've done it, but I do see that lack of flow that series such as WOT and ASOIF have.

But I will say again. If you keep on reading, you'll see that the story will make more and more sense, and you'll be thinking. Ah! So that's what that was about. That's pretty neat! And that sort of thing.

Weird Harold
01-13-2011, 02:02 AM
I haven't read Dune or Riftworld, so I think I know what you're talking about, but the examples don't do too much for me.

Dune was a hit and instant cult favorite when it was first released. I'm pretty sure than the next two were if not planned, at least planned for. Those first three pretty much wrapped up the story, but then another book appeared and then another, and each successive book was clearly an afterthought from then on.

The Riftwar saga by Raymond Feist, was a very entertaining, well written five book series. The world was introduced, the characters developed and the story told to a satisfactory conclusion.

The Daughter of Empire Trilogy was a very good, shared universe collaboration by Janny Wurtz with Feist. It explored events on the other side of the Rift in another universe -- basically a newly designed universe that only intersects the riftwar at one point. (coincidentally, an asian influenced universe very much like Seanchan)

That trilogy also wrapped up the story satisfactorily.

But then Riftwar was turned into a role playing game, and every riftwar book I've sampled since reads like the transcript of a gaming session.

To me, though, and if you were to continue I think you'd find the same-- Farland didn't lose sight of the original vision, nor is he writing to appease fans.

From the quality of his narrative style, I wouldn't expect him to be as unfocussed as he appeared to be in at least planning for more books.

What you described with the change in main character to his son and the introduction of multiple worlds, sound VERY much like what happened to the Riftwar.

In fact, a quick google shows that there are indeed a couple of authorized Runelord role playing modules (http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=9516) and at least two different computer game versions. <shrugs> Whether that had anything with the decline in focus of Runelords or not, I can't say; There is a WOTRPG and RJ incorporated a few items from the RPG into the books -- much as he auctioned off bit parts for charity in the latter books -- but it clearly didn't affect the course of the WOT plotlines.

Juan
01-13-2011, 02:29 AM
Ah and yeah. Farland is a great author no doubt about it.

Thanks for the info on the other series, I'd heard of Dune at least, but and now that you explained it to me, I remember hearing people voicing the similar opinions. I think I may skip that series... :P

I doubt Farland's games and whatnot actually did anything to change the story. But that's just me guessing from the quality of author he is. An interesting suggestion though. I should e-mail him and ask about his thought process hahaha.

Rand al'Fain
02-18-2011, 03:29 AM
I think I read the first book of that series. Something about people giving like their voice, good looks, etc, to others for a price or something? Seemed almost like an Armegeddon book than anything.

I did read Vampire Earth Series, which takes place after an Armegeddon. And it's fiction/horror series. Good, but somethings make you wonder what gave the author the ideas to write them.

Juan
02-18-2011, 11:57 PM
Yeah that's the one. It's a great read in my opinion. Very entertaining characters and plotline. Especially as you get further into the story.

Oatman
02-19-2011, 08:54 AM
With the Runelords series I found I didn't really connect with any of the characters. They just seemed to lack depth, and there was never any subtlety in character interactions. Also, I wasn't a fan of the whole transferal of power thing. I like the gradual development of characters, both character wise and power wise, but in runelords it's just BAM your a superhuman. It makes characters to easily replaceable, and to obviously useless when they aren't at the level of others.
I haven't finished the series yet(if it has finished) but it is one of the few series I feel little motivation to follow up on.

Rand al'Fain
02-19-2011, 02:21 PM
With the Runelords series I found I didn't really connect with any of the characters. They just seemed to lack depth, and there was never any subtlety in character interactions. Also, I wasn't a fan of the whole transferal of power thing. I like the gradual development of characters, both character wise and power wise, but in runelords it's just BAM your a superhuman. It makes characters to easily replaceable, and to obviously useless when they aren't at the level of others.
I haven't finished the series yet(if it has finished) but it is one of the few series I feel little motivation to follow up on.

Pretty much how I felt.

Juan
02-20-2011, 12:47 AM
Not so. In the later books, (without spoiling anything just in case), you find that Fallion Orden, the son of Gaborn Orden (the main character in the first few books) doesn't have the runes aka is superhuman or has superhuman abilities. Neither do his companions, and yet they find other ways to cope. As to connecting with the characters, I find that Borenson (Gaborn's close friend and bodyguard) as loyal as he was to Gaborn's father and Gaborn himself, and yet with all his flaws, was someone I could easily connect with. Then Gaborn's wife, her name escapes me, I could connect with because she felt good and real. Gaborn near the end was like how Rand now seems to be, super kind and good like that. But he didn't quite start out like that. There was much sacrifice on his part, because those abilities come at a price.. And his wife had without his consent sacrificed him for the world.. Idk I don't want to spoil anything but it's great. Runelords with those insane abilities can still be beat, although it's difficult to do.

In Runelords it's not just "BAM you're a superhuman." If anything, think of channelers in WOT.. They have superhuman abilities and people who don't channel will find it near impossible although doable to kill someone who can. Same thing in Runelords, except of channeling, it's other sorts of abilities. So there's superhumans in WOT in their own way with channeling, and there's superhumans in the Runelords. But they key is they can be beat. In fact, I'd say the superhumans in WOT are more unfair than the superhumans in Runelords, because as I said, those superhuman powers come at a price. Meaning, the more brawn you get, the slower you become, to compensate, you give yourself more metabolism (makes you faster) but that means you live faster and thus will have shorter lives. Whereas in WOT, a channeler doesn't have such a price to pay. It's just all benefit for the channeler.

That's why I don't see where you're going with that statement... Honestly, I'm really surprised that those who have read the book(s) haven't really enjoyed it.

Rand al'Fain
02-20-2011, 03:39 AM
Not so. In the later books, (without spoiling anything just in case), you find that Fallion Orden, the son of Gaborn Orden (the main character in the first few books) doesn't have the runes aka is superhuman or has superhuman abilities. Neither do his companions, and yet they find other ways to cope. As to connecting with the characters, I find that Borenson (Gaborn's close friend and bodyguard) as loyal as he was to Gaborn's father and Gaborn himself, and yet with all his flaws, was someone I could easily connect with. Then Gaborn's wife, her name escapes me, I could connect with because she felt good and real. Gaborn near the end was like how Rand now seems to be, super kind and good like that. But he didn't quite start out like that. There was much sacrifice on his part, because those abilities come at a price.. And his wife had without his consent sacrificed him for the world.. Idk I don't want to spoil anything but it's great. Runelords with those insane abilities can still be beat, although it's difficult to do.

In Runelords it's not just "BAM you're a superhuman." If anything, think of channelers in WOT.. They have superhuman abilities and people who don't channel will find it near impossible although doable to kill someone who can. Same thing in Runelords, except of channeling, it's other sorts of abilities. So there's superhumans in WOT in their own way with channeling, and there's superhumans in the Runelords. But they key is they can be beat. In fact, I'd say the superhumans in WOT are more unfair than the superhumans in Runelords, because as I said, those superhuman powers come at a price. Meaning, the more brawn you get, the slower you become, to compensate, you give yourself more metabolism (makes you faster) but that means you live faster and thus will have shorter lives. Whereas in WOT, a channeler doesn't have such a price to pay. It's just all benefit for the channeler.

That's why I don't see where you're going with that statement... Honestly, I'm really surprised that those who have read the book(s) haven't really enjoyed it.

My issues stemmed from
1. Killing a bunch of innocent people in order to take away a tyrant's power, and many of them pretty much defenseless. Can't say I really cared for that part, to say the least.
2. Get enough of those "melodic" voices, and you don't need to channel in order to coerce people into doing what you want, all you have to do is speak.
3. I only read the first one, and that was probably 2 years ago or so, so my memory is pretty rusty on everything that happened. But those things do stand out for me.

Oatman
02-20-2011, 07:12 AM
I've read up to book 5 or 6. So Fallion had taken over by that point. Fallion and his group did get along well without rune-powers. Because as the time the oponents they encountered also didn't rune-powers. As soon as they did, Fallion's group decided to beef themselves up. Funny that.

In Runelords it's not just "BAM you're a superhuman." If anything, think of channelers in WOT.. They have superhuman abilities and people who don't channel will find it near impossible although doable to kill someone who can

I think you must have misunderstood my issue here. In runelords a normal person can go from zip to the most powerful being on the planet in the space of an afternoon provided he has enough people willing to sacrifice themselves for him. Your best fighter died? no worries, he can be replaced by someone with exactly the same attribures.
In WoT, channelers need to learn, and power levels build with experience. Aes Sedai are in training for years before they are deemed to have sufficient control to use the OP independently, and have various strengths and weaknesses which are influenced by what I can only assume is birth.

And just to restate, my objection to the characters themselves was that I felt they were superficial. I felt a greater connection with Borenson's father in the few chapters he was in that I felt to Borenson. And even that wasn't much. The time spent with the major characters, it was like they were all playing a role with each other.

If you enjoyed the books, cool. I probably enjoy some books that you don't. I just found the series lacking.

Juan
02-20-2011, 01:36 PM
@Rand
That's the point. Not every story is perfume and roses. (I forgot the actual expression so I just made that up.. haha). That's part of the hideous thing about the runes, and why some characters refuse to utilize them.

@Oatman
I don't remember Fallion taking runes.

I did misunderstand. I see what you're saying, but as is mentioned a few times but shown best in the latest book, which focuses heavily on Borenson, skill is extremely important that's why he can take on warriors with runes (as long as they don't have a ridiculous amount) and still best them in battle.

I guess on the characters thing that's a bit more subjective, and while I disagree personally, I can accept the fact that you feel otherwise.

Again, I'm just so surprised that all the people who've posted on this thread except for me didn't really care for the series. Maybe I have bad taste.. or maybe you guys do? :P

Basel Gill
02-20-2011, 01:51 PM
It felt like Raj Ahten was being det up as the big bad buy, then it switched to the Reavers. That seemed to kind of come from nowhere and for some reason I didnt find them particularly intriguing.

Juan
02-20-2011, 03:32 PM
Yes you find out what really happened with Raj Ahten and what really happened with the Reavers and why it happened in later books when Fallion is the main character and you begin finding out more about Lady/Lord Despair.

Oatman
02-20-2011, 03:43 PM
Fallion himself doesn't, but his friends do.

And yes, people with one or two could be beaten by someone with none through superior skill. If a limit had been put in place it would have been fine. But when a characters neck heals faster than it can be cut off, I'm pretty sure the average Joe is screwed.

Rand al'Fain
02-20-2011, 04:12 PM
@juan
That was only a part of why I didn't bother to read other books. But others have already pointed out why, mainly because someone can go from a nobody to basically a god of sorts in a day, coerce people to join him with a few words, have ridiculous self-healing powers (channelers in WoT cannot heal themselves), and other super human abilities with no limitations on the number of runes per person. So yeah, not my cup of tea.

I don't mind action in books (actually, the big battle scenes in LOTR and WoT are some of my favorite), but somethings are just a major turn-off for me in stories. Like a bok I read called Sister Alice. It ended up being a conintous time-loop with pretty much no hope of the hero of the story being able to change anything. So, no, it is certain concepts (also in Sister Alice, 100 families were "chosen" to be pretty much gods that are nigh indestructible with "talents" that make them so) that turn me away from books, not horror actions or any such. Like Vampire Earth, the main character, in the first book, finds a girl that he liked was slaughtered. In a later book, probably one of the worst things I have read (yet I still read books after it) is that he willingly gave the "vampire" where he was at a newborn baby so that the "vampire" could suck the baby's life out right then and there.