According to Farland's Web site, the Runelords series, of which this is the fourth book after 2001's Wizardborn, was inspired by a hallucination. It also reads like one at times, full of rich and brilliant descriptions, but not always making much sense. Magical endowments-attributes such as sight, brawn or endurance transferred between people, leaving one crippled and the other superhuman-permit Averan, a nine-year-old wizard-in-training, to keep pace with the Earth King, Prince Gaborn and his cohorts as they search underground for the Queen of the Reavers. As those above ground prepare for war, Gaborn learns that his elemental powers are nothing compared to those of the Glories, forces of light who exhort their followers to love all men equally and beware the corrupting powers of the One True Master of Evil. The author rushes the action in the final chapters, the last one so condensed it reads almost like the summary of another complete book. Hopefully, the strength of the setting will help Farland to find a better pace for future volumes; this one, despite its promise, is strictly for the fans. (Oct. 27) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
In an attempt to free his people from the sorcerous monsters known as reavers, Gaborn, the Earth King, undertakes a perilous journey deep within the earth in search of the reavers' "One True Master." Other enemies await him, as Raj Ahten, the powerful ruler of Kartish, seeks to conquer the lands of the Earth King to add to his growing empire. Farland's latest addition to his epic Runelords series (Wizardborn; Brotherhood of the Wolf; The Runelords) features complex heroes and villains and a unique system of magic gained through sacrifices from both willing and unwilling victims. A good choice for most fantasy collections, particularly those owning the earlier volumes. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.