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    BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF: The Runelords by David Farland

    Tom Doherty Associates, 1999

    Prince Gaborn Val Orden (Gaborn) has a problem. He has been selected by the earth itself as Earth King, but his human opponent (Raj Ahtan--a major player in Runelords, the first book in this series) continues to kill Gaborn's people and Reavers, destructive monsters who threaten the earth itself, are mounting a major offensive. Gaborn is torn between his urge to protect his people, his desire to attack Ahtan, who killed Gaborn's father, and his responsibilities as Earth King--responsibilities that transcend nationality.

    Gaborn's stuborn insistence on torturing himself for his inability to protect all of his people can be occasionally tiresome, but this is the only flaw in this fast-moving and major work. The system of magic is fully developed and internally consistent. The concept of using 'endowments' from donors to strengthen human attributes is both a plausible magic system and useful in defining the military actions undertaken by both Gaborn and Ahtan. Farland thrusts Gaborn and his other point-of-view characters from one dilemna to the next, never giving them or the reader the opportunity to pause or put the book down. (See all reviews of novels by David Farland.)

    Four Stars

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