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    Review of SONS OF THE OAK by David Farland


    Tor, November 2006

    His parents are dying and Fallion, son of the Earth King, is too young. Fallion may be too young, but the world, and indeed all worlds, need him. His earth has become a center and there is a chance that the one true world, a world that was shattered a million million years earlier, may be recreated. Whether it is recreated for good or evil remains to be seen--and Fallion will play a role. But first, he must survive. A former guard, now without any of the endowments which gave him his strength and speed, a water witch, and an aging assassin attempt to take Fallion and his younger brother beyond the end of the world, to a place where they can escape the might of enemies who seek to control him, seek to turn Fallion's power to their own use.

    The temptation is great. Even as a child, Fallion is powerful. He is a fire mage--the same type of talent that was the great enemy his father faced. And the fire is always there, always asking, always tempting, always giving the same answer--destruction. Fallion knows that, ultimately, he must make the same choice that his mentor made--to destroy the dedicates--those who give their strength, their life force, their wit, their sight, to his enemy or to lose. Neither choice can have any satisfaction. Defeat is unthinkable--but the murder of innocents is no way to bring about a new and better world.

    Author David Farland (see more reviews of novels by Farland) launches into the next generation in his creative RUNELORD series. Farland's RUNELORD universe is rich with its elemental mages (earth, water, fire, air), its runes of power, and especially the ability to transfer talents from one individual to another. The 'Force Warriors' who can move many times faster than ordinary humans create fascinating problems for Fallion to overcome--without sacrificing his ideals.

    Farland's strong writing, the fascinatingly complete world he draws, and the complex dilemmas his characters face make SONS OF THE OAK a fantasy worth reading. It isn't necessary to have read the earlier books in the series to get the full enjoyment from this one, although many characters and the rules of magic continue forward. I'm happy to recommend this fantasy novel.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/17/06

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