Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sons of the Oak

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The fifth entry of author David Farland’s The Runelords series opens with Asgaroth sending his consciousness across the universe, ultimately finding what remains of the One True World and coming before his master, Shadoath. The main text mostly follows the primary protagonist Fallion, son of the Earth King Gaborn, and is alongside his mother Queen Iome Sylvarresta in mourning. Fallion and his companion Jaz prepare to embark upon a journey, with the former being certain to bring along his pet ferrin Humfrey. Fallion embarks upon a ship, the Leviathan, which needs repair for most of the book.

Fallion also hones his fencing skills with Borenson, and notices a black ship during the voyage, headed by the Pirate Lord Shadoath. Fallion finds himself tempted by a flameweaver termed Smoker, and Captain Stalker ultimately finds his nephew, whom Fallion had at one point rescued, missing. Fallion and Jaz are captured and tortured briefly, and spends the latter part of the narrative in healing from his wounds. Shadoath had been seeking Fallion for five years, taking endowments for an eventual confrontation, and at the end, Fallion makes it a point to know his father better.

In the meantime, King Anders of South Crowthen gives himself to a locus, a creature of the netherworld, and is lost to darkness, and Rhianna also spends a sizeable chunk of the text at sea, for several chapters turning into a sea ape that still has verbal communication skills. All in all, I definitely enjoyed this story, which is generally more straightforward than many of its predecessors given its great focus on Fallion, although some readers might take surprise at the time leap since the previous novel in the series. Regardless, I definitely don’t regret reading it.

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