Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Wyrmling Horde


The seventh installment of David Farland’s The Runelords series is the shortest, opening with one of the main antagonists, the wyrmling tormentor Cullossax, whom his lesser fear, striding through Rugassa, with the world having suddenly changed. Meanwhile, the humans of various warrior clans flee the fortress at Caer Luciare, and Rhianna practices her newfound flight. Moreover, in the wyrmling keep at Rugassa, Lord Despair uses Areth Sul Urstone’s awakening Earth Powers to “choose” certain wyrmling lords and create a bond with them, allowing him to sense their danger and warn them ahead of time.

In the meantime, Talon finds herself in the underworld, ironically in a florally-lush area, and Rhianna finds herself in the care of martial horse-sisters. Early on in the book is a vivid description of the Sanctum used for worship among the wyrmling hordes, with Lord Despair yearning to take various endowments. Back to Talon, she challenges Emir Tuul Ra of Dalharristan to a duel, an offer that he doesn’t take seriously at first, with the two taking special endowments in anticipation of the conflict. Various other battles end the book, with the main heroes visiting and fleeing Rugassa.

All in all, I enjoyed this entry of the literary franchise, more so in that it’s the shortest of the series, with plenty of good fantastical action and characters and a decent focus on the antagonistic wyrmlings. As with most fantasy series with interconnected storylines, though, it’s somewhat inaccessible to those who haven’t read its predecessors, and those who haven’t taken good notes on previous entries may find themselves lost without referencing the internet. Regardless of its flaws, The Runelords is a decent rival to other daunting fantasy series such as The Wheel of Time.

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