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Worldbinder (Runelords) by David Farland
Review by Harriet Klausner
Tor Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765316653
Date: 04 September 2007 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

When evil tried to take control of the One True World, it shattered the solitary orb into thousands of shadow worlds. On one planet the Great War was finally ending and humanity, with a population of 38,000, lost. The runelords are running out of the metal carpucle to make forcibles that transfer attributes like strength stamina and speed from volunteers to those who are runelords. The wyrmlings evil monsters are getting ready for the final battle that will eradicate humanity.

On another world, the sons of the powerful Earth King Gaborn, Fallion and Jaz have been living for years as outlaws since their kingdom fell to Lady Despair, ruler of the Death Lords and all the evil beings that she demands fealty from. Fallion is drawn to Castle Coorm where he and his brother once lived. He intends to make a brief nostalgic stand there before going to the underground to find the Seal of the Inferno in hopes of uniting it with the other two seals and creating the One True World again.

In Castle Coorm he finds a Tree of Life and after using magic on it, that he soon discovers was left there by his enemy: two worlds become one. It is a cataclysmic joining where geography changes, some people die, and people who exist on both worlds combine into one person. The forces of good join up as the forces of evil work together to eradicate humanity. Fallion meets and joins forces with the immortal Daylon Hammer, a resident of the One True World and who is very interested in Fallion who is known in many worlds. Fallion is the only one who can bind the worlds together and Lady Despair wants to get control of him so she can be the ruler of the One True World if Fallion does suceed.

The forces of evil plan a battle that will destroy all humanity. However there is plenty of carpucle on this world and the people from the other world know how to make it into forcibles. Together they have a new weapon in the fight against the evil ones. As the people ready for a last stand at Castle Coorm, a dark bargain is made -- one that could end humanity in a few generations. Unaware of this devil's bargain Fallion and his allies ready for the battle to end all battles.

This latest novel in the Runelords Saga doesn't have as much actions the other books in the series. When the two worlds join, readers are treated to the consequences of that merging, as innocent people die (sort of like the D Day landing needed to win WW II, but many allied soldiers die before they confront the Germans). Characters get acquainted with people from the other world; learn the geographical changes of an altered landscape; and struggle to forge a new political regime constructed of the two worlds. Different rulers are put in positions of power and are the decision makers in the battles that will be fought and the strategy on how to fight them.

When people allow evil to enter their hearts they start to become minions of the dark and as they lose their humanity they eagerly need to bring down human beings who they regard as fodder, fuel and mere obstacles to overcome. Fallion is the fulcrum from which all action pivots as his destiny is to not just participate in the struggle against the evil forces, but is a catalyst that forces the confrontation. He is a powerful fighter but the enemy outnumbers him and his allies making his chances of victory almost nil.

There are two big battle scenes, one won by a human with evil in his heart and who could very easily turn into a creature of evil. The other battle decides how the war is to be played out depending on which side wins. Lady Despair is the epitome of evil and her minions are frightening because there is no depravity they won't partake in. David Farland has written a series that rivals the best of Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind and Orson Scott Card. Although there is a follow up to Sons of the Oak (Runelords) in terms of time and what previously happened to Fallion and Jaz, Worldbinder can stand alone while appealing to apocalyptic fantasy fans.

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