The Runelords by David Farland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Man versus Nature. Writ large.
Or larger, if you consider we're dealing with whole armies concentrated into a single man or the Earth in the other.
This is an epic fantasy that's competent in characters if not in extensive worldbuilding. But more importantly, it runs with a very, very cool idea. And cool ideas are COOL.
The skinny? Attributes can be given or taken from people and added to other individuals. Use runes plus guile, absolute force, or desperate pleading, and then you've got some insanely powerful superheroes and supervillains. Think that Jet Li movie, One, but instead of sucking, make the possibilities unlimited for all characters. Want super eyesight? Take 100 the good eyesight from a hundred people, let them go blind, and become hawkeye. :) Same for Wit, Endurance, Metabolism, Glamour, or others.
Have the big bad become a god with all these attributes. He is the sum of all men. Now set the overmatched hero against him.
Cool, right? Simple, fun, and interesting. Not classic literature, but FUN. :)
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