Farland came out of seemingly nowhere with this thoroughly well-conceived and original work, and continues to blow us away with each volume. Runelords greatest strength may be as an original feat of magical worldbuilding. Farland really does a terrific job of creating believeable characters and a complex, interrelated system in which magic is an integral part of the culture and society of the world. The deep, painful consequences of the use of this magic create a dark, poignant background for this exciting and vibrant story. What a terrifically satisfying series this is turning out to be.