I picked up The Runelords because it was a special $3.99 edition. It was certainly well worth the $4. While it isn't a great book, I do think it's a pretty good book.
The basic premise is that a person can give some of their own strengths to another through the use of runes. For instance, if you give someone your wit, you become a drooling moron and their memory becomes enhanced. If you give metabolism, you go into a coma and they become the Flash.
This is a part that was kind of confusing. The names of the attributes don't make all that much sense. I mean wit and memory aren't the same thing, and neither are metabolism and speed. Farland should have just called them memory and speed and things would have been a heck of a lot less confusing. Also, these endowments can only be given willingly (at least that's the impression I get from the scenes where it happens), but the villain is reputed to steal them from people he conquers. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
There's a second kind of magic in the book too. A sort of generic elemental magic. Much like in The Dragon Quartet book I read a few weeks ago, earth, water, and presumable air (we don't see any air magic) are good and fire is evil. the hero becomes the Earth King, which gives him some magical powers. This one makes more sense than the rune business.
While I thought the story dragged a bit in places, it wasn't bad. I think it shows a lot of promise for the series as a whole. I'm certainly going to look for Brotherhood of the Wolf, the second book in the series. Anyway, I give The Runelords four yo-yos, because I think the series has promise.