The author, Sweyn Plowright, has done a tremendous service in this writing. Cogent and compact, the work outlines, in the clearest terms I've ever seen, the essential philology of rune study. Where Plowright has offered opinion, it is lucidly argued and solidly supported. Where he's commented on the works and opinions of others, including nearly every seminal rune author of the past century, his tone has been both civil and forthright. The entire volume resounds with integrity.
In the end, it really is a book about academic honesty; and what true seeker would not want this? Back to basics, yes, because the basics are our common ground. When, as students of the runes, we familiarize ourselves with the verified written and archaeologic records, we're returning to a place where we can all agree. It's from that point that we can have a perfectly diacritical and scholarly discussion about runecraft, and begin to fill in the blanks, even as it must be with intuition and hypothesis.
Of course, it all depends on one's aims whether s/he wishes to honor the history of the runes and the culture from which they emerged. _The Rune Primer_ is a powerful call to do just that, but abandons the parochial effort of some rune writers to claim the cultural heritage of the runes for themselves and other of their "folk," and thereby present themselves as the modern voice of ancient traditions that never truly existed. Plowright ably and in plain language dismantles powerful myths that have built up around runecraft and its practice, taking this current head-on.
This is not a book about rune magic. It is a book about the foundations of all runecraft. Plowright even goes back to the old texts and offers new, more etymologically exact translations of certain sections of manuscript. The effort throughout is to bring the reader to their own, unmediated experience of runelore. Hardly a page can be turned without an invitation to consult the historical records.
As a student of the runes for over fifteen years, _The Rune Primer_ is the first book that I would give to any neophyte; and it is one of the few modern books on the runes that I would say is indispensable in my library.