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Acacia: The War with the Mein by David…

Acacia: The War with the Mein (2007)

by David Anthony Durham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Acacia (1)

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Read February 2010-Unfinished
Read December 2010

February 2010 Review:
This story seemed like my thing. A kingdom about to undergo tumult, royal children spirited away, assassins, etc. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't get into it. I tried 5 times, and would read 5-10pages, and then lose interest. So I gave up. I would recommend it anyway, how weird is that?

December 2010 Review:
After having tried to read this [twice!] earlier this year, I had given up on this series. However, after some encouragement from people here, I tried again, and I have to say, it was worth it.

The setup for the plot IS laggy. But after the 150 page mark, things get better and better. I was really drawn into the world Durham creates and am looking forward to more stories in this world. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
When I was asked to review this book, I was less than enthusiastic. I’ve been reading genre fiction for a long time, and there are things I’d decided I was done with. Topping that list was “High Fantasy Quest Novels,” followed almost immediately by “Book 1 of a Brand New Series” (with a special amount of “done” leftover for “Book 1’s in Excess of 500 Pages”). Still, the book was sent to me by someone I trust, so I decided to give it a go.

She always was the smart one.

David Anthony Durham has pulled off something remarkable: a huge, sprawling epic that manages to weave together history, politics, intrigue and thunderous action scenes without ever losing track of the multitudes of finely-drawn characters.

The detail that Durham lavishes on his world is impressive, and it grounds you firmly in this land. The author’s previous work as an historical novelist is clear in the care he takes with the backgrounds of the various kingdoms. We learn about myths, religious practices, courting practices, ruling philosophies, and day to day living for a number of different peoples. The truly amazing thing is that this wealth of detail is all germane to the main action of the story, and that, with a few exceptions, the story doesn’t grind to a halt while we’re getting the background info.

That said, this is book one of a series, which means that there’s a great deal of setup for a payoff that, although sensible, seems a bit too abrupt. Or maybe that’s just my impatience; this is only book one, after all. I’m sure I’ll get the payoff I want eventually, but I want it now!

Much closer to George R.R. Martin than J.R.R. Tolkien, Acacia has wonders in store both for those who love epic fantasy and for those who think it’s old hat. Once you visit, you’ll be as giddy as I am that there are more chapters still to come (and as grumpy as I am that they’re not out yet). ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
While this was an actually good book, it just wasn't my normal reading material. In of itself, it was a really well told story. ( )
  jimpike69 | Nov 16, 2016 |
The book revolves around four royal children as they try to manage the massive kingdom their ancestors have created. We meet the children in the middle of a lesson, where the youngest princess asks the tutor "why is Acacia always in the center of the map?". Her siblings answer that is it because Acacia is the only country of importance while the tutor tries, unheard, to explain the equal validity of others. Then the king is assassinated and the children secreted away to those other countries.

To be blunt? The entire series makes you feel like the poor tutor. Even after the empire begins to collapse and is taken over by a country that has been cursed and subjugated by their own for generations. Worse, you find out that even the local citizens are controlled by drugs and live in slavery. All this and at least one of them doesn't grow out of that same superiority complex.

Overall, the book is like watching a train wreck. Good writing and world building, but you really start to hate the characters. ( )
  cat8864 | Oct 24, 2016 |
My review is at www.sfreader.com. ( )
  Suzi.Rogers.Gruber | May 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Through a vivid depiction of ethnically diverse cultures, breathless warfare, and a deep understanding of that old adage--"Those who cannot learn from the past are doomed to repeat it"--he creates not only a philosophical epic for the thinking fan but also a masterpiece of character and realism that even a theory-clutching Joyce scholar could appreciate.


Why dole out your money for tales of fictional worlds when things there are just as bad? One reason, I suppose, is that you would then miss out on novels like David Anthony Durham's tour de force, Acacia, a deeply political vision of the fantastic that exposes the humanity at the heart of every ruthless machination.
Top 25 Fantasy Books # 16
The new kid on the fantasy block has some new moves that may even impress the old timers. Durham, a well known historical fiction author, brings his writing prowess to the fantasy genre. And what an effort it is! Acacia has all the elements that make A Song of Ice and Fire so compelling.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Anthony Durhamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Romano, Paul A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Assassin left the stronghold of Mein Tahalian by the great front gate, riding through a crack in the armored pine beams just wide enough to let him slip out.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385722524, Mass Market Paperback)

“David Anthony Durham has serious chops. I can’t wait to read whatever he writes next."
—George R. R. Martin

Welcome to Acacia . . .
Born into generations of prosperity, the four royal children of the Akaran dynasty know little of the world outside their opulent island paradise. But when an assassin strikes at the heart of their power, their lives are changed forever.
Forced to flee to distant corners and separated against their will, the children must navigate a web of hidden allegiances, ancient magic, foreign invaders, and illicit trade that will challenge their very notion of who they are. As they come to understand their true purpose in life, the fate of the world lies in their hands.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:23 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Leodan Akaran, the ruler of an idyllic empire, hides the dark realities of their prosperity from his children, until an assassin from the Mein, a race exiled to a stronghold in the north, strikes him down and frees his children.

» see all 6 descriptions

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