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David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham(1969- )
David Anthony Durham is the author of Gabriel’s Story — winner of two American Library Association awards — Walk Through Darkness, Pride of Carthage, and Acacia: The War with the Mein, which is one of three novels by the author that have been optioned for film adaptation and also helped him win the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. You can read an excerpt at Mr. Durham’s website.

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Acacia

Acacia — (2007-2011) Available from Audible. Publisher: Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then a deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father’s death and restore the Acacian empire — this time on the basis of universal freedom.

fantasy book reviews David Anthony Durham Acacia The War With the Mein 1. Acacia 2. The Other Landsfantasy book reviews David Anthony Durham Acacia The War With the Mein 1. Acacia 2. The Other Landsfantasy book reviews David Anthony Durham Acacia The War With the Mein 1. Acacia 2. The Other Lands 3. The Sacred Band

Acacia: Challenges us with an uncomfortable warp of the familiar

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Acacia by David Anthony Durham

David Anthony Durham's Acacia has some of elements of epic fantasy we’ve all seen before: a large empire, a resentful race, a king’s children scattered and forced to grow into previously hidden strengths, a near-ritualized style of sword fighting, political intrigue, large battle scenes, and a few others. But anyone thinking to write off Acacia as simply another cookie-cutter fantasy would be missing a highly rewarding read — for Durham gives us these familiar set-ups only to repeatedly yank them out from under our feet.

The title of the book is also the name of the empire we meet at the start, an empire that has ruled the “known world” for generations and whose symbol is the acacia tree that adorns its home island. But Acacia is built on a deeply immoral foundation. Long ago, it... Read More

The Other Lands: A mixed bag

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The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham

PLOT SUMMARY: Several years have passed since the demise of Hanish Mein. Corinn Akaran rules with an iron grip on the Known World's many races. She hones her skills in sorcery by studying The Book of Elenet and dotes on her young son, Aaden — Hanish's child — raising him to be her successor. Mena Akaran, still the warrior princess she became fighting the eagle god Maeben, has been battling the monsters released by the Santoth's corrupted magic. In her hunt she discovers a creature wholly unexpected, one that awakens long suppressed emotions in her. And Dariel Akaran, once a brigand of the Outer Isles, has devoted his labors to rebuilding the ravaged empire brick by brick. Each of the Akaran royals is finding their way in the post-war world, but the queen's peace is difficult to maintain, and things are about to change.

When the... Read More

The Sacred Band: A rewarding conclusion

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The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham

The most pleasant surprise about The Other Lands, the previous book in the ACACIA trilogy by David Anthony Durham, was that it broadened the scope of the series tremendously. Ushen Brae, the setting for a large part of the action in that book, proved to be a complex and interesting place, with its non-human Auldek tribes, several strata of human Quota slaves (from a warrior caste to an organized “Free People” resistance movement), the mostly extinct Lothan Aklun race, and a rich and fascinating history. The Sacred Band doesn’t expand the series’ fantasy world to the same extent as The Other Lands did, although it does reveal some inland areas of Ushen Brae that were previously unseen. Rather than expanding the world, Read More

Fort Freak: A WILD CARDS novel that can be read as a stand-alone

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Fort Freak by George R.R. Martin

Fort Freak is the twenty-first entry in the WILD CARDS universe, a long running series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin. It is not necessary to have read the previous twenty volumes to read this one; Fort Freak works fine as a standalone. There are numerous references to earlier books and cameos by characters that starred in them, but nothing that makes it absolutely necessary to have read earlier volumes. That is probably a good thing. The WILD CARDS series is currently published by Tor, the fourth publisher to take on this series. Some of the older volumes are pretty hard to find these days. The original WILD CARDS novel (1987) has been reprinted by Tor recently, with a number ... Read More