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The War with the Mein: Acacia Bk.1 [Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged] [MP3 CD]

David Anthony Durham , Dick Hill
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 28.31
Price: 28.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 4.31  
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Paperback 8.01  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged 28.04  

Book Description

2 July 2007 Acacia (Book 1)
Ruling from the island of Acacia, the emperor of the Known World has inherited an apparent peace and prosperity won by his ancestors generations ago. He's an intelligent man, a widower who dotes on his four children and it is this devotion that obliges him to hide a terrible secret from them: that their prosperity rests on the dark realities of trafficking in drugs and human lives. A man of integrity, he hopes that he might bring an end to this vile trade, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then an assassin strikes, a lone killer sent by the Mein, an ancient foe long ago exiled to the frozen north. Now the Mein have returned to take revenge on their old enemy and begin a series of brutal surprise assaults on Acacia. Mortally wounded, the emperor puts into play a plan that will allow his children to escape, to fulfil their destinies. And so begins a quest to avenge a father's death and restore an empire - this time on the basis of universal freedom...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140015488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400154883
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 1.4 x 0.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,608,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...where this sort of thing really works is not just in the attention to detail, but the attention to character. And with its epic duels and mighty sea battles, the whole thing is suffused with a feeling of Greek myth and legend.'

'David Anthony Durham has won acclaim for his historical novels, and brings his knowledge of the past and other cultures to create a rich and compelling world on his first foray into fantasy. His skilful storytelling, depth of characterisation, and an ability to unsettle reader expectations is reminiscent of George R.R. Martin, but his is a distinctive new voice'
-- Lisa Tuttle, The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The bestselling historical novelist turns to epic fantasy with a powerful story of treachery, murder and revenge --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. . . 18 Jan 2008
Hype has a funny way of creating expectations in a reader's mind. Naturally, with critics calling David Anthony Durham's novel one of the best fantasy debuts of 2007, my expectations were quite high. Too high? I think not -- not with everything that's been said about Acacia: The War with the Mein. Nevertheless, I'm sad to report that this book, in my humble opinion, doesn't live up to the hype which was generated by the incredibly positive buzz surrounding this novel.

I feel bad about having to write a somewhat negative review about this one. As was the case with Brandon Sanderson's The Well of Ascension, Durham is a great guy and I really wanted to like Acacia. The near totality of the reviews I've read pertaining to this book -- online and in print -- make it sound as one of the best fantasy titles of the year. Hence, I was more than a little disappointed to discover that the novel suffered from a number of shortcomings.

My favorite aspect of Acacia turned out to be the worldbuilding. Indeed, David Anthony Durham created a fascinating universe, simultaneously traditional and exotic, which serves as a backdrop for his epic fantasy tale. His multiethnic cast, though not as well-done as Erikson's, is a welcome change to what has been the norm in the genre for years. The author's background in historical fiction is evident, thus allowing him to create an environment exuding a "realistic" feeling.

The prose is neat, and Durham paces Acacia adroitly. The initial premise and the ensemble of storylines woven together to assemble this tale are all very interesting. I found the plotlines involving the Lothan Aklun, the Quota, the Other Lands, the mist, the Numrek, the Mein and the Tunishnevre, and the Santoth to be absorbing.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Fantasy Debut 12 Jun 2007
David Anthony Durham's debut in Fantasy is absolutely spectacular.

A writer of historical fiction, David has had ample time and practice to hone his craft. This is obvious from the first few opening chapters of "Acacia: The war with the Mein", from the bubbling tension to the perfect characterisation of even the supporting characters. In fact it takes a while to realise who the supporting characters are, as David has taken as much care developing them as the main "cast".

By the middle of part one, this is cleared up. The star of act 1 is one of the secondary characters--Leodan, King of the Acacian empire. Although many other, less capable authors would not have bothered developing a character they intended to die early on in the story, David seems to have bucked the trend and done the opposite. Why is this so important? Because the reader cares more about what happens to a guilt-ridden, disillusioned widower and father of four than just "a King". In fact, Leodan is a pivotal character in the entire book, despite appearing relatively briefly. Were he not so well written, I wouldn't have cared what happened to his children. Were he not so believable and remorseful, I wouldn't have cared what happened to the "Known World". Secondary characters are just as important to the enjoyment of a book as Primary characters, whether they have a huge effect on the plot or not.

One of the great things about "The war with the Mein" is definitely the characterisation. The protagonists and indeed antagonists do not stagnate (which is a good job, as the book leaps a 9 year gap between act 1 and 2), and being in totally different situations grow in different ways- no two characters are the same.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex fantasy in an intriguing world 27 May 2009
By Christopher Meadows VINE VOICE
Acacia is a novel which is epic in the broadest sense of the word, concerning the shattering and building of empires, across a large scale of time, and centred around a relatively small key cast of characters.

It is in this first area that Acacia does best. The world which David Durham has created is intricate, fascinating, and lovingly presented. The gradual revelation of each area of that world is handled well, and the reader is left breathless from the sense of grandeur and scope, and impressed by the background which interweaves each of the disparate cultures that are presented.

The book is written across a large piece of internal time; that time is not all present in the novel. The characters we will follow are introduced in the first half of the novel, and their fates left undecided - the reader is then re-introduced to those characters some years later. I enjoyed the abrupt nature of this change, exploring what were familiar characters, and reorienting my expectations from the character's actions, and the hints of their `missing time' gleaned from their interactions with others. On the other hand, some people may find this sudden jump in continuity more jarring than refreshing.

The characters are at once the greatest strength and weakness of the text. Each character within a faction has their own motives, and, as mentioned in other reviews, each faction of characters has their own point of view - Durham allows the reader to feel sympathy for one set of characters, and then swings to another viewpoint, and establishes your sympathy with those (often adversarial) characters instead. While some characters are less ethical than others, each has a valid point of view, and Durham tries hard to get us to understand it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable treat
took a few pages to get in to but by the end I was well enthralled. looking forward to next instalment.
Published 9 months ago by galactic hippy
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting secondary world fantasy
It took me a bit of time to get into the book, which is not unusual when being introduced to a new fantasy world (also there was the stress). Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cathy Hill
2.0 out of 5 stars Sadly overrated
I was looking for a new epic fantasy and Acacia was extremely well-reviewed here on Amazon, so I thought hey, why not? Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Getting there slowly...
I received this with some anticipation having read some promising reviews, and was eager to dive in and explore a new world. Read more
Published on 3 Jan 2012 by Mr. James R. Lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars Acacia
This book is a slow read that tends to skim over the details that make a book truly great. It's still enjoyable with some good idea's and an interesting and original plot. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2010 by Uk Dynamite
3.0 out of 5 stars All the ingredients...
All the ingredients for an epic to rival Martin and some of the best contemporary fantasy dons. Somehow, though, Acacia is just not that good. Read more
Published on 28 July 2010 by Katherine Radcliff
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Great book good read would have been 5star if i hadnt read 'a song of ice and fire' before it.
Otherwise a good read and I will def read the next Acacia book
Published on 4 Mar 2010 by Mr. A. P. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun and epic adventure
Having read David's Pride of Carthage I was quite looking forward to see what he would do with a fantasy setting. Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2008 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Solid fantasy outing, opening a promising sequence.

Beautifully written, reminiscent of Robin Hobb and George RR Martin, it depicts an easily relatable world, but from a... Read more
Published on 1 Sep 2008 by Y. ECHVERRIA
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, culturally complex fantasy
Wonderful to read an epic fantasy in which character, rather than testosterone or wobbly plot devices, create the drama. Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2008 by Robert Redick
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