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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc; Unabridged edition (2 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140015488X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400154883
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,435,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'...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.'
-- DAILY TELEGRAPH

'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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The bestselling historical novelist turns to epic fantasy with a powerful story of treachery, murder and revenge --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on 18 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By J. DENT on 12 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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). The first section of the large book dealt with a plot against a powerful ruler, an advisor who isn't all he seemed and a hidden foe emerging. It was stuff I'd read before. However the later parts, which start nine years later, were something of a revelation opening up the world, characters and plot. After establishing a world and quickly changing its order, the author wastes no time in taking the plot where it needs to go. There are two major regime changes, and details of at least 5 very different cultures/ways of life, all of them are given the space they need but none are dwelt on overly long.
The book not only follows the 4 Acacian heirs and those who serve them, but also the Mein who conquered the empire from the north and have generations of reasons to hate the Acacian dynasty. This is a story that has definite sides, but which shows the complexity of the situation, with each character having good reasons for what they do and how they are. Ancient, magical legends turn out to have truth in them, although it's clear that they have been retold and reshaped over generations to fit the agendas of the powerful. Early on the Empire is shown to be rotten to its core, a situation that the emperor regrets but doesn't get round to changing. The invaders may claim revolution, but their leader finds that his hands are tied by powerful and mysterious forces from the other side of the world, just as the previous emperor's were. The exiled heirs set themselves in opposition to the invaders and claim that they will truly change their father's empire (as he'd intended) but Corinn has seen the mechanisms of power and knows that nothing is quite so simple.
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