Review: Acacia: The War With the Mein
We have received quite a few requests to review ACACIA: THE WAR WITH THE MEIN (Amazon), and we decided that we should probably honor those requests. We ARE very kind and giving, after all. Yeah, we know the book isn’t a new release, but it seems a shocking number of people haven’t read it. Luckily, our good buddy Rob was all sorts of anxious to do this review, and you all get to benefit. Enjoy–EBR.
Is your George R.R. Martin starting to sag? Do you still love his epic storyline, but hate the wait? Do you find yourself wondering if there will ever be a way to get that same gritty, edge-of-your-seat sensation without waiting years (or is it decades?) for character and plot progression? What if we told you it was possible? And what if we said that you could get it on-time? Early, even? That you could have twice the Martinesque, twice as fast? You wouldn’t believe us, would you?
Believe (feel free to drop a “hallelujah”).
We’ve got what you need right here—and his name is David Anthony Durham.
A well founded writer of historical novels, Durham’s skill at crafting realism, culture, characters, and conflict is outstanding. He’s transplanted the richness, grittiness, and complexity of our world into The Known World of Acacia in the same way George R.R. Martin transplanted the intrigue and fullness of the War of the Roses into Westeros. Durham, in fact, has written for Martin’s WILD CARDS series, and is a big fan of Martin’s style–perhaps this is why we see so many stylistic similarities. ACACIA: THE WAR WITH THE MEIN, the first book in the Acacia Trilogy (That’s right—only THREE books), has replaced all our angsty Martin-pining with hope for a new future. A future where series have, you know, endings.
ACACIA is epic and diverse, while David Anthony Durham's prose can be beautiful and poetic.
The Empire of Acacia has held sway over The Known World for centuries, both through a history of backstabbing and racial subjugation, and by supplying its subjects with an opiate known as the Mist. Those years of peace come at a great price, however, and the bill’s come due in the form of assassins, vengeful nations eager to avenge themselves and their ancestors, and the greed and addiction bought by human lives. Leodan–Ruler of the Known World–faces these threats, and prepares his four children for a plan that will preserve them and guide them towards a united world, free of its vices and vicious enemies.
David Anthony Durham won 2009’s John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He deserves the recognition. His story is epic and diverse, while his prose (while lacking at times) can be beautiful and poetic. He stepped up to the plate for the first time (in the fantasy genre, anyway), and hit one out of the park. With the second book in the series already released, we’re thrilled to get our hands on a work that’s so thorough, so involving, and so riveting, with a sequel already available.
And while Durham’s admitted, “I could be happy writing in this world for a long time”, he’s also promised, “there will be at least three books and a reasonable amount of closure by the end of that cycle.”
Closure. That’s right, Martin fans, we’ll throw in the closure for free. Go pick this novel up, and while you are there, grab the sequel THE OTHER LANDS. If you are looking for a novel about nations in war, with that almost-Historical Fiction feel, this is the novel for you.
- Recommended Age: 16+
- Language: Mild--Unlike Martin's Westeros, this world has no idea what the 'F' word means
- Violence: All sorts of violence. Durham seems to be a student of historical war, and it is accurately and vividly represented here. It is detailed, but not overly graphic.
- Sex: Yes, but not gratuitous