Friday, 1 May 2009
FANTASY REVIEW: Acacia - David Anthony Durham
Presiding over Acacia, an empire named after the idyllic island from which he rules, Leodan Akaran has inherited a peace and prosperity won long ago by his ancestors.
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 Acacia is founded on the trafficking of drugs and human lives. A man of integrity, he .
An assassin, sent from the Mein – a race exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north – strikes, and the Mein unleash surprise attacks against their old oppressor. Mortally wounded, Leodan puts into play a plan to enable his children to escape, to survive and to fulfil their destinies. And so begins an epic quest – to avenge a father’s death and restore an empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.
Having read David's Pride of Carthage I was quite looking forward to see what he would do with a fantasy setting. The book as you'd come to expect with David's work is well written, the characters crisp, the writing beautifully descriptive with a world full of shades of grey where no one is good or evil. It plays on all the best aspects from the fantasy world with political double dealing presenting readers with a fantasy nearly on the same epic scale as Steven Eriksons Malazan world. The one problem though, is the battle sequences, they don't seem to be fully realised in much the way that the rest of the book is as if bits and pieces have been taken out either as too fantastical or to keep the flow of things running for those not familiar with the type of battles presented within. It's a shame that it went this way as had a little more time been spent on that it would have made this a much better book. Still with around 600 pages, it's a good first effort in a fantasy world and will hopefully make readers sit up and pay attention to his work. Throw into the mix a story that leaves you with more questions than answers and a tangible threat for a following novel and I think that DAD has found a niche that will bring him fans the world over.