Acacia by David Anthony Durham

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“David Anthony Durham has serious chops. I can’t wait to read whatever he writes next."
—George R. R. Martin

Welcome to Acacia . . .
Born into generations of prosperity, the four royal children of the Akaran dynasty know little of the world outside their opulent island paradise. But when an assassin strikes at the heart of their power, their lives are changed forever.
Forced to flee to distant corners and separated against their will, the children must navigate a web of hidden allegiances, ancient magic, foreign invaders, and illicit trade that will challenge their very notion of who they are. As they come to understand their true purpose in life, the fate of the world lies in their hands.


About David Anthony Durham

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David Anthony Durham received the 2009 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of Science Fiction for Acacia and The Other Lands (the first two volumes of the Acacia trilogy). He is also the author of the historical novels Gabriel's Story, Walk Through Darkness, and Pride of Carthage.
Published August 26, 2008 by Anchor. 690 pages
Genres: History, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Acacia

Kirkus Reviews

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Meanwhile, a plan conceived long ago by Leodan and now orchestrated by his Chancellor Thaddeus Clegg (one of several characters possessed of divided loyalties) sends the royal children away, into separate adventures and ordeals: Mena among a remote island culture’s sinister priesthood;

Apr 15 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Publishers Weekly

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A smooth plot, Corinn's well-developed character, and Durham's stellar prose and rich imagination will have many traditional fantasy fans hoping for future books set in this turbulent world.

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Acacia

BC Books

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Acacia – Book One: The War with the Mein is a vast, ambitious first foray into fantasy for professor and novelist David Anthony Durham.

Nov 04 2008 | Read Full Review of Acacia

BC Books

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Acacia falls, and years later the old chancellor begins to gather the children and other loyalists together again.

Jul 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia

BC Books

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I was extremely excited to get an advance copy of David Anthony Durham's epic fantasy Acacia because Durham is a Black man.

Jun 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Book Reporter

Hanish Mein, the older brother of the assassin and the lord of the Mein, is far and away the most interesting and intriguing character in ACACIA.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Entertainment Weekly

Lewis' classic The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, David Anthony Durham's thrilling new fantasy, Acacia, follows a quartet of young siblings — two male and two female — for whom growing up means accepting the mantle of royalty in some grand, mythical kingdom.

Jun 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia


I will note, though, that those of you familiar with ASoIaF may be amused to hear that I stopped reading after the second book because there were too many characters for me to keep track of.) That complexity starts with the Acacian Empire’s histories: oral histories, histories of the schoolroom...

Aug 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Acacia

SF Site

By building his world's history with the same perspective that would be brought by a first-rate historian, David Anthony Durham has begun the creation of a fantasy world whose characters and events will be as real in the minds of his readers as history itself.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Peggy Hailey Science Fiction & Fantasy News 3.5 of 5 Stars "While I did have a couple of minor problems over the course of the novel, particularly the info dumps and sense that the set-up could have been more seamless, I think Durham has crafted both an entertaining and engaging novel with A...

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Fantasy Faction

I read the Acacia trilogy because I had seen it recommended on a few fantasy book sites, but to be honest, I nearly gave up on it.

Dec 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Strange Horizons

Durham has already established that women fight in armies alongside men—another advantage over Arya, whose Westeros includes only one other notable swordswoman—and by this point in the novel we know Mena and her capabilities well enough to find her conversion utterly real.

Aug 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia


It does feel scripted and lacks that organic progression at times, but contrivance is the four-letter word of SF/F reviewing and if it apt it is only so because Acacia and Durham are impressive enough to gauge against – though not equal – the very best currently in the epic landscape.

Apr 21 2007 | Read Full Review of Acacia

Grasping For The Wind

Acacia is an epic fantasy about the rise and fall of empire, but unlike Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Rome Empire or Homer’s Iliad, this tale entertains while exploring the intricate play between politics, race, personal wants and needs, culture, commerce, and history.

Sep 29 2008 | Read Full Review of Acacia

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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 22 Jul 2014

Added the book to custom list '2013 NPR'