Jeffrey's Reviews > Acacia: The War with the Mein

Acacia by David Anthony Durham
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's review
Feb 13, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
Recommended for: George RR Martin fans and fans of hugely drawn worlds
Read in December, 2009 — I own a copy

This huge 750 page paperback is the first volume in the fantasy world created by the author. It contains impressive worldbuilding, history, magic of a sort and religion, but in some ways the huge worldbuilding and the effort of the author to cram so much into this first volume is, to my mind a real downfall.

The novel can be divided into three separate parts. The first 200 pages of the novel, which are devoted to explaining the world, the use of a drug called Mist to enslave hundreds of people in the populous and the use of slave labor and sale of children to appease foreign adversaries, and also to set the stage for the attack by the Mein, is frightfully long and really just forces one at times to skim the book. The worldbuilding is impressive, but given the thrust of the story, that is that it starts on the first page with the journey of an assassin and yet takes over 200 pages for the Assassin to strike is difficul

The next 300 pages are much better as the author splits time between the children of the king of Acacia who are all forced into new lives -- Spratling is a pirate ship captain, Mena is a Priestess of the Vuma, who learns to be a great swordswoman, Aliver, is a warrior and Corinn lives in the taken palace controlled by Hamish the ruler of the Mein, and also two others from Acacia, Thaddeus Clegg, the prime Minister and a General, plus Hamish the ruler of the Mein.

The last 250 pages is consumed with Aliver's journey to meet with the Santoth's, a group of vile sorcerers who have been trapped for hundreds of years by Aliver's ancestor and the attempt by the Acacians both in the field with Aliver and by Corinn to take back control of the country.
This was also well done as we can see how Corinn becomes powerful and seizes control of a special book in a diabolical way. I liked this part less than the middle but it was still very good.

I have the second volume out of the library right now but I think I need a break from this world -- rather than rushing right into the next volume, which I think in a way is very telling.

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Reading Progress

12/25/2009 page 8
12/29/2009 page 240
31.87% "the story is starting to move a bit finally -- only 235 pages in"
12/29/2009 page 280
37.18% "the last 40 pages flew by. Amazingly better than the first 200. The setup was long. The story now is hitting its stride"
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