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Acacia: The War with the Mein

(Acacia #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  8,480 ratings  ·  542 reviews

“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.

Kindle Edition, 786 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Anchor (first published June 12th 2007)
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,480 ratings  ·  542 reviews

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Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crazy enough, I actually originally planned on giving this series a pass. There's just so much time and so little to read... or something like that.

But then I read this review of the entire trilogy from a reviewer I highly trust and I decided I should give it a go after all. I'm so glad I didn't stick to the original plan.

Acacia follows the Akaran family, the ruling family of the nation that is Acacia. King Leodan is a devoted and loving father to his four children, Aliver, Corinn, Mena, and Dar
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was asked to review this book, I was less than enthusiastic. I’ve been reading genre fiction for a long time, and there are things I’d decided I was done with. Topping that list was “High Fantasy Quest Novels,” followed almost immediately by “Book 1 of a Brand New Series” (with a special amount of “done” leftover for “Book 1’s in Excess of 500 Pages”). Still, the book was sent to me by someone I trust, so I decided to give it a go.

She always was the smart one.

David Anthony Durham has pu
3.5 stars. This is one of those books I began to like more and more AFTER I was finished with it. The pacing was a bit uneven and there were some spots that dragged on too long(it is large book). However, when I finished the book and thought about it, I started thinking, WOW a lot of very interesting, orginal ideas were explored in this book and the world-building was very convincing. I really liked the set up of the Known World, the exploration of the evil activities used to keep the Akaran emp ...more
Scott  Hitchcock

The story was good. I liked the characters. The world was different and robust. So why only 2.5's? I think the axiom show don't tell sums it up. I felt disappointed at many key action points. It was like somebody sent me an email about sitting front row of a performance. Beyond that instead of a scene showing why a character was intuitive or graceful we would get two paragraphs describing why. There was also portions of the book where it seemed there was little to no dialog for too long
Apr 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't think of a fantasy book that was less fun to read than this one.

I knew I was probably going to be in trouble when the first six chapters were from six different points of view. I don't know why every fantasy author thinks a) we need that b) they have the skills to write that many characters well.

Hard to form much empathy with any of the characters. At the 50% mark there has been on-average 2 chapters per-character. Character overload. That we get a 9-year fast forward and a "this is the
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I should have quit reading this one. I kept trying to give it a chance and wondering where it would go. I didn't like the world enough or care about the characters enough to have it be worth the time. Good people are killed off. Realistic I suppose and highly developed but depressing. A long book and it will be a long series, Robert Jordan or George RR Martin like, but I don't need it to be a part of my life. Not recommended.
When it comes to fantasy, I often wonder if writers these days are paid by the pound. Glancing over the spines of the novels in the sci-fi and fantasy section at the bookstore or library, it certainly seems that way. I often wonder if the word "epic" should be translated "book so big you can hurt someone if you dropped it on them from the top of a flight of stairs."

There are a lot of writers who fall into the category of epic being little more than an excuse to have a huge page count and to giv
Phil Tucker
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2017 marked it as zzz-books-not-for-me  ·  review of another edition
If I wasn't having so much fun buddy reading this book with Cillian, I would've given up on it around half-way through XD

Read in February, 2017
Well, my rating should tell you everything you need to know: this read didn't go so well.
It was a fucking disaster.

Read with Gergana in her group A Land of Fantasy Addicts, AKA "Don't know how to bike, but books we like."
Dec 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: George RR Martin fans and fans of hugely drawn worlds
Shelves: read-in-2009, fantasy
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 i
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

That's what it boils down to. There's nothing wrong with the writing. Or the world building. Or the character development, for the most part. I really wanted to like this, and it is well done, except for the fact that in 700+ pages I don't once remember smiling, let alone laughing. None of the characters ever makes a real joke - one of them is supposed to be known for his sarcastic wit, and others jeer at misfortune, but that's all we get.

I understand it's a war, the empire falls, yadda
TL;DR Version:

3.5 stars, despite any grievances.

Read more reviews @ The Bibliosanctum.

Long Version:
Narrator: Dick Hill | Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins | Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio | Whispersync Ready (as of this posting): Yes

Leodan Akaran is the king of Acacia, which includes all the "known world." The Akarans have ruled over Acacia for many generations with the throne being passed down from father to son. A bitter race called the Mein secretly oppose the Akaran rule and have since their o
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of George R.R. Martin and epic fantasy in general
Shelves: fantasy
So I finally finished this book. I can't believe how long it took me. Slow to start, but great 100 pages in.

Ok so to the characters. I liked these characters. The interesting thing about them is that i liked the secondary characters of Leeka Alain and Thadeus alot more than the 4 heirs to the books title throne. Why? Because they were great figures, yet they were also flawed. One man betrayed his most beloved friend and that friends children, because of something said friend's father did. He re
Jun 06, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I'm going to be lazy and direct my following to Ben's review of Acacia here. He covers much of what I would have written, though his reaction to the story was at least twice as enthusiastic as mine.

I first attempted to read Acacia several years ago and don't believe I got past the first 50 pages or so. I succumbed to impulse at a library used-book sale and plunked down the 50 cents to get my own copy. I can see why I dropped it the first time around. The writing's "clunky." Durham has a tendency
3.5 stars. Solid fantasy & decent enough to get me to read the second book. And unlike the Game of Thrones saga this is a trilogy and all three books are already out so if I like the second book I can move right on to the conclusion. The writing is good, lots of political intrigue. My only complaint is I wish there was a character I could really get behind. They all feel a bit flat but the world building is good enough for me to try round two;) ...more
Loved it! (Review to come.)
Kathryn Ford
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed this book, and cannot understand why it has such a low rating.

I am going to say something that will probably earn me a lot of derision... this book was loads better than Game of Thrones. I abbandoned Game of Thrones at around 85% because I just could not take anymore of it.
The War with the Mein has many similarities to Game of Thrones in that each chapter is from a different point of view and in that it is quite political and the rise and fall of empires. But, where as in Game
Dec 02, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated...yes, strong word....hated the way this book was written. I got mad at myself when I realized that I was reading this book just to read a book and that I wasn't enjoying it at all. Thank God I quit half way through and found a good book to read instead. Anyone interested in this book/series should save themselves the money and get "Winterbirth" instead (similar concept, but better in every aspect).
Legs on a snake.
This is probably the closest thing I've read to a modern epic fantasy, played straight. But what use do we have for old-fashioned epic antics in modern fantasy? Nevermind what people often call "epic fantasy" these days. I'm talking about antics which wouldn't be out of place in songs about Charlemagne or something.
But here Charlemagne's crew isn't hacking down infidel hordes. The antagonists make sense and treachery prevails. The author works (too) hard to paint his characters a
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads, my-books
I'm impressed by this book. Power and Betrayal is the subtitle of the German edition.
And to be honest it is a book about power, betrayal, faith and vengeance.
After reading this book you start to think about the real world. You will find a lot of similarities which is scary.....

Anyway the book contains a well described world, NO black and white characters, no elves, dragons, dwarfs and so on, a kind of magic which is used seldom, battles.

It is epic fantasy.

And for the first time I couldn't really
Oct 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, maps
Durham creates an entire world, complete with twenty-two generations of history. He does a good job. His main characters are three-dimensional enough to be believable. In fact, many supporting characters have that ring of authenticity. He sets up his tale well enough that the reader's mind as well as emotions are engaged. His mechanics (grammar, sentence structure, etc.) exceed most modern fantasy writers. He manages to develop a satisfactory conclusion for his first book while leaving enough un ...more
Feb 09, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun
I found this book on a list of the 25 best fantasy books/series out there. I agreed with most that I'd read or heard about, and some of the others I'd read from the list were great, so I gave this one a try.

What disappointment. This is a TERRIBLE book.

The characters are flat and utterly uninteresting. There are far too many point of view characters to get interested in any of them. The world is sketchy at best. The peoples who inhabit the world are caricatures of real peoples. The story is unor
Jan 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I seem to have started off New Year with a mistake.

I will not go deep into explanations as I read about 10% of the book. But it was pretty clear to me that the book had no saving features. Never ending Paragraphs. Cliched characters, a narration that seems to be for people who have never read fantasy books.

Onto better things.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
And he would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those pesky Akaran kids.
Kara Babcock
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mocha Girl
Acacia: Book One: The War With the Mein is David Anthony Durham's "debut" of sorts into the fantasy genre. He creates a world rich with myths, legends, history, culture, and differing races striving to co-exist in Acacia, the designated center of the The Known World. This first book, The War With The Mein, opens with a Mein assassin journeying from the arctic ice lands of the North on a mission to avenge his people who felt they were denied their place as rulers of the The Known World and banish ...more
(Reposted from )
Acacia is a book that subverts all expectations with its twists. Whenever it seems to have fallen into a narrative track, be sure of one thing: it's waiting to surprise you with a new twist. Acacia is one of the best epic fantasies I've read in a good while, and I'll tell you why: its scale. I don't mean in terms of thousands-strong armies, or massive conflicts like in the Wheel of Time. I mean that the actual conflicts in Acacia are far l
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to start off every fantasy fiction review by noting whether or not a book measures up to (early) Robert Jordan or George RR Martin, but those guys are just too good. This book doesn't come close to that level of quality, but relative to the rest of the non-Jordan/Martin world I would describe Acacia as not bad, not great. I will probably read the next in the series to see where it goes. If I forget about it, though, it won't be a big loss.

Pace: Uneven. Stick with it if it feels like it's
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David Anthony Durham was born in New York City to parents of Caribbean descent. He grew up mostly in Maryland, but has spent the last fifteen years on the move, jumping from East to West Coast to the Rocky Mountains, and back and forth to Scotland and France several times. He currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Or... actually, no he doesn't. He's back in New England at the moment.

He is the aut

Other books in the series

Acacia (3 books)
  • The Other Lands (Acacia, #2)
  • The Sacred Band (Acacia, #3)

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