Acacia: Book One, the War with the Mein.

Author:Barnes, Steven
Position:Brief article - Book review

* Acacia: Book One, the War With the Mein By David Anthony Durham Doubleday June 2007, $26.95 ISBN 0-385-50606-6

Acacia is the first in Durham's War With the Mein trilogy, detailing the struggles of the house of Arkan against a deadly, dastardly and implacable foe. What we have here is an ancient world that resembles our own in enough ways (some of the same wildlife, some familiar customs and vestigial legends) to give it the ring of familiarity, while also incorporating magic, ethereal beings and mighty battles between the forces of good and evil. It seems that the king, Leodan Arkan, has been assassinated, and his four children have been sent to the four corners of the empire for safety. There in hiding, they learn the skills that will enable them to take back their kingdom, in other words, your standard high-fantasy conceit. But where Durham occasionally seems to lack specific facility with fantasy writing--magical events generally happen offstage, or in the past; most characters are richly drawn, but the Mein are a bit too absolute in terms of their villainy--he compensates with crisp, clear prose and...

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