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Publisher's Summary

Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, named after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends.

Leodan hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

Acacia is a thrilling work of literary imagination that creates an all-enveloping and mythic world that will carry readers away. It is a timeless tale of heroism and betrayal, of treachery and revenge, of primal wrongs and ultimate redemption. David Durham has reimagined the epic narrative for our time.

©2007 David Anthony Durham (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Enthralling, literate and increasingly suspenseful." (Kirkus)
"Sprawling and vividly imagined....Durham has created a richly detailed alternate reality leavened with a dollop of magic." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    287
  • 4 Stars
    337
  • 3 Stars
    222
  • 2 Stars
    111
  • 1 Stars
    78

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    203
  • 4 Stars
    183
  • 3 Stars
    99
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    41

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    172
  • 4 Stars
    181
  • 3 Stars
    129
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    39
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Glen
  • Sperry, OK, USA
  • 07-28-07

Thumbs up!

This is my first review on Audible. This book demanded it of me.

It was a pleasure to listen to. The language it used was full bodied, lightly poking at one's vocabulary without being pretentious. The narration was lightly accented, clear and concise with a pleasant timbre and rhythm.

The story line was well balanced, neither too cotton-candied optimistic nor too cold and dark. The use of magic was just about right. Just enough to be mysterious without being so overused as to seem gimmicky. Character development was first rate. This was a long book and yet it didn't get tiresome.

I shall impatiently await book 2.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Leesburg, VA, USA
  • 07-24-07

Much Fun

The first place I look for something to listen to is in Audible's fantasy section. The longer the book the better I like it, with one condition. If the words bosom or cleavage appear say, 1000 times or more, tedium sets in. Listening to Acacia I did not hear either of these words. Not once in the 29 hours and 29 seconds required to complete the book. In and of itself, this makes the book worth purchasing but Mr. Durham has taken his listeners far past other authors who's writing I can only judge as sophomoric in comparison.

At first, I was concerned that the book was going to be difficult to finish. Looking back the reason was simple. It is unlike any of the epic tales I have yet read. It is difficult to articulate how it is different but if I must put it in one word, it is quality. Like most books in the genera I am familiar with, Acacia seems to jump from character to character telling each of their stories. I have always found this frustrating, a bit like having to wait till after the break to see if a contestant is smarter than a fifth grader. Acacia is different. Yes I felt frustrated when a story was suddenly stopped to return to a different character. What I found refreshing was that within no more that three sentences, my frustration disappeared and I was eager to continue listening.

I must congratulate Mr. Durham. This book is in a league of it's own. Much fun. Should you read this sir, I have one other comment for you. Get back to your computer and continue working on book two. It can not arrive too soon.

40 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable epic fantasy.

I really enjoyed this book. A believable world (in which all is not what it seems), well drawn characters (four royal siblings), intricate & intriguing plotlines. And importantly for me, compelling writing with an adult, and not an adolescent audience, in mind.

I look forward to the next in series. I've recently read some well reviewed, truly lame fantasy; this rises far above much of what's out there.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • 11-24-07

Acacia: Book One

Starts out slow, but builds to a very unexpected ending.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantasy Epic at its Best

I dare say David Anthony Durham gives George R.R. Martin a run for for his money. Die hard fans of Martin may not believe me, but "Acacia" looks like it may end up a better series of books than Martin's "A Game of Thrones".
Why? Because Acacia's characters have more depth. The "good guys" have deep flaws and the "bad guys" have motivations that are believable and in some cases, justifiable. Readers can empathize with nearly all the characters.
The plot takes risks and turns that surprise and delight. Just when I think the story is going to go in one direction, it goes in the other.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy epics. I enjoyed all 29 hours so much that I've set aside an hour each evening to listening to it with my husband, who loves the genre but doesn't have the the time to devote hours during the day to listen to it.
Spend the credit, spend the time. It's worth it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 10-03-12

Starts a solid but not spectacular fantasy series.

The Acacia trilogy has everything I would expect in an Epic fantasy series: varied races, multiple kinds of magic, mysterious legends, empires, long time grudges, large scale battles, and plenty of intrigue; however, as I listened to all 3 books I never crossed the line to where I was so engrossed that I just had to know what was going to happen next.

This is not a tale where it is clearly good vs evil and it is often hard to align with any of the main characters as they all have some pretty obvious character flaws. I never really knew who's side I was on in the war and I never really wanted any of the characters in a position of power to be ultimately successful. I didn't really like any of them, and sadly I didn't really hate any of them either, hence my indifference.

David Anthony Durham added all the right ingredients to the Acacia trilogy but somehow the meal wasn't as memorable as it should have been. If you are a veteran fantasy reader and find yourself searching for a new series then you can safely spend your time in Acacia and you won't be short changed. If you are new to the fantasy genre then I would suggest that you look elsewhere as there are many better series out there to spend your time listening to.

Dick Hill does a good job as the narrator as he is pretty consistent in his reading across the 3 books.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Austin, TX, USA
  • 08-06-07

Good story, but predictable in places

I found this book to hold my interest all the way through. The story was interesting and the characters were developed and differentiated enough to keep things moving along. The reader did a great job with voice characterization.

I found the first person character switch to be only mildly distracting. There was only a small amount of overlap, so it wasn't boring hearing the same thing happen, just from a different perspective. If there were any real flaws, I found the plot to be predictable in places and I wished that more time was spent developing some of the not quite so main characters.

Anyway, I plan to pick up the next book to see where things go.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Worth the listen, but beware...

I started listening to Acacia on a long trip. I was first intrigued, then horrified, then disgusted with the plot. I found great merit in the literary quality of the book, but I found no characters that I liked except the children, and even they disappointed after a while. The narrator brings a special quality to the performance that I found charming. I just wish that the story had been more gentle on the listener, because ultimately, that is what my complaint is about; the author was brutal with all characters. No one finishes this story unscathed. In some writers I find that attractive;' I am a great fan of the SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series by George R. R. Martin, and can handle quite well the gritty reality that he produces. But in this world, the literary magic that made me care about Sansa, Arlia, Bran, Rickeon, and John Snow is simply not present. Indeed, there was barely enough to keep me going on to the next part (the book is downloadable in four long parts). In the end I decided that this novel was just barely worth listening to, but do not listen to it if you are depressed, or looking for inspiration. This story will not uplift you, and you will not find it. Finally, though there are four children, two boys and two girls, in the story, just like the Narnia series, I would like to point out that Narnia was written specifically for small children, but if any parent were to read this to his or her eight-year old, I would report him or her to the nearest Child Protection Service. As I have said before, this is not an easy book to read, nor is it kind to its readers, and I suspect that it would produce nightmares in small children. I have not yet decided whether I will listen to the sequels.

34 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Adnan
  • Chula Vista, CA, United States
  • 11-07-11

I cant listen to Dick Hill

This is the second time I am unable to complete a book due to narration. Dick Hill is been the narrator on both occasions. I don???t think that I will be purchasing any books narrated by Dick Hill. He is very melodramatic, and it is something that really bothers me.

Audible will not let me provide feedback only on narrator, so giving 3 stars to story.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joan
  • Frazee, MN, USA
  • 09-28-07

Decent story, poor reading

I read the reviews on this book, and it sounded like the kind of long ramble I enjoy. It turns out it's not unlike George RR Martin's "Fire and Ice" series. (GRRM however displays more imagination, and his characters are better rounded and more believeable, where Anthony's seem more like cariacatures.) Unfortunately, the Acacia reader punctuates his sentences with so many stops and starts - perhaps in an attempt to make his already-clipped speech clearer? - that I find myself exceedingly annoyed. The reader's idiosyncracies get in the way of the story. I will grit my teeth and get through this volume, but unless the others have another reader, I won't buy another in audio form.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful