• The War with the Mein

  • Book One of the Acacia Trilogy
  • By: David Anthony Durham
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 29 hrs and 27 mins
  • 3.7 out of 5 stars (1,096 ratings)

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The War with the Mein

By: David Anthony Durham
Narrated by: Dick Hill
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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 listeners say about The War with the Mein

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    321
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    114
  • 1 Stars
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Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    198
  • 3 Stars
    103
  • 2 Stars
    42
  • 1 Stars
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Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    138
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    41

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this 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.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great (long) listen

The story sounds a LOT like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, or George R. R. Martin's series. So if you liked either of those then you'll like this.

It's LONG. Very very long, which is a good thing if you like long audiobooks as I do. I listened to all of part one (~7 hours I believe) without fast forwarding at all... by part 2 however, I ended up FF through some of the longwinded descriptions. (But I listened to Jordan's book 10 on audio and FF through parts of it as well.)

The narrator is pretty good - he tries hard to change voices and, for the most part, you can tell the characters apart from his tone. He mispronounces the odd word but otherwise, he's completely listenable.

I would buy this audiobook again... so if you like long detailed fantasy (very detailed), you should like this. If you prefer your stories short and to the point... perhaps this isn't the one.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining...but...

Fans of the Dune or The lord of the Rings series will find this to be a very good read...up to a point. I loved this book until I got to the final few chapters, where the author seems to just run out of juice. There are no good conclusions, nothing but questions and dead ends, and, of course, the set up for a sequal. Not really what I was hoping for after the first 27 plus hours of riveting storytelling.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Betrayal of the reader

If you want to waste hours listening to a work that devalues honor in its characters, promulgates the fact that everyone is mostly evil, implies that truly evil people can always be justified, and kills off the only admirable characters without compunction, then go for this one. I can just hear the author replying something like, "I wanted to show the reality of the human condition" or something similar. What a waste of a potentially good story line. The narrator is excellent however.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Slow and Without Likeable Characters

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it was slow. The narrative style involves delving deeply into the thoughts of the characters, but the majority of the time, the characters aren't thinking about anything interesting. The scenes were anything happens are surrounded by characters thinking about what's going to happen and then various characters' views on what did happen. The pace picks up slightly toward the end of the book, but the first section is almost interminably slow.


This deep style of narration might not be so bad if we actually liked any of the characters, but very few of them are remotely likable. Even the children seem both undeveloped and unlikable. The author was clearly attempting to create flawed characters, but most of seemed to do awful things for no well-explained reason, even the ones we were supposed to like.


I finished listening to the book, and I kept hoping it would get better. To some extent, it did. The book's ending was much better than the beginning.

8 people found this helpful