Review: The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham

The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham
The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham

The Sacred Band (Book 3 of the Acacia Trilogy)
David Anthony Durham
Doubleday, 2011

The Sacred Band by David Anthony Durham brings the saga of the Akaran family, begun in Acacia, to a close. The novel picks up where The Other Landsleft off. Corinn controls Acacia with an iron grip her growing mastery over the magic learned from the Book of Elenet allow ever greater control over the populace. Dariel, still far across the sea in the Other Lands learning about the society formed by the former quota slaves. Mena has been tasked with defending Acacia’s northern border from invadeing Auldek. Last, the recently resurrected Aliver slowly begins to recover who he was. On a minor note one of the brilliant things this series does, and one of the things I’d love to see other shorter fantasy series do, is provide several pages (about two to three) of summary for the previous novels. In a genre wherein volumes are separated by months if not years this type of summary is extraordinarily helpful in helping ease a reader back into the story.

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Review: The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham

The Other Lands
David Anthony Durham

The Other Lands
David Anthony Durham
Doubleday, 2009

Durham, known for his historical fiction novels, burst onto the fantasy scene in 2007 with Acacia: The War with the Mein the first in a new fantasy series.  Released back in September The Other Lands is the second book in Durham’s Acacia series continuing the saga of the Akaran family and their empire.   Like the first book The Other Lands is a different from many fantasy novels today and its pacing, structure, and themes all seem informed by Durham’s experience with historical fiction.  If you’ve yet to read the first book there are definite spoilers here.

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Fantastic Acacia Review @ Torque Control

The editors of Vector, Niall Harrison in particular, has posted an excellent review (in terms of quality of content though the review is positive) of David Anthony Durham’s fantasy novel Acacia over on their blog: Torque Control.  It does an a wonderful job of examining many of the aspects that set this novel apart from other fantasy novels and made me genuinely depressed about the sorry state of my own reviews.  There are some spoilers in there so beware but it really is a splendid examination of novel and certainly got me a bit jazzed for the forthcoming sequel, The Other Lands, due in September.  If you’ve thought about reading this series and don’t mind a few spoilers I’d check the review out HERE.

New David Anthony Durham Cover

The cover art and description for David Anthony Durham’s sequel to Acacia, The Other Lands have been making the rounds today.  You can check both out over a Suvudu here.  Acacia was one of my favorite reads in 2007 and despite being well received in most corners never seemed to get quite as much attention as I think it deserved.  It is out in mass market now so don’t be give it a try, escpecially if you’re in the mood for quality epic fantasy with well-realized characters, intense political meneuvering, and a fascinating and unique world.  Durham is well-known as a writer of historical fiction (primarily Pride of Carthage) and the same high detail and lyric storytelling indicitive of that genre work equally as well in a fantasy setting.