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, 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. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then 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 they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their 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 in a book that will surely mark his breakthrough to a wide audience.
“Historical fiction writer Durham successfully turns to epic fantasy in a series opener that combines the moral ambiguity and brutality of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire with Guy Gavriel Kay’s emotional sweep and Ursula K. Le Guin’s ethnic diversity.”
Praise for Pride of Carthage
“Durham vividly captures the frenzy of ancient warfare—battle-maddened pachyderms, hails of javelins and arrows, ordered ranks of Roman light infantry crumbling before Hannibal's mercenary army of ''copper-skinned'' Libyans, tattooed and dreadlocked Numidians and blond, blood-drinking Gauls. 'The world is cruel,' Durham's Hannibal proclaims, and it is.”
—The New York Times
“Stunning…Durham [is a] master of persuasion and imagination. A brilliant exploration of the tension between private destiny and historical force.”
—Christian Science Monitor
“Masterly…Durham has delivered some of the best battle scenes on the page since Michael Shaara’s Civil War fiction.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Durham leaps continents and centuries to tell the epic story of Hannibal and his march on Rome in this heady, richly textured novel. . . . The novel’s grand sweep is balanced by intimate portraits of Hannibal, his family, his allies and his enemies.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Treachery in the throne room, princes in hiding, ancestors reaching from beyond the grave, wars of succession—this is a novel that Shakespeare would have loved. David Anthony Durham is rebuilding epic fantasy from the ground up. There are books that you visit for a vacation, and then there are books that you live in. Get ready to have your mail forwarded to Acacia.”
—James Patrick Kelly, Hugo Award winner