The Halfway Point is upon us for this truly epic fantasy novel. So far Acacia has delivered everything I had expected it to from hearing so much about it the past few months. I’m really thrilled to be reading it and I guess I should just get right to it, great book so far, let’s do this.
Please keep in mind that I am talking about the first half of the book in-depth. There ARE GOING TO BE SPOILERS from this book.
This is Readers Indigestion: The Halfway Point.
From the beginning Acacia throws us into a world with some serious rivalries and a lot of history. Each chapter introduces us to a new character until they have all been introduced about twelve chapters into the book, all of these characters are well written and very realistic. In the very first chapter we learn there is an assassin out to get the King of Acacia, Leodan Akaran, father of four children. The assassin is one of the Mein brothers, the family that once, ages ago, ruled the Known World, the Mein’s have held a generations long hatred for the Akaran family as they defeated their ancestors and won the kingdoms. The assassin makes his way to Acacia and infiltrates a party that the King is throwing in the honour of a Prince from a sovereign province and there successfully makes his attempt on the King’s life.
On his death-bed Leodan tells his chancellor Thaddeus Clegg to put into play plans he had made to take care of his four children if this was ever to happen to him. Thaddeus sends the children away, saying that they need to be kept safe from the Meinish loyalists who are at that time attacking the capital and many other places throughout the Known World. The children head off to a mining island where no one will be able to find them, but, a few weeks into them being there, they are all taken separately by people who, unbeknownst to them, are doing their late fathers will. Unfortunately this doesn’t go according to plan for almost all of the children.
Aliver, the oldest son and the heir to the throne, successfully gets to the far south of the Known World and for the next nine years lives with these people and does his best to become one of them. Thaddeus shows up nine years later and informs him that it is his destiny to find a long thought dead race of sorcerers and they would help him take back the throne. Corrin, the oldest daughter, unfortunately is captured on her escape from the mining island and is held captive by Hanish Mein, the new ruler of the Known World, but she is treated very well by the new Mein monarchy. Mena, the youngest daughter, is taken by sea to her new home but her boat gets destroyed in transit and she ends up shipwrecked on an island, the people of the island believe she is a human incarnation of their goddess and raise her for the next nine years as their goddess’ vessel. Finally Dariel, the youngest and final son of Leodan, ends up becoming a pirate after his guide to safety leaves him. The man who ends up rasing him is one of the men that Dariel was good friends with in his father’s castle.
Throughout the first part of the book we learn that there is a lot going on under the table that the monarchy can do virtually nothing about. First of all there is a group known simply as the league who make all of the really important decisions for the kingdom, such as which provinces are allowed to come and join into the Acacian Empire and they handle most of the trade between provinces. They make it seem that the Kings have very little say in what happens in their kingdom. All over the kingdom there are people addicted to this drug refered to as the mist, it gives people hallucinations and just a general escape from reality. This drug is traded to King Leodan by people living on “the other side of the world” in a place called Lothan Aklun, or the Other Lands. This deal has been going on for generations, the Other Landers came to one of Leodan’s ancestors and said that they would come and destroy that individual’s rule and their armies unless every year they sent them a “quota”. This Quota we find out is an equal number of young boys and young girls from each race in the Known World shipped to them yearly, these kids will never return home and there will be no questions asked about what they are to be used for in Lothan Aklum. Leodan once fantasized about stopping this Quota, but saw better than to do so, as it would mean the death of most of the Known World.
Dark secrets are everywhere, plots for revenge have been enacted, and still more are being created. Acacia: The War with the Mein has proven to be a very great read at The Halfway Point, so much more is yet to happen in this book and the two books to come. The writing is solid and very descriptive, but not overbareingly so. The characters are all interesting to read about, which is something that can be a problem in books when there are many characters that make up the bulk of the plot, you’ll have some you are interested in and some that you could care less about. David Anthony Durham has managed to creat a world with a back story that I would love to read and learn more about and has successfully created characters that are believable and interesting to read about.
So go out and grab a copy of this book, it’s worth every dollar you’ll spend on it. I can’t wait to get back to it, as soon as I’m finished writing here, and see what happens next. I’ll be back next week with my Halfway Point for Kevin Smith’s Tough Sh*t.
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