“David Anthony Durham has serious chops. I can’t wait to read whatever he writes next."
—George R. R. Martin
David Anthony Durham’s gripping Acacia Trilogy continues with an epic novel where loyalties are tested, new worlds are discovered, and battle lines are being drawn.
A few years have passed since Queen Corinn has usurped control of the Known World—and she now rules with an iron fist. With plans to expand her empire, she sends her brother, Dariel, on an exploratory mission across the sea to The Other Lands. There, he discovers an alliance of tribes that have no interest in being ruled by Queen Corinn and the Akarans. In fact, Dariel’s arrival ignites a firestorm that once more exposes The Known World to a massive invasion, one unlike anything they have yet faced . . .
The power and originality of Durham's impressive fantasy debut, 2007's Acacia: The War with the Mein, isn't quite matched by this sequel, though it still features intelligent, well-crafted prose and complex characters. After a political assassination led to the overthrow of the Acacian Empire, the murdered king's children were split up and found very different destinies. The focus here is on the oldest, Corinn, now queen. She is a morally ambiguous figure, fiercely guarding her secrets of magic, willing to drug her subjects to stifle dissent and sacrifice her own siblings for power. Her depiction is the book's strength, as many of the other plot elements betrayals, close brushes with death, terrifying monsters are standard fare. Fans will still look for book three, but with diminished enthusiasm.