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Also available as: Not in United States? Choose your country's store to see books available for purchase. Ruling from the island of Acacia, the emperor of the Known World has inherited an apparent peace and prosperity won by his ancestors generations ago. He's an intelligent man, a widower who dotes on his four children and it is this devotion that obliges him to hide a terrible secret from them:
Robert V. A Veil of Spears.
Bradley P. The Fall of the Dagger. Glenda Larke. The Dawning of Power Trilogy. Brian Rathbone. Ian C. The Briar King. Greg Keyes. Upland Outlaws. Dave Duncan. Wrath of Empire. Brian McClellan. The Reluctant Swordsman. The Cutting Edge. The Widow's House. Daniel Abraham. The Destiny of the Sword.
Drawn Blades. Kelly McCullough.
Acacia by David Anthony Durham | ukraine-europe.info: Books
The Barrow. Mark Smylie. The Coming of Wisdom. A Gathering of Armies: Book Six of the Restoration Series. Christopher Williams. The Raven's Shadow. Elspeth Cooper. The Liar's Key.
Mark Lawrence. The Blood Knight. The Falcon Throne. Karen Miller. The Death of Nnanji. The Born Queen. John Gwynne. Darkened Blade. The Court of Broken Knives. Anna Smith Spark. The Inheritance Trilogy.
Reign of Ash. Gail Z. The Charnel Prince. The World Raven. Sharp Ends. Joe Abercrombie. The Tyrant's Law. Sworn in Steel. Douglas Hulick. The Thousand Names. Django Wexler. Heritage of Cyador. Modesitt Jr. Emperor and Clown. The Wheel of Osheim. Lara Elena Donnelly. King Javan's Year. Katherine Kurtz. The Red Wolf Conspiracy. Age of Assassins. RJ Barker. The Autumn Republic. Magic Casement. Faery Lands Forlorn.
Senlin Ascends. Josiah Bancroft. Closer to the Heart. Mercedes Lackey. Black Wolves. Kate Elliott. A Crucible of Souls. Mitchell Hogan. Den of Thieves. David Chandler. Tower Lord. Anthony Ryan. The Fell Sword. Miles Cameron. Among Thieves. Flame of Requiem The Complete Trilogy. Daniel Arenson. Prince of Fools. Stephen Aryan. The Shadow Throne.
The Witchwood Crown. Tad Williams. Grey Sister. Kristen Britain. The Death of Dulgath. Michael J. A very tasty fantasy stew. One of the best books, fantasy or otherwise. A multi-layered, page-turning series that pushes the envelope of epic fantasy. Book 1: The War with the Mein Doubleday Books: Was moving into epic fantasy a natural step for you?
Certainly the novel reveals a writer with a deep familiarity and affection for the genre. David Anthony Durham: Thanks for saying that. It did feel very natural to me. I read Dune for the first time about three years ago. That combination of being challenged, being spoken to as a reader with an intellect, but also being sent on a voyage overtly of the imagination was like a reawakening to what storytelling is and always has been really about.
Acacia is that world. Still, I can imagine that some agents, or even writers, might feel a bit nervous about making this kind of career move. Is that something you encounter as a writer and a teacher of writing? Yes to all the above. Some of our most famed authors have found a comfortable place in their fiction and rarely venture from it.
When I suggested fantasy, they needed a little convincing, but once I laid out what I had in mind they knew I was serious. Among other things, I said—and meant it—that if I could only write one more book before I died, I wanted it to be Acacia. There is absolutely an academic and critical bias against epic fantasies—against anything that can fit into a genre, for that matter.
This is not to pretend I think all fantasy is great, either. I believe the intelligent way to read—and the way that the academy should be teaching students to read—is to roam widely, exploring different genres and perspectives and narrative styles, focusing a critical eye on all of them and judging them all accordingly.
As a teacher of writing, I make a case for students seeking out good writing—wherever they can find it—and learning what they can from it. This a very fertile time for heroic fantasy.
These writers and others have brought a renewed focus on realism of character, politics, and history to the genre. Do you see yourself as part of this trend? Realism of character, politics, history: Bringing it to epic fantasy, though, excites me like nothing has before.
I think they do, and I hope they do, because those are exactly the type of stories I want to tell. For many years, African Americans were underrepresented in the field of speculative fiction. Now, thanks to trailblazers like Samuel R.
Delany, Octavia Butler, and others, more writers of color are embracing the genre. Why is that? Much of it grew out of a European storytelling ethos that looked back toward a time not nearly as multicultural as contemporary Europe actually is.
Having said that, black readers do read fantasy. I did. My friends did. The publishing business is not without its segregationist tendencies.
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Writers like Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler are real exceptions, really unique individuals that did what they did regardless of the hurdles. As for me, I have a very good relationship with my publisher.
It helps, also, that Pride of Carthage was successful at finding an audience here and abroad, in the UK and in six foreign language editions so far.
If I can make this work, I hope it will inspire other writers of color into the genre. Do you feel, as an African American writer, a special obligation to address the black experience in America in your fiction, or is such an expectation on the part of readers or critics essentially racist? My problem with being obligated to address the black experience is that my identity as an African American is only part of who I am.
That gave me a different outlook on the world. The phone bills on the holidays are painful! So I think I have a bit more to speak about than being black in America.
Projects like Pride of Carthage and Acacia are informed by my identity as a multi-cultural member of our wide world. That, I think, is a strength, and I hope it helps my writing to be probing in terms of cultural issues but also accessible—and relevant—to everyone. Okay, I have to ask: Did you always have this in mind for your title and the name of the empire at the heart of the novel, or did you sort of write your way into it as the novel grew?
It became the title and the central image of the novel early on, but I also grew into it with time. I was looking for a simple name for the empire, one that could have both concrete and symbolic resonance and that suggested the multi-cultural aspects of the world I was creating.
It reminded me of Arcadia, which has its own utopian implications. As I learned more about the trees they seemed an even better fit. Though symbolic of Africa or Australia, acacia trees are widely distributed around the world—like my Acacians. The trees are eloquently beautiful, but also thorny and protective—like Acacians. Their great branches provide homes for all sorts of animals, a structure to some creatures that know no other possibilities—like the Acacian Empire.
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And, as fundamental as anything else, this is a novel of the legacy of a family tree. Is your invented empire of Acacia, and the world in which it is set, based on actual history? With the drug Mist, and the mysterious yet seemingly all-powerful Lothan Aklun, I was reminded a bit of China and its relations with the British.
Great question, and the answer is yes on all counts. I did an awful lot of reading into actual world history as I wrote Acacia.
Those aspects have so blended with the imagined influences that the connections blur and tangle—hopefully in a manner that gives readers lots of food for thought but skews away from being a commentary on any particular historical situation.
It sounds as though your skills as an historical novelist played a big part in the world-building for these books. It was a time of very different moral outlooks, different religions, values, fundamental beliefs. A lot of what we think we know about the ancient world is nothing more than informed speculation.
Frankly, I had to make up an awful lot to fill in the gaps in the historical record and to make a textured narrative. After that experience, I felt quite at home with the notion of building another speculative world—my own.
We only see the first glimmerings of your magical system here in the first volume, but it promises to be a doozy. Can you expand a bit on the Santoth, also known as the God-Talkers, and how you developed their magic?
Are they the only source of magic in your world? The ancient tale goes that a creator figure called the Giver roamed the early earth, singing it to life. The words of his song had the power to breathe life, to give shape and form and substance to the world and all its creatures. One of his human creations, a young man called Elenet, began to follow him as he walked the earth, entranced by his song.
Problem is that Elenet learned the words of the God-Talk and before long began to speak it himself.
When the Giver discovered this, he turned angrily away from the world and abandoned it. Elenet, however, coveted his knowledge and continued to use it. He became the first human God-Talker, and his followers became the Santoth magicians. It may or may not be true, by the way.
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