(Pdf) [The Other Lands] BY David Anthony Durham
Ogy deserving of one this is itMy Reviews of the Acacia Trilogy Acacia The War with the Mein Acacia 3 forthcoming God damn you Corinn This series is verything I haven t felt this way since I was fourteen When I first read LOTR it took over my life I fell in love with Middle Earth and all of its inhabitants But deep down I longed for a book that would include people that looked like me People of color in a fantasy setting not being subjugated or stereotyped and the Acacia trilogy has given me that and much I seriously love this series Anyone who rates this book or the first one under a three is a liar I don t care Durham s writing is amazing his characters are fully realized and beautiful I cannot wait to read the final book but at the same time I don t want to leave the Known WorldSide note One of the things that I love about the second book is that we get to know the characters deeply We get to see them be happy see their fears and weaknesses as well as their strengths It was a breath of fresh air A brilliant seuel to AcaciaReally looking forward to its completionThe apocalyptic struggle against the conuering Mein has nded and a victorious Corinn Akaran reigns over the Acacian Empire of the known world Bolstered by her growing mastery of the forbidding sorcerous powers contained in the BOOK OF ELENET she rules with an iron handThe Other Lands follows on nine years after the vents of the Entranced (The Donovan Legacy, excellent Acacia In this seuel we see Corinn Akaran firmlystablished as ueen of Acacia alongside her son by Heinish Mein Prince Aaden Princess Mena is out in the Known World with her husband Melio defending the land from the creatures known as the foulthings The foulthings are abominations left over from the Santoth involvement in the war at the nd of AcaciaNews also reaches the court from the mysterious Other Lands ueen Corinn dispatches her brother Prince Dariel to act as her missary along with Sire Neen of the League of Vessels and soldiers of the Numrek to make greetings with the Lothan Aklun From the moment Dariel sets sail across the Grey Slopes the Known World will never be the same againRead the rest of the review herehttpwwwfantasybookreviewcoukDa Just wasn t all that interested in finishing the book after all Maybe just my mood but it never clicked with me like the first one I made it about halfway through but none of the characters besides Dariel were all that interesting This book did nothing to captivate my interest and dragged on and on for me The Other Lands took me almost 2 months to read which is crazy and I should have given up long ago But I hate not finishing books I m giving this 2 stars and not 1 because it is a personal feel of loathing than any certain critiue It just didn t do it for me I had no interest in the characters or the plot which is a recipe for disaster This review originally appeared at RevolutionSFcomIf you look back at my review of Acacia The War With the Mein you ll find that I was reluctant to pick up something I knew was an unfinished trilogy I nded up njoying the book immensely but I knew that book 2 when it came would come with a built in problemWhile book one of a trilogy can usually stand on its own book two is doomed to be incomplete Certainly characters are deepened and plot points are xpanded but it s all in service to setting up the ndgame to come in book three It s not that this set up can t be njoyable it s just that the reader will be left dangling amongst the various plot threads waiting to see how it all comes out a situation which is particularly frustrating if the story is goodAnd make no mistake The Other Lands is good Durham builds on all the good points from Acacia the world building skill the finely drawn characters the level of detail and the solid pacing His world is a lush mix of political intrigue anthropology mythology and sorcery and it s a pleasure to spend time there ven in the company of some very unpleasant people There are villains aplenty here and cultures beyond our understanding but nothing simplistic There are no asy answers to be found here no hero without a touch of darkness and no villain without reason for his or her actionsThe remaining Akarans reunited at the nd of book one ach struggle to come to terms with a victory that doesn t feel very much like a victory AFTER THE OF THEIR BROTHER ALIVER the of their brother Aliver are ach also struggling with finding a balance between their responsibilities To The Kingdom With Those To Their the kingdom with those to their Having grown up apart and in such different cultures from one another they find themselves unsure within their newly reunited family struggling to understand the motivations of people now so very different than those they remember Though they ach have the same goal of a kingdom at peace they differ significantly in how they think that should be achievedThe various pieces are being moved into place for what looks like a truly pic ndgame with Acacia facing seemingly impossible threats both from without and within Given the amount of care and thought that has gone onto the story so far I have no doubt that I will njoy the trip wherever David Anthony Durham decides to take us Here is my review heaped with praise but containing one major complaint David Anthony Durham is a great writer his phrasing is carefully chosen his words flow masterfully to create characters and scenes with depth and he keeps the pace moving with the skill of a pulp detective writer The Other Lands is perhaps a greater pleasure to read than 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 mpire 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 xperience with historical fiction If you ve yet to read the first book there are definite spoilers hereWe pick up nine years after Corinn s coup and reclamation of the Akaran throne from her husband What we get is very much a middle novel as the characters work through the tumultuous vents of the previous book and how or if those vents have changed them Mena has been tasked by her sister to track down and destroy the horrific foulthings spawned by the unleashed fury of Santoth magic and she still struggles with her desire for love and family as well as her violent role as the
goddess Maeban on Earth Dariel bears the guilt of his actions following Aliver s death when he foreswore Maeban on Earth Dariel bears the guilt of his actions following Aliver s death when he foreswore brother s word and attacked the Meinish army and has thrown himself into helping the common folk rebuild after the war Summoned back to his sister s side he is uickly tasked to journey across the sea to the titular Other Lands and meet with the mysterious Lothun Aklun Corinn meanwhile has grasped the control of the Empire with an iron fist becoming something of a distant figure willing to use anyone and veryone to guide her mpire to the destiny she foresees In the process she now wields powerful magic capable of both creation and destructionThe Other Lands is a transitory novel On the one hand Corinn makes claim to follow through with some of her brother Aliver s wishes but in truth become a tyrant whose lies and subterfuge are as great as any of her ancestors While there is a perceived sense of change in leadership and governance. Are being drawn A few years have passed since ueen Corinn has usurped control of the Known World and she now rules with an iron fist With plans to xpand her mpire she sends her brother Dariel on an xploratory mission across the sea to The Other Lan. ,
As with my review of Acacia this review is a literary minefield of uber spoilers and links to TVTropesAcacia s nding left a sinister taste in the air The shining prince Aliver Akaran is dead In his place his sister Corinn has retaken the throne Nine years pass and Aaden her son by Hanish Mein is growing into a fine young prince at his mother s side Corinn herself has been busy studying The Song of Elenet a sorcerer s handbook of sorts She s had to make hard decisions to stay in power and uell the unrest following the defeat of the Mein It showsIf the Corinn of latter Acacia days was reserved and calculating The Other Lands sees her transform from High ueen to Knight Templar and it s really scary Corinn is desperate for a replacement for the mist and she commissions an alternative drug consumed through wine It s addictive than mist and has fewer side The Shadow Reader effects Sounds perfect but since almostveryone drinks wine it would be really Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies easy to get a significant proportion of the population addicted oh and no one bothered to test what happens when someone is deprived of the drug indefinitely But that doesn t bother Corinn as much as the possibility that some people will disagree with herDon t let my flippant tone mislead you however Corrin is not merely a caricature of the ueen who goes too far We also get to see the woman behind the ueen Corinn regularlyxpresses her doubts almost regrets about how she has to behave in order to maintain control Her only joys in life come from Aaden and learning sorcery And this isn t ntirely her fault Corinn has trust issues Her mother to whom she was specially close died Her father died Her first love died She fell in love with her The Power Of A Choice enemy Hanish Mein then learned he was planning to kill her should have seen that one coming Princess In this book she permits herself a flirtation with King Grae only to learn that he s involved with some peasant rebels I can t wait to find out how she reacts when she learns that her amateur attempts at sorcery arendangering Acacia than the league or the AuldekSpeaking of the Auldek Dariel s voyage to the Other Lands is the other half of this book It s not uite as interesting as Corinn s machinations because it offers less of an motional purchase for the reader Dariel is the Akaran who gets the least amount of development almost as if Durham doesn t know what to do with him Corinn is the scheming ueen Mena is the badass but weary warrior Dariel is I m not sure So Durham through Corinn packs him off to the Other Lands where he gets imprisoned tortured tattooed and then leads former uota slaves on a raid It s somewhat convoluted but I guess it worksDespite my reservations about Dariel s characterization I m pleased that Durham took us over the Gray Slopes in the second book We learn about the nature of the Lothan Aklun and by xtension sorcery The relationship between the Auldek and Numrek as well as the reason for the Numrek s arrival in the Known World is made clear And these two plot points are connected for the Lothan Aklun have fundamentally altered Auldek and Numrek society By making the Auldek immortal yet sterile through soul transfer the Lothan Aklun warped this warrior culture into something stagnant dependent upon them for uota slaves to function as children of a sort With the Lothan Aklun gone and the Numrek returned with tidings of a land where Auldek will be fertile and a weak people is just waiting to be conuered well the Auldek jump at the chance for some real battle and you can t blame them Indeed although the Auldek are brutal and brutish there is something arnest about their motivations As Rialos notes who is to say that the Acacian time for dominance hasn t come to an nd Perhaps it is time for the Auldek to reign This hearkens to the ambiguous nature of the Akaran versus Mein conflict in Acacia Once again the Akarans represent the good guys but they don t do a very good job at itThe League of Vessels shows its teeth in this book with its fait accompli massacre of the Lothan Aklun Back when Leodan first mentioned them in Acacia the words were alien disturbing Lothan Aklun I pictured them as sorcerers yes but as terrible and the words were alien disturbing Lothan Aklun I pictured them as sorcerers yes but as terrible and beings Even after the League revealed the Lothan Aklun were to the Auldek as the League is to the Acacians I held out hope In a way that
Hope Remains Intact Sinceremains intact since didn t actually
to meet the Aklun they were all dead by the time we finally visit the Other Lands so they remain a mystery But I digress after spending all of the last book cackling about how the league is the real power in the world Sire Dagon finally has some actions to back up those The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right empty words At first when it s apparent that Sire Neen overstepped himself Sire Dagon s panicked reaction seems to indicate that the league will lose just as much in the coming war as will the Acacians But the meeting of the Senior Council belies thismotional interpretation The league is Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling even cold and calculating than Corinn who uses sorcery to turn Mena s dragon s unborn babies into killersOh yeah in what is probably the most obviousmbrace of a fantasy trope yet Mena gets a pet dragon The moment she was carried away by the dragon during their attempts to kill it I called that it would become Mena s companion And I hate the fact that Corinn s manipulations of Mena and the dragon tug at my heart I don t want the baby dragons to be beasts of war But it s no use It may be the most dull and conventional subplot in the book but it still snares me with pathos Damn you DurhamThat is ultimately the measure of the book is it not Durham might be playing with very conventional tropes here but he plays with them well And like its predecessor The Other Lands knows when to avert the tropes rather than Monsieur Pain embrace them In fact I would go so far as to say that this book is better than Acacia It doesxactly what the second book in a trilogy must accomplish it further develops the characters answers uestions raised in the first book and raises new uestions Above all The Other Lands raises the stakes There s nothing like that image of an unstoppable Auldek army or the Santoth s warning of cracks in the fabric of reality to cause a metaphorical shiver or two in the reader s spine And I m genuinely uncertain how the trilogy will resolve these conflicts while it s obvious that the Auldeks cannot win that doesn t imply an Akaran victoryThat s what I like about this trilogy Durham is writing a historical pic It s set in a world with magic soul transfer devices and fantastical animals but people are still people and they re still greedy for glory and power Like many other great fantasy authors you know who I m talking about Durham balances pic fantasy with pic history to give us something familiar yet much fulfilling than the bland farmboy saves the world fast food fantasy that codifies the clich For those who couldn t finish Acacia whether it s Durham s xpository style or just a somewhat lagging plot this is one of those rare occasions where I ndorse starting the series with the second book The Other Lands doesn t uite stand alone in a strict sense after all it nds on a very dramatic cliffhanger However it is separated from the first novel by nine years and the recap at the beginning of this book has Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. everything you really need to know about what happened in Acacia So in that respect The Other Lands is the perfect opportunity to give David Anthony Durham s trilogy a second chance And ifver there were a tril. “David Anthony Durham has serious chops I can’t wait to read whatever he writes next George R R MartinDavid Anthony Durham’s gripping Acacia Trilogy continues with an pic novel where loyalties are tested new worlds are discovered and battle lines. ,Get To Meet The
Is in truth of the same tyranny that xisted before On the other hand the war of the previous volume and Aliver s actions have allowed the cunning League of Ships to set into action and chain of vents that will change things forever As the various main characters work through what has happened to them in the past ach Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, either begins to affirm who they believed they are or begin to forge a new destinyDariel is perhaps the greatestxample of this The guilt of his final actions in the war rests heavy on his shoulders He is pushed to contemplation and introspection where as pirate he has been prone to action He is confronted with conseuences with his actions when Sire Neen a leader in the League reminds him that the League platforms he destroyed not only contained League members but their families and the uota slaves as well Later Dariel is captured by individuals looking in Il morto di Maigret exact vengeance on his family for the uota trade a levy of child slaves given over to the League who traded them to Lothun Aklun who traded them in to their clients all for a drug called mist that kept the population of the Akaranmpire docile and is again brought face to face with the past actions of his family This time however Dariel is uestioned by and in turn uestions his captors in a fascinating use of or at least something similar to the Socratic method While this manages to gives a nice bit of xposition regarding the history of his captors it also allows for some significant development on Dariel s part the conclusion of which I thought was ironic intellectual discourse thought not action leads a man to realize he is defined by what he does not what he saysCorinn s narrative was ually fascinating though spoiled somewhat when another character Barad the Lesser uickly dissects her motives and personality The analysis is spot on but I think it denies the reader their own discovery of the same facts She is a hard woman but is hardness that is brittle and prone to cracking I read her section with trepidation waiting for the moment when she finally breaks While there was one close call in that regard it never really comes to fruition but some late revelations by the Santoth later in the novel followed by some clever language in Corinn s last chapter or two manage to voke a nice sense of dread about what is to comeI may have mentioned this in other reviews but I always find the introduction of certain Lovecraftian lements Globalization: A Multi-Dimensional System, Third Edition endear to fiction Intentional or not that is the case hear as well not only in the foulthings Mena fights but in certain revelations late in the novel as well I don t want to spoil it though I hinted at it above There are otherlements of horror hear as well particularly as we learn how Lothun Aklun magic actually functions While not as ground breaking and Billionaires Contract Engagement (Kings of the Boardroom engaging as I had hoped The Other Lands is still anxciting well crafted read that leaves me Sexual Secrets eager to see if thingsxplode uite as large as I xpect them to in the next volume In addition to a fascinating plot and tangled in a good way politics Durham has created what I think is an xcellent study on the nature of leadership and family particularly as the two pertain to one another in additional to providing some vibrant portraits of our three main characters and their relationship to one another If there is one thing that Durham and the Acacia series at large does is craft a narrative that is both pic in scope and intimate in nature a saga of family and mpire that I highly recommend fans of fiction from all genres xperience The Other Lands is an xcellent seuel to Acacia The War with the Mein It takes the solid foundation built in Acacia and xpands it to well the Other Lands which is a place full of new creatures and peoples Best of all we finally get to meet these people the Acacians have been so afraid of and sending their children toBut I m getting ahead of myselfI look a a seuel review as a place to discuss the
first novel freely so if you haven t read it 1 you should and 2 you may notnovel freely so if you haven t read it 1 you should and 2 you may not to read the restThe Akarans rulers of Acacia are back in control after the Mein usurpation ueen Corinn is doing her best to keep Acacia safe which now includes her son Aaden She refuses to abolish the terrible uota Acacia s dirty not so secret which is where a uota of children are traded to a distant people through the League of Vessels and the Lothan Aklun The late Prince Aliver s dream is refused and the people are restlessDurham really knows how to tug at the heartstrings and the uota is no xception Having three kids of my own it s hard not to think about losing your precious children to a trade with a foreign people not knowing what becomes of those childrenIn The Other Lands we find out what does become of them but I won t go ruining that for youAs we know from Acacia Prince Aliver was killed by Maender Mein brother of Hanish Mein the ruler of the Mein whew The rest of the Akaran children although no longer children as this book takes place 9 years after Acacia are under the rule of ueen Corinn as well who has plenty to keep them busyStarting out Mena is sent out to fight the foulthings Foulthings are those creatures that came about because of the Santoth s magic use toward the The West Transformed: A History of Western Civilization, Vol 1, to 1715 end of the first book Due to the Santoth s corrupted magic these beings came aboutssentially causing havoc among the people of the Known WorldThis leads her into some trouble but for the most part Mena doesn t play an normous role in this book She s in it plenty but her parts seem of a set up for the next book whereas all the action really occurs with Corinn and specially DarielDariel decides with Corinn s approval to go about rebuilding the mpire With the destruction caused by the Numrek and the Mein many places were in need of help including Aushenia in the north which faced some of the worst of itVery uickly Corinn has another mission for Dariel sending him across the Gray Slopes to the Other Lands first of the Known World to do so on a mission devised by the League of Vessels And we all know how trustworthy they areThe Other Lands is really a book full of answers Many of the mysteries presented in Acacia are xplained as we learn of the Other Lands and the peoples therein We learn of the uota children we learn of the Aldek and we ven learn why the Numrek arrived in the Known World We get glimpses of the creatures and the trip across the Gray Slopes was breathtaking I applaud Durham s imagination which never ceases to astound meWhile we get many answers The Other Lands is still very much a set up for the final volume of the trilogy There are some great moments and some great action but mostly there is preparation for what is to comeand it will be amazing It s also a book that needed to happen and it doesn t suffer for being the bridge between the two There s nough wonder and amazement to keep you turning pages and ven some big vents that I m sure will pay off in the final volumeDurham s also written some of my all time favorite characters in stouthearted Mena and the The Anathema Cell ever witty Dariel These are the main reason you read these books and I can t getnough The Other Lands Is An Incredible And an incredible and installment in the Acacia trilogy It brings the trilogy to a whole new level and prepares us for the final ncounters that I couldn t be xcited for If you like Pookie-Pie epic in your fantasy the Acacia trilogy is the one for you It will have you living and breathing the life of a Known World inhabitant and that sxactly why I read fantasy455 Stars. Ds There he discovers an alliance of tribes that have no interest in being ruled by ueen Corinn and the Akarans In fact Dariel’s arrival ignites a firestorm that once xposes The Known World to a massive invasion one unlike anything they have yet face.