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"David Anthony Durham has serious chops. I can't wait to read whatever he writes next."--George R. R. MartinWelcome to Acacia . . . Born into generations of prosperity, the four royal children of the Akaran dynasty know little of the world outside their opulent island paradise. But when an assassin strikes at the heart of their power, their lives are changed forever. Forced to flee to distant corners and separated against their will, the children must navigate a web of hidden allegiances, ancient magic, foreign invaders, and illicit trade that will challenge their very notion of who they are. As they come to understand their true purpose in life, the fate of the world lies in their hands.
David Anthony Durham makes his literary debut with a haunting novel which, in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, views the American West through a refreshingly original lens. Set in the 1870s, the novel tells the tale of Gabriel Lynch, an African American youth who settles with his family in the plains of Kansas. Dissatisfied with the drudgery of homesteading and growing increasingly disconnected from his family, Gabriel forsakes the farm for a life of higher adventure. Thus begins a forbidding trek into a terrain of austere beauty, a journey begun in hope, but soon laced with danger and propelled by a cast of brutal characters. Durham's accomplishment is not solely in telling one man's story. He also gives voice to a population seldom included in our Western lore and crafts a new poetry of the American landscape. Gabriel's Story is an important addition to the mosaic of our nation's mythology.
Durham offers the thrilling new installment in the ambitious Acacia trilogy, praised by the "Washington Post" as "gripping and sophisticated."
This epic retelling of the legendary Carthaginian military leader's assault on the Roman empire begins in Ancient Spain, where Hannibal Barca sets out with tens of thousands of soldiers and 30 elephants. After conquering the Roman city of Saguntum, Hannibal wages his campaign through the outposts of the empire, shrewdly befriending peoples disillusioned by Rome and, with dazzling tactics, outwitting the opponents who believe the land route he has chosen is impossible. Yet Hannibal's armies must take brutal losses as they pass through the Pyrenees mountains, forge the Rhone river, and make a winter crossing of the Alps before descending to the great tests at Cannae and Rome itself. David Anthony Durham draws a brilliant and complex Hannibal out of the scant historical record-sharp, sure-footed, as nimble among rivals as on the battlefield, yet one who misses his family and longs to see his son grow to manhood. Whether portraying the deliberations of a general or the calculations of a common soldier, vast multilayered scenes of battle or moments of introspection when loss seems imminent, Durham brings history alive.
With the first two books in the Acacia Trilogy, Acacia and The Other Lands, David Anthony Durham has created a vast and engrossing canvas of a world in turmoil, where the surviving children of a royal dynasty are on a quest to realize their fates--and perhaps right ancient wrongs once and for all. As The Sacred Band begins, one of them, Queen Corinn, bestrides the world as a result of her mastery of spells found in the ancient Book of Elenet. Her younger brother, Dariel, has been sent on a perilous mission to the Other Lands, while her sister, Mena, travels to the far north to confront an invasion of the feared race of the Auldek. Their separate trajectories will converge in a series of world-shaping, earth-shattering battles, all rendered with vividly imagined detail and in heroic scale. David Anthony Durham concludes his tale of kingdoms in collision in an exciting fashion. His fictional world is at once realistic and fantastic, informed with an eloquent and distinctively Shakespearean sensibility.
When he learns that his pregnant wife has been spirited off to a distant city, William responds as any man might--he drops everything to pursue her. But as a fugitive slave in Antebellum America, he must run a terrifying gauntlet, eluding the many who would re-enslave him while learning to trust the few who dare to aid him on his quest. Among those hunting William is Morrison, a Scot who as a young man fled the miseries of his homeland only to discover even more brutal realities in the New World. Bearing many scars, including the loss of his beloved brother, Morrison tracks William for reasons of his own, a personal agenda rooted in tragic events that have haunted him for decades.Following up on his award-winning debut, Gabriel's Story, David Anthony Durham presents another riveting tale, a brilliantly drawn portrait of America before the Civil War, and a provocative meditation on racial identity, freedom and equality.From the Trade Paperback edition.