Durham, David Anthony : Acacia
(Doubleday, $26.95, 576pp, hardcover, June 2007)
Fantasy novel, first book in the "War with the Mein" trilogy, about the four children of the assassinated ruler of Acacia, an idyllic island empire founded on drug trafficking and slave trade, who vow to avenge their father's death.
• The author has previously written historical novels. His website includes excerpts from this and his previous novels.
• Nick Gevers reviews it in the June issue of Locus Magazine: "Here the social relevance and complex characterization of contemporary fiction fuse very effectively with the broad-canvas exoticism and excitement of high fantasy, in a notable and knowledgeable genre debut. ... The War with the Mein, or the first third of it, is a political novel of large impact, as radical a rewriting of Martin as Martin himself has performed on Tolkien. Rarely has medieval epic been quite this pertinent."