Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, has inherited generations of apparent peace and prosperity, won ages ago by his ancestors. A widower of high intelligence, he presides over an empire called Acacia, after the idyllic island from which he rules. He dotes on his four children and hides from them the dark realities of traffic in drugs and human lives on which their prosperity depends. He hopes that he might change this, but powerful forces stand in his way. And then a deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan in the heart of Acacia while they unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to their separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empirethis time on the basis of universal freedom.
"Durham has created a richly detailed alternate reality leavened with a dollop of magic and populated by complicated personalities grappling with issues of freedom and oppression." - PW.
"Historical fiction writer Durham successfully turns to epic fantasy in a series opener that combines the moral ambiguity and brutality of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire with Guy Gavriel Kays emotional sweep and Ursula K. Le Guin's ethnic diversity." - Library Journal.
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David Anthony Durham was born in New York City in 1969. The child of parents of Caribbean ancestry, he grew up in Maryland. He has also lived in the United Kingdom and France, where he wrote his first novel. He is the author of five novels, three historical fiction and two (his latest work) in speculative fiction. He is an award-winning author of short stories and teaches Popular Fiction at the Stonecoast Low-Residency MFA Program in Maine.
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