Sunday, October 30, 2011

What is David Anthony Durham reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: David Anthony Durham, author of Acacia, The Other Lands, and The Sacred Band.

His entry begins:
The novel on my night table at the moment is Arms of Nemesis, by Steven Saylor. There’s a particular reason for this.

My next contracted book is about the Spartacus slave rebellion in ancient Rome. It’s to be a straight historical novel. As part of my research I try to read as much as I can about the period I’m writing in. The bulk of that is non-fiction, but I also enjoy reading novels set in Ancient Rome. A while back I read and enjoyed Saylor’s Roma. That one was a novel made up of linked stories that covered the early history of Rome, from its founding all the way up to the late Republic. It was a departure for him. He usually writes mysteries featuring a Roman Private Investigator named Gordianus the Finder. When I learned that one of those Gordianus novels is set during the Spartacus rebellion I knew I had to take a look.

I’m about halfway through and...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Sacred Band:
"Durham brings his sci-fi Acacia Trilogy to a satisfying close. Samuel R. Delany meets Cormac McCarthy meets J.R.R. Tolkien as the striking and subtly powerful Corinn Akaran settles into queenship over the Known World just in time to take up arms with the Other Lands.... [Durham] takes time to paint scenes in words that other writers might brush away...and [his] pages are full of thrilling action that would do Tolkien proud. A close, yes—but with wiggle room for more Acacian adventures. At any rate, on the strength of this installment, Durham’s many fans will be clamoring for more."
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This triumphant conclusion to the Acacia trilogy vindicates Durham's resurrection of a major character in 2009's The Other Lands. Corinn Akaran, queen of Acacia, used her ever-growing magical powers to revive her brother Aliver to aid her defense of her kingdom. But there are no simple resolutions to the challenges facing Corinn and her siblings, and the gap widens between the means she employs and the ends she pursues. Durham provides a graphic and chilling look at how far Corinn is willing to go to advance her cause as she brutally massacres opposing armies, and that's just the beginning. A smooth plot, Corinn's well-developed character, and Durham's stellar prose and rich imagination will have many traditional fantasy fans hoping for future books set in this turbulent world."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Provides the best of both worlds: epic world-changing conflict and touching character-centered story. What else could you possibly want?”
—Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Wise Man’s Fear, a #1 New York Times bestseller
Learn more about the book and author at David Anthony Durham's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Acacia.

The Page 69 Test: The Other Lands.

The Page 69 Test: The Sacred Band.

Writers Read: David Anthony Durham.

--Marshal Zeringue