Profile of David Anthony Durham

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David Anthony Durham has been around for a little while as a publishing historical novelist, but Acacia: The War With The Mein marked his entry into the fantasy field. It received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. It made best of the year lists from Publishers Weekly, Fantasy Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, the American Library Association. It was mentioned favorably in Jeff VanderMeer's Best of the Year list in Locus Online, nominated for a Romantic Times 2007 Reviewers' Choice Award and earned him a 2008 John W. Campbell Award Nomination. It's been/being published in French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and in the UK.

The series continues with The Other Lands and concludes with The Sacred Band.

He maintains a regular blog HERE.


The Acacia Series:

The Sacred Band, Doubleday 2011.

The Other Lands, Doubleday 2009.

The War With The Mein, Doubleday 2007.

Historical Novels:

The Risen, Doubleday 2016.

Pride of Carthage, Doubleday 2005.

Walk Through Darkness, Doubleday 2002.

Gabriel's Story, Doubleday 2001.


Publishers Weekly
Starred Review

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.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review

The novel's strong echoes of Homer and Virgil, Tolkien, Norse mythology's Twilight of the Gods and America's compromised history as a republic built on slavery fuse into an enthralling, literate and increasingly suspenseful narrative.

Revolution Science Fiction

David Anthony Durham has pulled off something remarkable: a huge, sprawling epic that manages to weave together history, politics, intrigue and thunderous action scenes without ever losing track of the multitudes of finely-drawn characters.

The Agony Column
Rick Kleffel

Durham's novel bristles with the joy and power of a historical novelist freed to create his own history. This is not the typical history of fantasy novels, though Durham assures us that he is quite familiar with all my favorites -- Gaiman, Herbert, Stephenson. What informs this novel and sets it apart is what made 'Earthsea' so special, a fully realized world of humans as varied as the usual elves, dwarves and whatnots. Well that, and an immense writing skill that brings a literary flair as well as lots of excitement to the novel.

Time Magazine

[A] big, fat, rich piece of history-flavored fantasy...imagined with remarkable thoroughness. One never knows whether a new fantasy series is worth investing the time it takes to acquaint oneself with a new world and its sprawling cast of characters, but Acacia shows every sign of repaying the investment.

The Times (London)
Lisa Tuttle

David Anthony Durham has won acclaim for his historical novels, and brings his knowledge of the past and other cultures to create a rich and compelling world on his first foray into fantasy. His skilful storytelling, depth of characterisation, and an ability to unsettle reader expectations is reminiscent of George R.R. Martin, but his is a distinctive new voice.


This could be the arrival of a fantasy classic.

Nick Gevers

On the textual surface, there are all the color, excitement, intrigue, combat, grotesque invention, grandiose-scene setting, perilous questing, and pyrotechnic supernaturalism that genre fantasy demands; but every incident and vista counts toward a socioeconomic calculus... 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 performed on Tolkein. Rarely has the medieval epic been quite this pertinent.

James Patrick Kelly

Treachery in the throne room, princes in hiding, ancestors reaching from beyond the grave, wars of successionthis is a novel that Shakespeare would have loved. David Anthony Durham is rebuilding epic fantasy from the ground up.

SF Site

One of the delights of reading Acacia are the sudden, unexpected developments in the story. Durham is completely unafraid to play against convention and the reader's expectations. Wars begin and end as quickly as they started, the lives of major characters take surprising twists and turns. Just when you think the story is going to fall into a familiar pattern, characters die, or their actions expose motivations that are completely apart from what you'd expect them to be.

The Washington Post

From the first pages of Acacia, Durham, a respected historical novelist, demonstrates that he is a master of the fantasy epic... How will it all end? If the first volume of this projected series is any indication, in brilliant -- and brutal -- defiance of fantasy conventions.

Entertainment Weekly

In its 576 pages, Acacia tackles some big themes: In addition to military occupation, slavery, and substance abuse, Durham weaves in holy war and chemical weapons. Since this is the author's first foray into fantasy he has three historical novels to his credit it makes sense that he would bring Earth's ills with him. But you don't have to draw parallels between, say, Halliburton and Acacia's seafaring war profiteers to savor all the throat-cutting and dirty dealing. It is enough to know that Durham's new world like our old one is crawling with wickedly fascinating scumbags.

Library Journal
Starred Review

Historical fiction writer Durham (Pride of Carthage) 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 Kay's emotional sweep and Ursula K. Le Guin's ethnic diversity.

Don D'Ammassa

The prose is first rate, clear and to the point, witty and intelligent without drawing attention to itself. I've read quite a number of debut fantasies this year, most of which claim to be the advent of someone new and influential in the field. This is one of the few times I've thought they were right.