To be honest, before I knew anything about this series, I saw the title and thought, wow, don't get too creative there. After having a little experience with this world and this series, there really isn't a better name for this, the second book of the Acacia trilogy
The Other Lands [US] [UK] is an excellent sequel to Acacia: The War with the Mein.
It takes the solid foundation built in Acacia and expands it to, well,
the Other Lands, which is a place full of new creatures and peoples.
Best of all, we finally get to meet these people the Acacians have been
so afraid of and sending their children to.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
look a a sequel review as a place to discuss the first novel freely, so
if you haven't read it, 1) you should and 2) you may not want to read
The Akarans, rulers of Acacia, are back in control
after the Mein usurpation. Queen Corinn is doing her best to keep Acacia
safe, which now includes her son, Aaden. She refuses to abolish the
terrible "quota," Acacia's dirty not-so secret, which is where a quota
of children are traded to a distant people through the League of Vessels
and the Lothan Aklun.
The late Prince Aliver's dream is refused and the people are restless.
really knows how to tug at the heartstrings and the quota is no
exception. Having three kids of my own, it's hard not to think about
losing your precious children to a trade with a foreign people, not
knowing what becomes of those children.
In The Other Lands, we find out what does become of them, but I won't go ruining that for you.
we know from Acacia, Prince Aliver was killed by Maender Mein, brother
of Hanish Mein, the ruler of the Mein (whew). The rest of the Akaran
children (although no longer children as this book takes place 9 years
after Acacia) are under the rule of Queen Corinn as well, who has plenty
to keep them busy.
Starting out, Mena is sent out to fight the
foulthings. Foulthings are those creatures that came about because of
the Santoth's magic use toward the end of the first book. Due to the
Santoth's corrupted magic, these beings came about, essentially causing
havoc among the people of the Known World.
This leads her into
some trouble, but for the most part, Mena doesn't play an enormous role
in this book. She's in it plenty, but her parts seem more of a set up
for the next book whereas all the action really occurs with Corinn and
Dariel decides, with Corinn's approval, to go
about rebuilding the empire. With the destruction caused by the Numrek
and the Mein, many places were in need of help including Aushenia in the
north, which faced some of the worst of it.
Very quickly Corinn
has another mission for Dariel, sending him across the Gray Slopes to
the Other Lands (first of the Known World to do so) on a mission devised
by the League of Vessels. And we all know how trustworthy they are.
Other Lands is really a book full of answers. Many of the mysteries
presented in Acacia are explained as we learn more of the Other Lands
and the peoples therein. We learn of the quota children, we learn of the
Aldek, and we even learn why the Numrek arrived in the Known World.
get glimpses of the creatures and the trip across the Gray Slopes was
breathtaking. I applaud Durham's imagination, which never ceases to
While we get many answers, The Other Lands is still
very much a set up for the final volume of the trilogy. There are some
great moments and some great action, but mostly there is preparation for
what is to come...and it will be amazing.
It's also a book that
needed to happen and it doesn't suffer for being the bridge between the
two. There's enough wonder and amazement to keep you turning pages and
even some big events that I'm sure will pay off in the final volume.
also written some of my all-time favorite characters in stouthearted
Mena and the ever witty Dariel. These are the main reason you read these
books and I can't get enough.
The Other Lands is an incredible
and epic installment in the Acacia trilogy. It brings everything to a
whole new level and prepares us for the final encounters that I couldn't
be more excited for. If you like epic in your fantasy, the Acacia
trilogy is the one for you. It will have you living and breathing the
life of a Known World inhabitant (and Other World as well) and that's exactly why I read fantasy.
4.5/5 Stars (Extremely Highly Recommended!)
The Acacia Trilogy: (read in red)
1) Acacia: The War with the Mein (review)
2) The Other Lands
3) The Sacred Band
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher