Today I am pleased to participate in the blog tour for David Matthew Almond’s new novel Land of the Giants, the second book in the Chronicles of Acadia series, thanks to Sage’s Blog Tours! You can read my review of the first book, Secret of the Elders, here.
Ages long past, forced to abandon the surface, mankind descended into the core of Acadia, fleeing impending xenocide at the hands of the cruel invading ice giants, the Jotnar. There, under the light of the Crystal god, Baetylus, they settled a new homeland among the deep forests and wide caverns of Vanidriell.
~Enter the Fourth Age of Acadia.~
The highly anticipated second chapter in the Chronicles of Acadia is here. Follow the Walker brothers and their stalwart gnome companion Bipp as they journey to the surface of Acadia in search of the mysterious Isaac, the one person who may hold the key to overthrowing the dark sentient Crystal. Along the way they will forge alliances with brave new allies and cross paths with some of the deadliest forces they have ever faced in the Land of the Giants.
Note: I was provided with a copy of this book for review.
The second book in the Chronicles of Arcadia series follows on with the Walker brothers’ journey to save their city but it brings in new characters, a new aspect of the world, and new elements to the story that add mysteries, dangers, and assistance in their quest. What starts off as one quest to save their city soon turns into many as the brothers team up with others along the way to help each other out and fight for a common cause.
The story continues on from the one set up from the first book, and though there is information provided about what has happened beforehand, it is fairly limited and scattered, but not too hard to understand if you haven’t read the first book.
A lot of the narrative is drawn out with the focus on what happens on the way rather than reaching their destination. Although seemingly pointless at times there is a reason and it isn’t until the last part of the book do you realise the things that have been put in place and what has been cleverly set up.
That is not to say that these moments during the journey are not interesting at the time. The numerous discoveries and interruptions on the way are interesting in their own way and Almond is skilled at making sure that while there are constantly new discoveries or distractions the story remains on track and does not detour too far. This means that the main story is kept on track but it is not straightforward, simple, or dull.
While many characters from the previous novel make an appearance there are a lot more introduced. With new species and races being introduced Almond is imaginative with each society in terms of their laws and practices and beliefs. The characters are quirky, cheeky, and often unusual but they each add something to the story and surprisingly all play a part in the overall scheme of things.
With multiple points of view as well as numerous quests and storylines to follow there is a lot to take in, but Almond balances it well, introducing new perspectives only when needed and alternating between them at the right times, keeping the story fluid and not too jumpy. Keeping track of new characters and what is happening with each storyline can be hard at times but it was good because it provides you with insights into what is happening to others, as well as a greater understanding of Acadia as a whole, showing many sides of the same world.
There is slight humour in the narrative, not predominantly and mainly through character dialogue, but enough to make it light while remaining suspenseful and adventurous. The character banter is also natural and it helps portray the varying levels of friendship between each person whether it is old friend, sibling, new friend, or enemy.
Almond is creative in his construction and development of surface Acadia with numerous intricate details giving it form and a solid narrative to explore the new locations and elements naturally. Descriptions are vivid and Almond uses words and dialogue to illuminate the world and various landscapes quite well. The use of comparisons not only helps to describe a scene or location but Almond cleverly uses them to also demonstrate cultural differences between characters.
The story ends with clear intentions of a third book with cliff-hangers that draw you in and tempts you to continue with the next stage of the journey, but Almond also concludes many of the problems and events raised in this novel rather nicely. Being an epic fantasy means a lot of patience is required whilst reading to allow things to develop and be put in place narrative wise, but as with the previous book the payoff is at the end when it all comes together with excitement and action, and all the pieces fall into place to make a intriguing conclusion. The next instalment of the Chronicles of Acadia is set to be an interesting read and no doubt fraught with danger as the brothers continue their quest, putting their new skills and determination to the test.
You can purchase Land of the Giants via the following
All Your Bits and Pieces Needs
D.M. Almond has been working in the restaurant and IT industry for the last 19 years. Over the last two, he has made time to focus on his true passion, writing stories. D.M. grew up in the small Upstate NY city, Utica (home to such rare delicacies as Tomato Pie, Utica Greens, Pusties, and Chicken Riggies) and attended “Buff State” in the amazing city Buffalo NY, where he would eventually return to run his bakery café, meet some of the best people in the world, and fall in love with his wife Julie. D.M. currently lives in beautiful Monkton, Vermont and would love to hear from you…