Land of the Giants (#2) by D. M. Almond

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.

Published: 25th March 2015Goodreads badge
Pages: 555
Format: Ebook
Genre: Epic Fantasy
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

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


Amazon Aust


All Your Bits and Pieces Needs





Tour Schedule

Author Bio:

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…

Secrets of the Elders (#1) by David Matthew Almond

Published: 5th June 2014
Goodreads badgePublisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 320
Format: ebook
Genre: Fantasy
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

After their peaceful village, Riverbell, is raided by the foul monstrous skex, brothers Logan and Corbin Walker find themselves caught in a race against time, desperate to warn the capitol before the deadly skex arrive to wreak the same havoc upon the unsuspecting people of Fal.

Never could they imagine, that this would only be the very beginning of their unforgettable journey, when Logan is suddenly exiled from the kingdom for a crime he did not commit. On the run, doggedly avoiding his own brother, sent to pursue the wanted criminal, can Logan Walker possibly hope to stay free long enough to unravel the Secrets of the Elders?

And So the Fourth Age of Acadia begins…

The World of Acadia

Ages long past, forced to abandon the surface, mankind descended inside the core of their planet, fleeing an impending xenocide at the hands of the mighty Jotnar invaders and settling a new homeland among the deep forests in the wide caverns of Vanidriell, under the light of the Great Crystal Baetylus.

Note: I was provided a copy for review

This book is a great introduction to the Chronicles of Acadia series and the world in which it is set. There is a gradual development and introduction to the people and environment, increasing slowly through the novel while still being quite intense at times, giving the reader time to adjust to what is happening but without being too slow moving or leaving them without explanation. There is clearly room to grow and develop further in the series allowing new discoveries to be made for the readers to enjoy not only in the story, but also in expanding on the structure of Almond’s world and with his characters,

The main characters are the Walker brothers, Logan and Corbin, but there are numerous others that bring this story to life and give it its intricacies, complexities, and twists and turns and hidden secrets. I liked Logan, he is cheeky, a trickster, and doesn’t take life too seriously. He is skilled and clever, but chooses to look for fun in life rather than work. And while he tries to do what is right, sometimes that does not always go as planned, but he is always willing to help people, even those he has just met.

The best expression of Logan’s character is when he is forced to run after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He does his best to understand what has happened, and even though he is helpless, he stays strong and stays determined in his plans. This is where Logan’s character is really shown, away from the jester. He is resourceful and clever, and knows what he wants; something that is evident at other times throughout the novel as well.

Corbin on the other hand is almost the opposite and as a character he is intriguing. As the younger brother he takes things more seriously and it is clear he is easily swayed by those in authority. He is influenced and warped by others with their own agendas, but he is also a caring brother and loves the people around him. He is skilled and trained well, and being a hunter in his village it is these skills he uses to track down his brother and try and bring him back. With his own determination Corbin is driven by loyalty and duty, but there also clear indications of love for his family and friends. I liked that it was the older brother who was immature and played around instead of typically the younger one, and there is also a great dynamic between the Walker brothers that alternates between love, irritation, and jesting.

The world Almond has created is creative and clever, not only with the history and cause for the underworld’s development, but also the intricate society and different towns and cities that make up the world. What was interesting was the culture of the people in Riverbell. They weren’t primitive but they were almost from a combined selection of different eras, somewhat tribal in their culture and society, very proper and formal in their speech and manner, and just clearly a simpler time in their lifestyle, all rolled into one. Each place has a different manner or dialect, but what was curious about Riverbell’s was their somewhat formal nature as well as their naivety to certain things. In a weird way it brought this novel back to reality, seeing these different locations and contrasts reminds you that it is still kind of based in our world, but at the same time it is worlds apart. Being below the surface the people are raised on the culture they are told, with the history of the old world being passed down through generations. I liked that while the world is in the future, and the concept seems advanced and detailed, the people are not always as advanced or futuristic.

There are many moments where you think the story is going in one direction but then it doesn’t. It feels like you are going along a story path only to have it changed suddenly to something else. This means you are never quite sure what will play out, but the world and concept Almond has designed offers a few parallels to the real world, but it also opens up a new place of exploration.

While I enjoyed the start of the book, curious and engaged even with the events, it wasn’t until the end of the book that I really got into it. But that was after getting to know these characters and after new revelations, twists and turns, and a bit more of an understanding is established about the world. I lost a little interest for a bit somewhere around the middle though. I’m not sure why, whether it was pace, the story, or something else, but it soon peaked my interest even stronger towards the end. By the end of the book I wanted to read the next one and I am eager to see where this story is headed. Almond hasn’t given too much away with his first book but what he has revealed shows it is certainly heading towards something captivating and hopefully towards more answers to help unravel the mystery we’ve been introduced to.