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The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon

The Deed of Paksenarrion

by Elizabeth Moon

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
This series is not for readers who aren't willing to spend time in the details of a world, for those for whom testing the protagonists past what would even extraordinarily be survivable, or for those unable to accept even fictional divine interference. It is about the the fantasy world in which gods do interfere in the lives of men, elves, dwarfs, gnomes and others, owing much to Tolkien as seen through D&D. Paksenarrion develops from and eager and determined, yet practical young woman, stubborn in her resolves, but capable of questioning herself, into a paladin not only of the St. Gird, but of the High god and two others. And the cost is horrendous.

Sheepfarmer's Daughter

This is largely a medieval military novel, following the recruit Paksenarrion though training and into campaigns where she distinguishes herself both in her own efforts and in the strangeness of the co-incidence around her. While it seems that a lot of time is spent on repetitive detail, I've read this enough times to realize the wizardry of Elizabeth Moon's transitions from detail to narrative so that the less adventurous parts seem to have dragged on when in fact they've been substantially compacted.

Divided Allegiance

The middle book of the series is set up as a series of adventures, D&D style, in which Paksenarrion is initially rewarded with the chance at what she most desires only to be faced, first with the cost of that chance and then the destruction of that chance though no fault of her own. The ending is one of the most tear-jerking in all fantasy, and gets me every time I read it.

Oath of Gold

This is a quest story of the paladin Paksenarrion. It starts with her recovery from the damages done to her by both her enemies and allies and follows as she grows into her new being as an uncommon paladin. Yes, she survives and her quest succeeds and I don't recall it being any great surprise even the first time I read it, but there is no telling after half a dozen reads. I still find the story compelling and interesting and the ideas worthy of expression. ( )
  quondame | Oct 30, 2018 |
This is in my opinion the best fantasy novel ever. I actually read all three of the individual books before this omnibus came out, but they are really one complete story.

It has fantasy elements done in a deep way I haven't seen anywhere else. If you want to understand Paladins, this is the place to do it. If you want to get an idea of how a God or gods could use someone's life through pain and trial, this is the book.

Did I say it was the best fantasy novel ever? Go read it now. ( )
  rondavis | Apr 18, 2018 |
I kept hoping this trilogy would get better, but the longer it went on, the less I was interested in the main character: Paksenarrion (or Paks, as she calls herself), an innocent young woman with the heart of a warrior who goes off to be a soldier.

The first book, "Sheepfarmer's Daughter," is mostly about Paks' training, and the first forty pages or so are utter Name Soup. There must be three or four new names to absorb per page, and unfortunately most of the characters are so underdeveloped that it's hard to keep them separate. Once one gets beyond that, the training itself is interesting and there's a great deal of marching and camping and some fairly technical battles, but Paks herself basically just does what she's told, and ultimately that's not terribly exciting. She doesn't drink, she doesn't carouse, she doesn't have any romantic liaisons, and when she gets into trouble, it's because she's an innocent victim and gets the snot beat out of her as a result. Paks spends a lot of time receiving wounds, getting medical treatment for wounds, recovering from her wounds and then dealing with the scars.

In Book Two, "Divided Allegiance," Paks becomes involved with some of the trope characters of fantasy: elves, dwarves and orcs. It always makes me a little tired when fantasy writers turn to these races, particularly when they don't make them any different than Tolkien did (elves are mysterious and a bit haughty, dwarves are belligerent and amusing, orcs are Just Plain Bad). Author Moon perpetuates the stereotypes so again, it's just not very interesting. Innocent Paks continues to be confused and manipulated by these folks, and when she meets up with an order of knights and paladins belonging to the order of Gird, more manipulation follows which leads to Paks getting the absolute snot beat out of her and losing her courage. Just once, I wanted Paks to say, "aw, bullshit," and walk away.

In Book Three, "Oath of Gold," Paks spends a lot of time skulking around being ashamed of her cowardice until she finally gets healed and gets ever more saintly as she continues to do what she's told, which in this book is a LOT more getting the snot beat out of her. There's a plot about finding a lost ruler that I ultimately didn't care about, and when I flipped ahead and saw that there was an extended rape/torture sequence in store for poor ol' Paks - well, that's when I gave up. I absolved myself of any further obligation to the trilogy and listed the book at paperbackswap.com, where it was promptly snapped up by someone eager to read it. I fired it off in the U.S. Mail the next day and hope that the reader out in Minnesota gets more out of it than I did. ( )
  mrsmig | Jan 19, 2018 |
Overall I liked the series. It's not your normal fantasy and I liked that. It does hit our heroine pretty hard and even dip a bit into torture porn territory at the end, but but mostly the gritty realism made the story more believable. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
Terrible. I hoped that the author’s experience in real combat would make this an interesting novel, but instead it just bogged the story down with boring and completely unnecessary details. She feels the need to describe every type of mud, but Paks’ training to be a soldier still somehow feels like a montage. Add to that unrealistic dialog, a plot that *still* hadn’t started at page 131, evil characters who are VERY VERY evil and good characters who are VERY VERY good, and you have yourself a piece of drek. I feel no need to finish the book (because A)the characters have no personalities whatsoever, B)the main character is a boring Mary-Sue, and C)there is no plot), let alone the series. At least Mercedes Lackey’s Arrows of the Queen had a feel of joy to it; this is just one long slog through cliché-land. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Moonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Parkinson, KeithCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sheepfarmer's Daughter
In a sheepfarmer's low stone house, high in the hills above Three Firs, two swords hang now above the mantelpiece.
Divided Allegiance
While all Siniava's troops had surrendered, Kieri Phelan's troops assumed they'd be going back to Valdaire -- even, perhaps, to the north again.
Oath of Gold
The village seemed faintly familiar, but most villages were much alike.
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Paksenarrion wasn't planning to submit to an unwelcome marriage and a lifetime of poverty, so she left her village with a plan and her grandfather's sword. And a few weeks later, she was installed as Duke Phelan's newest recruit in a company of soldiers for hire, her arms training about to begin. But when Paks sees combat, she's stabbed with an ensorcelled knife and barely survives. Then the near-misses start mounting up, raising questions about this young fighter. Is she attracting evil because she is a danger to them all? Or is there another reason malignant forces seek her life? Paks will face the spider-minions of the Webmistress Achrya, orcs and the corrupted men who serve blood mage Liart, Master of Torments. She will also earn the gratitude of elves and of her Duke. And through conflict she will learn she has powers of her own and a destiny. To become a gods-chosen Paladin of Gird, and a target for the ultimate torture.
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A compilation of the high heroic fantasy novels revolving around the female character Paksenarrion.

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