Favorite Genres: Urban/Preternatural Fantasy, Science Fiction, Knitting Favorite Story Components: character development, under-dog success stories
I reread this story about once every other year since being introduced to the series when I was 17. I don't want to call it a fantasy genre classic, because "classic" sounds to me like something dead, something in a style that literature has moved beyond, something of academic interest, without a draw for the current popular taste. The Deed of Paksenarrion is a vibrant tale that sweeps you up and draws you ever forward into the adventure. I love the story, and don't want to give away any serious spoilers.
Jennifer Van Dyck did not get a 1 star rating simply because she was not painful to listen to, However, she read the story like a news reporter, killing the emotional pull with a very nearly staccato, clipped speech.
There's a scene where Paks awakens in a dungeon (the first scene in a new story arch of the book), and when I read that passage, I usually have to put the book down and let the tears evoked by the pathos of the writing fall. When Ms. Van Dyck read the passage, it was damn near banal, as emotionally stripped as a newscaster side-noting, "Three shot dead in a parking garage last night. Remember to park near lights. On another note ...."
The Sheepfarmer's Daughter is very much a coming-of-age tale of a girl steadfastly following her unconventional dream to become a soldier, despite objections from her family. I thought several things make this tale stand out from others in its genre: Elizabeth Moon's own military experience gives a solid realism to military training and Paksenarrion's development is not just a result of her innate capabilities but also a result of hard work and determination. Although Paks becomes a soldier and there are many military elements in the tale, this is the tale of Paks' life and growth, and only peripherally the tale of battles won or lost.
There are certainly hints throughout the book that this is only part of a larger tale (and thankfully, we can go on to read more of that tale!) but the book stands very well on it's own ... hmm, books don't exactly have feet, so perhaps cover? After all, most books are only part of a larger tale and often we don't have a chance to see what happens next, however much we may wish to go on.
Jennifer Van Dyck does an excellent job investing this book with the voices of the characters and their emotions: her narration is consistently smooth and well paced and her choices for timbre and accent for individual characters delightful.. Although this may have been the first of the many books she narrated that I heard, I have listened to others since and have specifically looked for books she narrated when selecting a new book for my own audio library.
I prefer urban/para romance right now for the fantasy aspect, but I listen to other genres as well.
This is the first book of a trilogy. This book specifically deals with the main character's transition from living on a farm with an angry father to living in a barracks pursuing life as part of a mercenary army. This is a fantasy based world, but the fantasy is secondary to the plot. The world is well developed but it doesn't over shadow the characters in the story. I have found that in some fantasy books, the world is its own character in the novel. This is not the case in this book. You get the richness of the world without it being overbearing.
Not sure. I haven't ventured into true fantasy yet. I have a problem sometimes getting into what my friends have called "high fantasy" books. Which is a serious bummer because I've started Game of Thrones 4 times and I still haven't gotten past the 1st chapter. I read the print copy of this book as The Deed of Paksenarrion (all 3 books in one) years ago and loved it.
Jennifer Van Dyck's performance is outstanding. She is one of my favorite narrators. I have tried new books because I saw that she was the narrator.
I don't know but it would be a great movie, especially now that everyone is on the Game of Thrones kick.
Don't be afraid to give this trilogy a try, its well written, the character development is good and its original. Definitely not reused content in a different world.
No, make that surprisingly GREAT! I loved this series. Each book gets better and better. This isn't a sword and sorcery book (my favorite), but there is a little magic in it and more in each book in the series. This is the story of a young woman who seeks a life in the military and about her growth both in the military and personally and her rise as a warrior and magically in a world where magic is a sin. I was really hesitant to buy it, but I'm sure glad I did. I highly recommend it.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the tale entertaining and it was further enhanced by the narrator. I bought the other two books in this series.
The narration was stilted and awkward but the unforgivable transgression was a boring story.
I normally love stories about strong independent female characters, but the lead was written so blandly and shallowly that I found my mind wandering and not caring at all about her fate or that of any of the other characters.
She sounded as if she was reciting from a grocery list; pauses in strange places, very flat with little expression. Perhaps this contributed to the overall dullness of the entire experience.
I really wanted to be captivated by this story and thus become engaged in a whole new trilogy to enjoy. But it seemed the story went on and on and on with nothing interesting happening, just minute inconsequential details with no characterization, no insight, nothing to make me want to continue. I couldn't get past the first third or so of the recording.
I read all these wonderful reviews of this book and narration and joyfully picked it up hoping for a nice new series to listen to. I could not get past the narration. A good narrator can make or break the story and this one broke it for me. All I could think of for each and every sentence out of her mouth was "Captain Kirk"! She has that same annoying cadence in her narration. BOnes! SPock! I had to return this one. I tried, I really tried, but no dice.
This book is a story about a woman in a mercenary company. The world is a pretty standard fantasy setting - castles, villages, knights, and a dash of magic. The book has its strengths and weaknesses, but I thought it added up to a good story. I'm currently listening to the second one in the series, which should at least tell you that I wanted more after listening to this one.
A large portion of this book is spent describing Paksenarrion's military training, and her subsequent participation in roughly two years of military campaigining. The emphasis is definitely on what happens, instead of on the emotions of the characters. That doesn't mean that there's no character development, it's just that it's mainly done through showing Paksenarrion's reactions to what's going on. As her reactions change over time, you see how she grows.
If you really hate battle scenes in fantasy novels, this isn't the book for you. If you enjoy action and struggle, then it's probably a good choice.
After stumbling along this series by finding Oath of Fealty on sale, I can honestly say I am glad I purchased it all. With flavors of military and political intrigue, this is a tale of Paks growing up and becoming knowledgeable/powerful, and is framed by a beautifully detailed and depicted high fantasy backdrop. While I may have been frustrated with some of the character flaws a few of the characters had, it is indicative of the story's quality that I was so invested in the story to want the characters to behave differently.
The Narrator did a great job differentiating the different characters from each other, making each chapter of the book feel like a vignette from a monologue. She has done a good job with not only this series, but Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series, and the first two books in Sharon Shin's Twelve Houses series of five. Her contralto speaking voice allows her to depict voices for both male and female characters well.
Overall, I'm glad I decided to go back and listen to the first park of the Parksennarion series before continuing on the Paladin's Legacy series. I think this book is well worth a credit, if not an outright purchase.
Without revealing too much of the story, some of the secondary characters die in this book, and a few of the deaths are very poignant. I found it hard to be unaffected while listening to Paks' reaction to losing friends, and then having to deal with their constant reminder.
Only for Elizabeth Moon.
She is terrible. It's like listening to a female Captain Kirk. *shudders*
I have this series in paperback and have read them half a dozen times. I wanted to revisit them. The story is great but by Gird the narrator is bad. In book 2 she improves slightly for the main character and narration but uses a robot voice for some other characters which makes me wince. Sounds like the aliens in Galaxy Quest.