Refusing to marry a pig farmer and joining the army, even if it means never seeing her family again, Paksenarrion begins an adventure that enables her to restore an overthrown ruler.
©1988 Elizabeth Moon (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
What’s wrong with a great book filled with heroes, visions of courage and the immortal fight between good and evil?
Now, imagine such a book written with knowledge of military strategy, feudal campaigns, logistics, the training of peasants and the young in general, and the impact of magic and leadership on troops and strategy. Intrigued?Even if that were not enough, imagine such realism combined with yet another coming of age story… but this one combines the growth of wisdom that comes with age with the growth of a solder from an 18 year old run-away to a veteran campaigner. We the reader feel like we’ve grown up with her – as her shadow.O.K. So far we’ve got: a great story line, a youth with enough raw talent that we all can (or want to) relate to, believable battles and a universe populated with a culture that ties together so well with the story line that you can feel you to are the common solder – right down to the dust on the road pebbling your skin, the taste of the sand in your mouth, the stone in your boot and the sun beating down on you as you stand in formation, shivering before your first battle. I admit it. I’ve read The Deeds of Paksenarrion many, many times. I’ve given it away to friends, I’ve read it aloud to my children, I’ve had the books swiped from me by each of my children as they’ve grown up and established their own families. (I’ve swiped the books back with malice and forethought, too – playing the continuous family game of who took my Elizabeth Moon/Neal Stephenson/Orson Scott Card/Martha Wells/Walter Jon Williams/Robin McKinley….etc)
But what about Jennifer Van Dyck, the Narrator?
She is soooo good, she makes my head swim. Please believe me, Paksenarrion is a close family member in our household. Jennifer treats Paksenarrion with joy, respect, vibrancy, and cunning interpretation. She never, ever, pulls you out of the story due to over acting, underacting or a false interpretation that doesn’t ring true. Lovely and satisfying.
Paksenarrion speaking with the Duke for the first time was a lovely scene.
The deeds of Paksenarrion gets listened to in the car, in my office, as I do dishes, as I get dressed and and any other time it is possible - because it is so hard to put away!
This book could have been half as long and covered that same ground. It was a 12 hour prolog
The story would be much more interesting with a better narrator. This narrator has very little change when doing the different characters. Additionally, she puts as much emphasis and energy in to the mundane as she does in the fights. Very unsatisfactory.
A different narrator
No. Upsetting vocal performance distracts from following the story.
This narrator has an odd repetitive way of delivering her sentences. She delivers far too many sentences with exactly the same inflection, often ending sentences with an annoying rising note. This makes a lot of the story sound like it was written as a series of questions rather than a narrative. Her performance does not add anything to the story and if anything destroys the ability of the listener to move along with the tale seamlessly connecting one sentence to the next. Each sentence sounds as if it has been recorded in a vacuum independent of any other. It is extremely difficult to feel anything for the story or its characters with this level of distracted narration.
Extreme frustration. I cannot get past the quirks of narration to enjoy the story.
I may try to read the ebook. This narration just gets worse in following books of the series.
I typically enjoy a book with a strong female protagonist, and it would seem I hit the mark on this one, or rather, Elizabeth Moon did.
I won't bore you with a run down on what this book is about, as I'm sure you are able to read the other reviews, or simply read the publisher's account.
Instead, I'll simply tell you I liked this book. In fact, I really liked it. A lot of the typical ellements are there: swords, knights, the occasional monsters, and magic.
Jennifer Van Dyck is not my favorite narrator. she has a weird tendency to pause at strange time, putting emphasis on a sentence that can sometimes make it easy to take things out of the actual context Ms. Moon had intended. After a few hours I had grown accustomed to this, and the listening got better.
Paksenarion (Paks) is something of a strange girl who turns into an amazing woman, learning about herself as she makes her way through life. I give credit to Moon for simply letting Paks learn and accept. She doesn't spend a lot of time whining about hardships. She doesn't complain that things aren't fair. She recognizes change, and moves with it, and discovers a lot about herself along the way. Its a somewhat refreshing way to discover a person.
I was a little concerned at first, as it seemed to be fairly directionless for a while. This was conflicting with the fact that although I could discern no identifiable plot I was thoroughly enjoying the tale as it went on.
Later, the story became more pointed, and it seemed clear there was a direction, which helped hold my attention as I found it waning at parts.
But the story held me through, and I even listened to the other books in the series, also read by Ms. Van Dyck (which I guess means while she isn't my favorite narrator, she isn't so bad I couldn't listen anymore).
I would certainly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story, and doesn't need to pick it apart. Just enjoy for what it is.
Here in Sweden, the Paksenarrion-trilogy was a big favourite of mine when it was translated. You can see clearly see here that Elizabeth Moon have been in the military, and the story flows forward without all that unneccessary padding that is so unusal when it comes to fantasy-books (Read: Jordan, Goodkind etc.). Despite the fact that Moon was new in the game, she clearly could write even then. Not much magic in this book (there will be more in the later books).
Jennifer Van Dyck reads the story very well.
The rating is for the books only. Not the narration. This series is one of my all time favorites, and I was ecstatic when I saw that the books had FINALLY been "audiblized!" Unfortunately, the narrator does such a horrible job, I actually have a hard time listening to them. She makes no real attempt to give the characters their own voice, and here dictation is so full of extra pauses, it makes the whole book sound like one big question. Another reviewer compared her pauses to the way William Shatner used to add pauses to his lines in Star Trek. This is WAY worse. Also, I know that the way I pronounce names in my head when I read a book is my own interpretation, but I would be very suprised to find that Elizabeth Moon actually meant PAK's name to be pronounced "POX" instead of "Packs." Oh well. I guess I'll have to read it to myself (again!) to be totally satisfied!
As epic fantasy goes, this is a rather simple plot, with decent character development for the primary characters. This is not great fantasy by any means nor is it bad as some others have stated.
I have been reading epic fantasy for 30 years. For the past 5 years I have been listening to audio books during my long drive to find new authors or listen to books I never got around to reading.
The book has a predictable plot but it is a nice story on a couple of fronts. The main character, Paks, is able to escape a mundane life and follow her dreams. This is also a classic good versus evil and of course good prevails.
If you are looking for a simple yet nice story, give this a listen. The subsequent book builds on the story.
I started this book with high expectations, soon to be dashed. I soon found myself not caring at all about the characters. In short, this book is terribly written and add characters, places, etc. in at a moment's notice without any effort of putting these new names in context...so you can either care about them know or understand who they are. I do not recommend this book.
Yawn. This was like a bag of cheese puffs when you really want lunch. Light, pleasant, not very filling. A lot of events in the story, but not much description. This reminded me a bit of Louis Bujold's Chalion in narrative style, so if you like that you might like this. Action, but not much connection with characters. Of course, I just finished Rothfuss's 'Name of the Wind' (highly recommend), so it could just be the bad luck of this author to follow such a great listen.
Report Inappropriate Content