In the original trilogy starring Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, headstrong daughter of a farmer on the north edge of the kingdom, Paks follows her dream of becoming a hero out of legend by running away to join the army. Military life and warfare aren't anything like she imagined - yet she holds to both her duty and her dreams. Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold tell of her rise to become the paladin who saves a kingdom. In this new trilogy, Paks's former comrades in Duke Phelan's Company assume new roles and the story turns to follow their adventures.
Thanks to Paks's courage and sacrifice, the long-vanished heir to the half-elven kingdom of Lyonya has been revealed as Kieri Phelan, a formidable mercenary captain who earned a title - and enemies - in the neighboring kingdom of Tsaia. Now, as Kieri ascends a throne he never sought, he must come to terms with his own half-elven heritage while protecting his new kingdom from his old enemies - and those he has not yet discovered.
Meanwhile, in Tsaia, Prince Mikeli prepares for his own coronation. But when an assassination attempt nearly succeeds, Mikeli suddenly faces the threat of a coup. Acting swiftly, Mikeli strikes at the powerful family behind the attack: the Verrakaien, magelords possessing ancient sorcery, steeped in death and evil. Mikeli's survival - and that of Tsaia - depend on the only Verrakai whose magery is not tainted with innocent blood.
Two kings stand at a pivotal point in the history of their world. For dark forces are gathering against them, knit in a secret conspiracy more sinister - and far more ancient - than they can imagine.
©2010 Elizabeth Moon (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Paks plays a cameo in this first book of a trilogy sequel to The Deed Of Paksenarrion, but there is nothing lost in the new focus. The reader is treated to more of the same in the DOP - moral courage, personal challenge, physical trauma and other fare of good fantasy. The book reads well and smoothly. Moon spends sufficient time with each of her three main characters before moving on to the next. I found Moon's character development more detailed and nuanced than I found in the DOP. Of course, DOP was written in the late 80's and OOF was written just recently. I would recommend this book to any Moon fan and to people who like a good, fast read. I found the reading quite workmanlike and enjoyable. Van Dyke is a good choice for narrator, decently talented with several voices. I was disappointed to come to the end...not because it ended badly but because it ended at all. Have to wait another year or so for the next. What's the series title, anyway?
Found this follow up to DOP to be thoroughly enjoyable. It DOES help to have read the original Paksenarrion trilogy since this story is about several of the characters that were in the first series. While this is not about Paks, I found it just as engaging. Elizabeth Moon is an incredible story teller. Also Jennifer Van Dyck knocks it out of the park again. Very soothing to listen to for a long time. She is easy to understand and has a comfortable pacing, with a variety of character voices that at times sounds like a full cast audio production. If you loved DOP, I think you will be well pleased with this one!! Hope there is more to come.
This and the two others to follow will have big shoes to fill when it comes to following up the previous three books. And while reading the first three books isn't necessary it provides a lot of background to the story presented. My only real issue with the book (and it might ahve been the narrator) was the Arcolin/Phaelan bits seemed... stilted. I wish there had been more Dorrin as her parts seemed to be rushed somehwat. Overall though I enjoyed this and look forward to the next book which isn't out until 2011.
Actor/director/teacher. Live most of the time in Beijing now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
I read the first series of the Paks books when they came out and was thoroughly taken with them. Looking back, the facet of the books which really delighted me was Moon's facility for describing military life in a pikes, shields and swords setting, both the action sequences and the forging of a unit of warriors who depended upon one another at a completely visceral level for survival. She created a richly detailed and textured martial world which was completely believable and gave it to us from the intimate viewpoint of a new recruit.
Also, Paks' rise to glory in those books was always rooted in the mud, blood and sheep manure from which she sprang, and that was really unique and very interesting, Especially since Moon also has an insightful voice when it comes to human motivations and ambiguities. Even the magic was gritty with a common touch. Holy Gird's roots were earthy and had as much to do with sweat as holy water.
I found this extension of the original story a good deal less interesting or compelling. Moon still writes characters I can believe, and they still rise from humble beginnings, but those origins are so far in their past now as to generate little vitality. In addition, there is a lot more politics than action in this book, all nicely constructed from the viewpoint of plot, but not much of it was unusual or gripping, at least for me. Perhaps the fact that the book is split between the stories of two different rising stars and never unites the two threads, or the fact that it all ends very much in the middle of things and leaves the rest for another installment, kept it from being as satisfying as the earlier books.
In any event, while I was never ready to put the story aside, it failed to captivate me as did The Deed of Paksenarrion. I'll still try the next book in the series, however. Moon is much too good a writer to dismiss
This novel kicks off the 2nd series. Jennifer Van Dyck is great as usual in her narration. Characters are easily distinguished and the pacing is great. My primary issue is while the first series focused on a primary character, this new series focuses on many characters. I normally has no problem with that structure if the author plays out each fully. While the plotline is great, as usual from Elizabeth Moon, I wish each character's story line was explored more fully and in the same kind of detail she used so wonderfully in the first series.
Eclectic is a verb
Bias note: I a huge fan of The Deed of Paksenarrion, so I'm pre-disposed to love this series, which I do. Her writing and attention to detail, thinking through the various issues as world events collide around her characters is simply so well done. This is a solid production, and I'll certainly get the next books in the series.
I was disappointed in this new series - somehow Moon missed capturing the characters - in the first series I cared about their fate, not so much in this one!
?Must read earlier books first?
Assumend prior knowledge of plot, characters, etc.
Frustration early on....
Cant remove from my library on my iPhone-
Despite the opening stating that this book stands without having read the original... it doesn't. Within the first chapter I was completely lost. There must have been a dozen characters within the first two chapters, repeated referenses to things as if we knew what had happened and the whole things felt like a part 2. Got through eight chapters and had no idea who the protagonist(s) were, who the bad guys were, or why I should care of any of them. Should be entitled... PART 2 of the world of ... whatever.
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