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Publisher's Summary

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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    1,063
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    641
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    79
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 2 Stars
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Intriguing start

This first book hints at the promise of a great series. The feel of this book is entirely like that of a prologue, what I mean is that the entire books seems like it is setting up something for later. The story itself is actually a bit slow as the entire purpose seems to be to introduce and develop the main character, Paks (aka Paksenarrion). Yes there are some battles, but they are almost glossed over and at no time does it really seem that Paks is in any REAL danger, probably because at the start of the book we learn that the entire book is a memoir of some sort. So who is Paks? Well, Paks is/was(?) a person who achieved some sort of greatness, exactly what and how she achieved that greatness is apparently the content of this series. I don't want to give too much away, the mystery of whom and what Paks becomes is central to the enticement of the novel. I fear if I tell you my suspicions, it will diminish some of the pleasure you may feel reading the novel.

Overall this book kept my attention and I looking forward to book 2. To be honest it failed to REALLY grab me, and if the second book continues in this way I can see myself becoming bored. But, if it fulfills the promise foreshadowed in this book the series might be fantastic.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen K
  • Oregon City, OR United States
  • 04-13-10

Written book translates to excellent audio book

I read this book when it was first released in 1988. When my husband and I started collecting audio book titles we searched for books that we had once enjoyed reading. We had been looking for The Deed of Paksenarrion ever since we started listening to audio books about a decade ago. This had been one title that had been overlooked for conversion to the audio book format. When it finally came out I snapped it up from Audible.com and I have not regretted it.

Narration: I have been unhappy with some of Jennifer Van Dyck's narrations in the past, mostly when she followed a favored narrator in a series and didn't check previous pronunciations. This time she is coming into the series fresh and has made it her own. I think she has done an exceptional job of making the Paksenarrion tales come to life and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book that I enjoyed reading many years ago. Kudos to Ms. Van Dyck for her performance in the Paksenarrion titles.

Paksenarrion brings to mind an epic journey similar to The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, or The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, only not as lengthy. Alas, I sometimes wish that it were longer, or that Elizabeth Moon were a more prolific writer. Though what she does produce is always worth the time to peruse.

For lovers of the fantasy genre you can't go wrong with any of the Paksenarrion books.

Now if the publishers would go back a bit further and include "Liar's Oath" and "Surrender None" and you would have the complete world from which Paksenarrion comes. "Liar's Oath" and "Surrender None" predate Paksenarrion and explain St. Gird and his assistant Luap and the formation of the Fellowship of Gird.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Finally in Audio Format!!!

I remember first reading this book over a decade ago, and I fell in love with this series. A must read in my opinion if you like high fantasy and believe there is good in the world, all 3 in the series is phenomenal. The narrator is also a good choice, I did enjoy listening to her as her other narrations (Mystic & Rider by Sharon Shinn).

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enjoyable Listen!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was an unusual book for me - I am not accustomed to reading about a female military heroine - even so, I was not disappointed. After reading this book, I had to find out what happened and eventually finished listening to the series. I was not disappointed I did that.

If you are looking for a new series, this might interest you.

Other books you may like: The Chronicles of Amber (apparently an old series, but I just read it for the first time and loved it), the Riftwar saga by Raymond E. Feist (not on Audible yet, but worth reading), and Trudi Canavan's Black Magician series.

This is assuming you have already read Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, his Elantris stand alone book, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, and G. R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (Beware - no one is sure when this series will be completed). If you haven't read this list, start with these ones.

If you have completed the above list, you might like Peter V Brett's Painted Man/Warded Man series, the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks, Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy, her Tawny man Series, or her Farseer trilogy.

I enjoyed all of the above series. Some of them were more enjoyable that others, so, please read other reviewers to see if they would be a good fit for you.

If there was a series you enjoyed, please share it. Thanks.

77 of 90 people found this review helpful

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Fantasy with a female heroine

This is a solid fantasy with a female heroine. Paks, the main hero of the story, is literally just a sheepfarmers daughter, however, she has the heart of a warrior and the author gifts us with the chance to see her shine. It is a worthy read,

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Forest Grove, OR, United States
  • 03-31-10

Fantasy's Red Badge Of Courage

SFD starts like just an unusual fictional period piece. It does not take long, however, to see the diamond in the rough in Elizabeth Moon's heroine Paksanarrion. Set in the "usual" medieval fantasy setting, this book is like other fantasies as Tarzan might have been to Jane Goodall. Paksa is an ordinary soldier - a woman no less. This most unusual book chronicles her initiation and trials as a warrior in a style unusual to fantasy. The story is told from the soldier's POV, not the POV of rulers and generals. Depiction of Paks' evolution as a soldier employs military strategy as a backdrop - quite convincing. I gfound myself sneaking reads between checks on my work. The definition of a good book? Can't put it down. I rated it 4 because I thought that character development and application of psychology could have been stronger. That said, it's Moon's first book. Very promising indeed. Try it for new flavor in fantasy.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Myk
  • Canberra, Australia
  • 06-29-12

Grand high fantasy

This is the style that brought me to the high fantasy genre. A fantasy world with depth and nuance, making subtle moral comments on the real world. I had previously not read any of Moon's work, though I have long intended to read the Planet Pirates series she co-authored with Anne McCaffrey. I was reminded of some of my favourite Mercedes Lackey novels while listening to this. Not in detail, but in overall feel. A great book, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.

Jennifer Van Dyck's narration is excellent, well paced and lively, with distinct character voices and emotion where needed. Really brings the book to life.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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really REALLY enjoy this story

i really did read the books 3 times, And have listened to the Deed of Pakanarion once a year since the audiobook became available.

its a real kick to read the beginning knowing the end and appreciate the long vision of a great story teller that Eluzsberh Moon is.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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4+ FANTASY TIRLOGY

25 years ago Sheepfarmer's Daughter got into print and Paksenarrion was introduced to the first reader, over the years Deed of Paksenarrion became a model for fantasy genre.
The story of Honor, Will and Courage, the story of mythical beasts and beautiful creations, the story of foul deeds and Noble sacrifice.


PS
Try to spare some time for this book

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Okay for a debut novel, but not very refined.

World strong. characters flat plot weak. Wanted to feel more connexion between characters and know what Paks was thinking more often.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr G Marsh
  • 10-06-10

great story with an awful narrator

great story with an awful narrator, the narrator injected a number of awful accents thus spoiling the enjoyment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • E Groom
  • 09-18-16

A splendid find

Where does Sheepfarmer's Daughter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Whilst I prefer to spend my credits on longer books, I thoroughly enjoyed Sheepfarmer's Daughter. It is the first in the Paksennarion series and I see a long and happy relationship with Elizabeth Moon's fantasy books on myy horizon. I do love a thumping good adventure and I think that's what I have in store....lovely book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sheepfarmer's Daughter?

There are a couple of AHA! moments...it flows very well.

What does Jennifer Van Dyck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I usually prefer English narators for some reason...but Ms Van Dyck did a sterling job and I think I'll happily stick with her through the series.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

some...it would be churlish to give it away tho...

Any additional comments?

I was delighted to come across this author. As a sci-fi/fantasy reader it's such a thrill to find an author that I haven't come across before. Looking forward to the restt of the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • mandyquella
  • 06-14-16

love this series of books

I have the hardback books but due to sight problems I decided to try the audio books and I'm glad I did! They are great and I could listen to the narrator all day! A must for fans of the books

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Spyro
  • 11-09-17

Timeless story

I've lost count of how many times I've read the Paksenarrion series, and I was delighted to find it available on Audible. The writing style is perhaps a little old-fashioned now, but as a war story set in a fantasy world, I found it compelling. The fantasy elements are introduced gradually and realistically. The exploration of religion - both personal and corporate - is fascinating (especially in the following books). The author's experience of warfare shows. Some people may find it a little tedious, but I really liked reading about the minutiae of military life, combined as it was with my favourite genre.. The narrator takes a little getting used to, but on the whole I enjoyed the performance.

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  • Kiz
  • 04-17-16

Not as good as reading the book

I love the books of this series, so was slightly disappointed to find the audio a little samey. The narrator has a good voice, but I found it hard to tell the difference between the characters. This wasn't helped by the author seeming to reuse several names an awful lot.

Having said that, it's a rip-roaring high fantasy adventure, and not at all run of the mill. You get magic and Knights in shining armour, but only from a distance as Paks, former shepherd, runs away to join a mercenary company.

The author's own military background gives the story depth and detail, the misery of campaign as well as the solidity of bonds formed is brought across strongly. It's interesting to consider the hardships faced by a mercenary company operating under essentially medieval conditions.

The heroine is occasionally a bit TOO perfect, and remains resolutely stubborn and naive right through to the end, but it is a solidly entertaining story nonetheless.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Megan
  • 06-11-11

hum little dispointed

nice to lisen to and a good rythum but the story in it's self is a little dispointing. intresting look in to military médival life but utherwise i'm unconviced

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Awesome
  • 12-28-14

Wonderful!

Loved it so freaking much! best book. readings a bit chalky but really the best book.