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review 2014-01-04 00:00
Kings of the North (The Deed of Paksenarrion)
Kings of the North - Elizabeth Moon 1/4/14 ** Re-reading the set as I get ready to read the 4th (out of 5) in this companion series in the Paksenarion world. This is my first book for the new year. :)

9/15/12 ** Still wanted comfort food for the beginning of the school year. Picked this up from my shelf even though it is the 2nd in the series. Must buy the first. Then, I discovered that the third in this trilogy cam out this year and there are copies available at the library. Guess where I'll be at 10:00 Saturday (tomorrow) morning?! Writing, cooking, cleaning, grading papers??? Hmmm - perhaps those are all overrated.

4/10/11 ** This volume is the 2nd in an anticipated trilogy set in Paksenarion's world; it follows the lives of those who shaped and guided Paksenarion on her journey from being a sheepfarmer's daughter to being a paladin.
As the first book, Oath of Fealty, Kings of the North contains an ensemble cast, changing perspectives every few chapters. I did find myself cheating on this first reading of the book, flipping ahead to follow one story-line, because I wanted to know immediately what had happened with a particular character. The downside to this is that the various story-lines are interwoven so carefully that I found I was missing key details that had been revealed in someone else's story line.
This book, more than the first seemed to explore the theme of unintended consequences and the pitfalls that can come when trying to judge others on the basis of one's own cultural norms. The long-time enmity between those from Tsaia & Lyonya with those from Pargun was explored in more depth. Parallels could be drawn between Moon's world and our own regarding the West's beliefs about the Middle East, and vice versa. Moon seems to be giving a clear warning about making assumptions about others.
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review 2013-12-27 02:34
Review of "Divided Allegiance (The Deed of Paksenarrion #2) (Paksenarrion #4)" by Elizabeth Moon
Divided Allegiance - Elizabeth Moon

This reader's personal opinion, ©2012, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

For 90% of the thing, Paks was Paks and my enjoyment of story had its ups and downs. Ups with the story progressing, Paks finally on way to serving Gird, learning more of Paladins and various races; downs with one too many mysterious underground choose-your-door things, companions often untrustworthy, and way too many encounters with godlike beings, good and bad, with blurry to outright loss of memory.


Then a cliffhanger ending with Paks no longer the character whose story I was reading a somewhat formula (but well written) fantasy to follow. And, what was up with all the blonde talk and how hair-up meant soldier and down meant frail female or potential rape victim?

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review 2013-12-25 00:00
Oath of Gold (The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 3)
Oath of Gold - Elizabeth Moon 12/25/13 ** I absolutely can't believe that this book is not part of my GoodReads collection. I seriously don't know how many times I've read it. As part of my "get ready to travel" routine, I looked for books to download from my library's ecollection, and I realized that there is a new book out in the Paladin's Legacy series. Thus, I NEED (word choice?) to read all the other books in the series. Since the first Legacy book begins concurrently with Oath of Gold, I decided to go back an re-read this.

High fantasy with a military twist. Paks no longer fights with her mercenary infantry company. In this volume, her understanding of her faith and prayer has intensified. I appreciated the author's reminder, near the end of the book, that when the God(s) intervene in the human world, they routinely have more than one purpose.
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review 2013-10-11 17:20
The Deed of Paksenarrion: A Novel
The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon This is an omnibus edition of three novels, conceived as one story, dealing with the paladin Paksenarrion: Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold. I loved this book on first read, one of my favorite works of fantasy, and one that read quickly despite the doorstopper length. Reading over the reviews, I've been told the books strictly follow Dungeons and Dragons rules, and that this step-by-step follows "the Heroes Journey." Maybe I'm lucky I've never played the game nor read Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces, because this story didn't ever feel formulaic to me. I had heard Moon had a military background--she was a United States Marine--and I could well believe it reading this book. The military details and training come through with a credibility I rarely see, especially when involving a female heroine. Those parts of the book never bored me, but rather fascinated me with their verisimilitude. It's true that Paks is almost too good and earnest and pretty asexual. But it should be remembered Moon is telling the story not of an ordinary knight, but a paladin: originally meaning one of the 12 peers in the court of Charlemagne, but used in the fantasy role playing sense of "holy knight" imbued with godly powers. And in fact, I've read Paks was indeed inspired by Moon wanting to work through how such a figure out of the Dungeons and Dragons role play would really act (and with more than a bit of inspiration from Joan of Arc.) I think Moon succeeded in her purpose--and gave us one of the great heroines in fantasy in the bargain.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-10-05 17:36
The Deed of Paksenarrion
The Deed of Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon

I want to say first that I've read hundreds if not thousands of books and the largest percentage of them are probably fantasy. I love this book and rate it as one of my top 3 or 4 favorite novels. I can't recommend it too highly. I really don't think I can recommend it highly enough. Please read this book. I keep multiple copies on my shelf and have loaned out (read given away) many copies. This one is great.

I read the omnibus edition of this book. It’s actually a trilogy. The Deed of Paksenarrion contains Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. I find it a truly exceptional high fantasy read. I rate it five stars as it’s in many ways (in my opinion of course) the best of it’s type. In a time when “attempts” at epic fantasy are a dime a dozen, a good (or great) one should be noticed.

I don’t want to include any spoilers in this without warning (and I know some actually look for them) but, let me mention what the book is actually about.*********Note please that what follows may be considered by some a spoiler. If you'd rather not chance it, skip this part.******


********It follows the life and career of a young woman (Paksenarrion)who wants to be a soldier (the author Elizabeth Moon was military) from her beginning training throughout her life to her development into a paladin.

Now, the character of the paladin hasn’t been handled that well that often in literature. The paladin usually comes off as pompous, self righteous, or is handled as a parody of what the character was meant to be. (See The Song of Roland for the or an origin of the paladin as a character).

I have read this book (trilogy) many times and love it. It compares well to the “proto-epic fantasy", The Lord of the Rings.  I can and do recommend it (as well as The Lord of the Rings) highly.  As I said, I can't recommend it highly enough. Great Book. I own all the books in print and audio versions. Highest possible recommendation.

As noted above, this omnibus edition contains:
Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold.

One of my top favorites, 5 stars+.

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