logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: sheepfarmer\'s-daughter
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-02-17 21:38
Sheepfarmer's Daughter / Elizabeth Moon
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon

Paksenarrion — Paks for short — is somebody special. She knows it, even if nobody else does yet. No way will she follow her father's orders to marry the pig farmer down the road. She's off to join the army, even if it means she can never see her family again.

And so her adventure begins... the adventure that transforms her into a hero remembered in songs, chosen by the gods to restore a lost ruler to his throne.

Here is her tale as she lived it.

 

I really wanted to like this tale more than I actually did. It had moments of greatness—as when Paksenarrion fights off her father and leaves home to join the army. (Although, as the daughter of a pig farmer, I will tell you that there are worse men that you could end up married to).

I read this book while on holiday and it always seemed that I was interrupted right in mid-battle, left wondering for many hours how things would turn out! That said, the battles were certainly not gritty like those described by Glen Cook in his Dark Company series. These were battlefield-lite. And although Paks is injured several times and has bad things happen to her, she leads the charmed life of the fantasy heroine.

What was refreshing was having a female main character who was competent with a weapon and interested in tactics. Now, how much is her own doing and how much is she being assisted by somewhat magical influences? This supernatural stirring in her life puts me in mind of Joan of Arc….

Book 241 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-04-02 01:38
A New Sub-genre For Me: Military Fantasy
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon

Original Publication Year: 1988

Genre(s): Fantasy

Series: The Deed of Paksenarrion #1

Awards: Compton Crook Award

Format: Audio (from Audible)

Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck

 

This is, perhaps arguably, a modern classic of the fantasy genre.  I call it a classic because I feel like it shows up on people’s lists as a favorite especially amongst all the epic fantasy that was being produced in the 1980’s and 1990’s from Terry Brooks, David Eddings and many others besides.  I’ve had it on my TBR for so long, it got a place on my 100 Books Project List as I felt it was important that I read it.  In the end, I found this book quite odd and somewhat disappointing though I did like it.

 

The first thing I would characterize as unusual was that this was my first experience with what I would call “military fantasy”.  Sure, a lot of fantasy deals with war but this book reminded me of a Robert Heinlein novel (like Starship Troopers) transplanted to a generic European-type fantasy setting. The military structure is basically exactly like the modern American military except with swords and horses and the person in ultimate charge being a Duke.  There’s a boot camp and companies with sergeants and captains; there are non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers, a mess etc….

 

It is into this military environment that the sheepfarmer’s daughter, Paksenarrion or Paks, runs because she dreams of a life as a soldier.  She joins a reputable mercenary company that allows women and begins her life as a soldier.  This first volume details Paks first 2-3 years in the company and how ever-so-slowly, day by day, her star begins to rise and it becomes apparent that Paks is something special. 

 

The second unusual thing, is alluded to in that last sentence.  This is a VERY detailed and rather mundane narrative.  The reader is with Paks from day one of her training and, it seems like, every day after that for the following three years.  It gives a very clear picture of the life of a soldier – the training, the first battle, methodically looting a city, the death of comrades.  There are a few fantastical happenings but the story seems to concentrate on the everyday details.  Sometimes I found this very interesting and other times I found it dragged.  The prose is also pretty straightforward and matter-of-fact which fits the military focus and also lends to the air of mundanity.

 

Everything I’ve mentioned thus far was fine and gave the book a unique flair.  The methodical approach to the storytelling dragged at times but that wasn’t a major problem.  A major problem was that the characters, even Paks felt very shallow.  Very few of the secondary characters in the book are fleshed out in any real way and it was somewhat difficult to keep track of the rotating, basically identical-except-for-rank fellow soldiers.  Paks herself is simple and straightforward with very little interest in anything beyond soldiering -she’s not interested in men, she’s not interested in religion, she’s not even that interested in the other cultures that they encounter.  I in turn wasn’t that interested in her and that is what ended up making this just an okay read. 

 

FINAL VERDICT:  A unique, very detailed-oriented military fantasy that I ended up having trouble engaging with because of lackluster, generic characters.  I’m not sure I’ll pick up the sequels.  3 out of 5 Stars.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-11-14 00:00
Sheepfarmer's Daughter
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon Started out liking it. Strong female character, but fairly standard fantasy fare. And I was disappointed with the later books.
Like Reblog Comment
review 2014-08-25 15:23
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon
This is one of those books that I really wish I had read as a kid/teenager.

It's a very "old skool" military fantasy, with the exception that the bad-ass warrior hero happens to be a heroine.   The narration starts sometime in the future and tells the story of Paksennarion, a headstrong girl who joined a mercenary outfit to escape an arranged marriage.   Along the way we get a lot of training, details of camp and marching life, pretty good descriptions of war and pillaging, and discover that Paks has some sort of magical talent or ability.   We're not sure how the magic system works, because Paks herself isn't sure of what's going on, but as this is the first part of a three part story, we might learn more later.   

The characterizations weren't really strong, but it's not a character driven novel, in my opinion.   The world building is solid, the plot was good, although it did get a little bit dry/slower with the training (and other) narratives.   To be honest, I thought it was interesting and did not make me feel like I was slogging through it.  
 
I think the biggest weakness is Paks, herself, which while being headstrong, is painfully naive and is a passive character much of the time and could be classified (pretty solidly) as a Mary Sue.
 
It is refreshing to have a non-heteronormative character (she's asexual) who is simultaneously breaking gender norms, and that there is a little bit regarding gender norms in the novel itself (this mercenary company, or at least the land where it is located does not consider women mercenaries to be noteworthy, whereas later they do do go to another land where it is unusual).
 

I can see why many people didn't love this book, but I really liked it, and will probably get around to reading/listening to the rest of the books in this... book.

 
Like Reblog Comment
review 2013-08-27 00:00
Sheepfarmer's Daughter - Elizabeth Moon I read this based on a recommendation from a Goodreads member. I'm sorry to say that I wasn't converted. The book is decent, but not especially interesting; most of it is things we've seen before. Paksenarrion (the protagonist) is likeable, but much of the book is a fairly mechanical look at her induction into a mercenary corps. There's quite a lot of detail, but much of it is shallow - it reads a bit like someone inserting research they've done into how armies work.

This book was written as part of a much longer work, and it shows, By the end of the 450 or so pages, I felt like I'd just finished an incredibly long prologue. Unfortunately, I'm not tempted to read the bulk of the book.

All in all, pleasant, readable, but not particularly striking.
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?