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The Deed of Paksenarrion: A Novel (Baen Fantasy) Paperback – February 1, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 427 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This trilogy builds in power and intensity...all the sweep and majesty of the finest heroic fantasy..". -- VOYA

From the Back Cover

Never in our experience has a new author burst upon the sf/fantasy field to such immediate enthusiastic recognition as Elizabeth Moon with her fantasy trilogy, Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold. Now at last we are able to offer all six hundred thousand words of The Deed of Paksenarrion in a single trade edition. Note that because of its size the complete Deed of Paksenarrion will probably never be offered in a mass market edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Baen Fantasy
  • Paperback: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Later Printing edition (February 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671721046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671721046
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.7 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (427 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Moon grew up on the Texas-Mexico border, a voracious reader and early writer. She spent much of her early years in a hardware store where nothing was in shrink-wrap or little plastic containers, and mule collars still hung on the back wall. She has a history degree from Rice University and a biology degree from the University of Texas at Austin, plus some graduate work in biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio; between the first two, she spent three years on active duty in the USMC. Her bibliography includes 20+ novels and 30+ short fiction works, nearly all in science fiction or fantasy. REMNANT POPULATION was a Hugo finalist in 1997; THE SPEED OF DARK won the Nebula Award in 2003.

When not writing, she likes to wander around taking pictures of wildlife and native plants, bake bread, eat chocolate, sing with a choir, and laugh.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is actually a compilation of three novels; "Sheep Farmer's Daughter", "Divided Allegiance" and "Oath of Gold". I like to think that these books started the popular trend in fantasy, of featuring women in heroic roles. Paks, (the heroine in question), manages to be a better soldier than most while still being sensitive to her feelings and friends.

Unlike many works of fantasy, Moon is more interested in the characters and their struggles and triumphs than in the fantastic creations of her world. I'm not saying that her world is not well rendered, it is, but it is the people in this story that demand the reader's attention. They are real, emotional beings with strengths, flaws and inconsistencies, just like the rest of us.

There is also a surprising amount of military detail in the story. In fact it taught me a thing or two about medieval fighting both from a lone warrior standpoint and that of an army.

Fair warning to those who intend to read this series; start on the Friday night. At least that way you won't jeopardise your job by coming in without any sleep.
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Format: Hardcover
Capsule Description: A young woman who dreams of great adventures finds them -- discovering they are both less, and far more, than she had dreamed.
Review: In one of my other reviews (Lord Valentine's Castle) I mentioned that even a dyed-in-the-wool adventure addict like myself can find that there are too many heroes out there. However, there are a few books which go beyond mere heroes to HEROES -- books with characters who define the very meaning of the word, who become themselves incarnations of the concept. Such is Paksenarrion, sheepfarmer's daughter who ran away to join the army and ends as a holy warrior, a Paladin.
Much, perhaps most, of the fiction inspired by roleplaying games is at best uninspired and at worst utter drek. I actually avoided reading this series initially because it was recommended in roleplaying groups, and in roleplaying terms, so I thought it was just another of the many (uninspiring) fantasy series being published by TSR at the time.
I could not have been more wrong. The Deed of Paksenarrion does, in fact, have its roots in roleplaying, but not in the usual sense. Rather than being written either as a sort of record of someone's favorite character in a game, or as a publicity/demonstration piece for some gaming system or mechanic, Paksenarrion was born (according to an email exchange I had with the author) from bad roleplaying: Elizabeth Moon, not gaming herself, heard some people playing "Paladins" (Holy warriors in the service of a god) and doing so very poorly. Her reaction was of course that "such a person wouldn't ACT like that"... and in thinking about what they WOULD act like, Paksenarrion was born.
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Format: Paperback
This series is one of my all time favorites with good reason. Elizabeth Moon took the best of classic epic fantasy and made it her own with Paks' story. Resisting the urge to create a heroine who marries the prince or becomes mired in romance, what she gave us was a strong and human character who rises above her station to become a legend. Paks is not just a warrior, not even just a paladin. She is what we might in our own time call a Saint, perhaps even Prophet. Moon knows military life well enough that her work avoids being too pretty. Though Paks begins her journey as a wide eyed girl she grows with her reader. I LEARNED a lot reading this series. Many times in the past I have read a book and wondered "where do they eat, sleep, bathe?" Moon is meticulous in recreating life as part of a mercenary group from how payrolls work to digging and refilling latrines. She does this in perfect "show don't tell" style, and it works. I have worn out two copies of the smaller mass market paperpacks and have a spare copy of the collection in the larger volume so I can keep re-reading this wonderful series. Don't miss the opportunity to check it out, it will become one of your favorites.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Others have called this a fitting successor to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. So it is. The mythos is not as familiar nor is it as well developed but it is not less engrossing. From the first page of the first book, I was captured, knowing that something new and exciting was just around the corner.

This is a Three-In-One volume. The three books of the trilogy are included under one cover. That made the transitions from one story to the next immediate and costly of my working schedule. It was worth it.

This is the story of a young peasant girl who aspires to be something more. She runs away to become a soldier and have a life of excitement.

This is the story of a woman who continues to grow. The first volume shows her development as a warrior and has very little of the magical about it except that the character seems somehow magical. The second book shows her development of some degree of independence and sets her up for her great challenge. Throughout it, the reader is dismayed that Paks cannot see in herself the qualities which everyone else, especially the reader, can see. It sees her soar to greatness and then collapse, as humans invariably do. The third volume see her regain her confidence and her greatness and in greater measure than before. She will need these qualities to achieve the task appointed to her. All the while, we marvel at her humility.

It is a wonderful series. Synopses of the individual books appear below:

SHEEPFARMER"S DAUGHTER - The Praise is Well Deserved

This is a work of grand fantasy although it does not start out as such. It takes place in a world of magic, elves, dwarves, paladins and powerful gods. It is a story of good and evil. It is all of those things but that misses the point.
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