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Kings of the North (The Deed of Paksenarrion) Hardcover – March 22, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
The languorous sequel to 2010's Oath of Fealty finds many characters moving up in the world, including Kieri Phelan, the king of Lyonya, and Dorrin, now Duke Verrakai. Now those newly stationed must deal with assassination attempts, counterfeiting, and a new enemy who has taken to calling himself Duke Visla Vaskronin. Kieri doesn't understand why his elven grandmother and co-ruler, the Lady, often refuses to come when he needs her, even when a war with the Pargunese and their possibly unbeatable weapon is imminent. He will also discover that his elven heritage runs stronger than he thought. The pace is slow enough to immerse readers in the world as the characters are immersed in self-discovery, with larger events impending but usually not seen directly. There's action a-plenty, but this series most appeals to readers who enjoy their fantasy more thoughtful and intellectual. (Mar.)
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Praise for Elizabeth Moon’s Oath of Fealty
“A triumphant return to the fantasy world she created . . . no one writes fantasy quite like Moon.”—The Miami Herald
“Ranks alongside Andre Norton’s Witch World and Tolkien’s Middle-earth for invention, deeds of valor, and battles of good against evil.”—Jack Campbell
“Oath of Fealty is the best kind of fantasy: familiar but complex, with substance behind the accomplished style.”—Contra Costa Times
“Sheer delight . . . an engrossing new adventure.”—Anne McCaffrey
“Well-crafted storytelling . . . hard to put down.”—SF Site
Top customer reviews
I enjoy the mix of world-building and characters. Most of the main characters continue from Oath and from the earlier Deed of Paksennarrion, but there are new ones as well. All are well-rounded; many I'd love to sit in the pub with over a mug of ale, though some I'd rather not meet in a dark alley - or anywhere else. I like the sense of integrity in most of the characters, and the way that integrity doesn't mean that they are all straight-laced, or all in agreement with each other. I like the way the followers of the different religions respect each other. I like the way information about how-things-work is dropped in along the way without derailing the narrative (we learn bits about the management of a bankers guild, running a noble's estate, and training squires, among other things). Overall, I like this book even more than I did Oath, and that's saying something. The only thing I dislike is waiting for the next one.
Kings of the North begin right where Oath of Fealty ends. This is not a book that lends itself well to a stand alone read. We continue to follow the adventures and story of Kieri Phelan (now a king), Mikeli, Dorrin and the other senior captains of Phelan’s mercenary company. New characters are added – very interesting characters I might say, and Moon’s world building continues to thrive and get better and better. As with the previous book in this second series, Paks is seen little and plays only a minor role but we find that her “Deed” has many unforeseen consequences.
War and the threat of wars loom in the near future both close to home and from Allred in the South. Various characters are discovering new powers they had no idea they had and trouble if found in some very unexpected places. Individuals are not whom they seem – there are betrayals and surprising heroic deeds from unexpected sources. Moon skillfully blends here world building with the personalities of her vividly developed characters causing the reader to want more and more as they read.
I can see some great deeds in the future novels but I can also detect some sources of great sorrow...but hey, this is Moon we are talking about so who knows? I stopped trying to second guess this author about halfway through the original “Deed.”
I cannot wait to get started on the next book in this series.
I am so impressed how the author keeps up with so many different story lines without getting them hopelessly tangled up, but she does it, and flawlessly!
If you have been reading this se, you will love this book.
If you haven't, please start with "The Sheepherders Daughter." This series needs to be read in order to make sense, and keep up.
If you are a fantasy lover, do yourself a favor, and don't miss this series!
I learned many years ago not to get hooked in series (if I could help it) until the series was complete and I could buy all the books if I wanted, and not have to wait a year or so between stories, I bought all these books in fast order. I read them in fast order.
Moon creates marvelous worlds, and populates them with believable characters. An ex Marine, she knows how to write about the military, a horsewoman, she knows how to write about horses. Although these books are fantasy, they are believable fantasy. She establishes rules for her realms, and then sticks to those rules.
Kieri Phelan is no longer a mercenary—he's a king! Talk about career advancement. Dorrin Verrakai has also moved up in the world, and is now Duke Verrakai. Magic abounds within realistic limits, and we are introduced to dwarves, gnomes, and even a dragon.
While I don't think it is necessary to have read the earlier Paks books from 20 years or so ago, it is assumed you are somewhat familiar with the characters. If you're a fantasy aficionado, you shouldn't have any trouble fitting, and playing, in this world. Just be sure the next book is close at hand before you finish this one.