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Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1)
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Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion #1)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  9,001 Ratings  ·  428 Reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 506 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Baen Books (first published 1988)
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Jun 06, 2011 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of classic epic fantasy, soldier fantasy
Recommended to Carol. by: Mike (the Paladin)
Like a microscope on a game safari, Sheepfarmer's Daughter focuses on exactly the wrong details. The classic epic fantasy is notable for a common-born female lead, Paks, and the focus on her life after she joins a private military company. I enjoyed the writing style and the quality, but felt I would have liked a little more character development: the times we hear Paks' inner dialogue are too far apart, and there is too much description without reflection.

I can appreciate that the lavish detai
Dec 09, 2009 Dawn rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2012
My oh my... Oh my oh my oh my.

When I started reading this, I thought I was going to love it. It had come with such high recommendations, and it sounded like it was right up my alley. I was so excited to finally have time to dive into it! Unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed. It just didn't work for me... Try as I might, I just couldn't make myself like it.

It was just so boring. It literally put me to sleep whenever I tried to read it. Which was great for those late nights that I just cou
Mike (the Paladin)
I have read and reviewed the text version of this book. My daughter got me this (and the next 2 parts of the trilogy) for Christmas this year (2010).

I want to review this in that a wonderful book can be read by a "not so wonderful reader" and be then in audio form...not so wonderful. That isn't the case here. While not the best reader I've ever heard in an audio book Jennifer Van Dyck does a fine job on the book and only in a couple of places does she miss a cue or fail to carry over the emotio
May 26, 2013 Werner rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans who like strong worldbuilding; fans of warrior heroines
Recommended to Werner by: My Goodreads friends Mike and Jon
Note, March 30, 2017: I've just edited this review to reflect a change of perspective on one point, brought about by being exposed to new factual information in the four years since I wrote it.

My wife and I are reading the entire trilogy that this volume opens together; and since I have at least one Goodreads friend who's curious about my reaction, I thought I'd review the three novels as we finish them, rather than as an omnibus volume at the end (though we're reading the omnibus volume). [Note
Jul 02, 2008 R. rated it it was ok
After a promising prologue geared me up for a rousing adventure, I was massively disappointed by how dull this book ultimately was. It was the worst kind of dull, in fact, given that it wasn't due to nothing happening, but rather to how the events that did happen were related.

In short: the prose of this novel has all the spirit and passion of a grocery list. And to go along with that the main character, Paks, is painfully flat and uninteresting. She's a naive (nearly to the point of stupidity) a
Dec 11, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in a trilogy, and it's a realistic depiction of military life in a fantasy world, with just a few hints of magic and evil forces at the end. We follow Paksenarrion (Paks for short) for about three years of her life, from she runs away from home at 18, until she's a veteran soldier in Duke Phelan's mercenary company. This was a long awaited re-read for me, I first read it when I was 14 or 15, and loved it.

The reviews here on GR seems to be quite mixed, and (as usual) I real
3.5 stars

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 l
Aug 08, 2012 Evgeny rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I like the main idea for the book: to see a rise of the main character from nobody to a legend in great details. From these details comes the first problem: nothing at all happens in the first half of the book, just the military training in more details than I ever cared about, like how to march with a spear.

In the second half of the book some excitement finally comes up as well as another problem. The book is written from the main character's point of view (BTW, I challenge everybody to recall
This one is old school military fantasy: we open with a young adult dreaming of a career as a soldier, signing up in a mercenary squad, and what follows is a lot of drilling, marching, sieging and fighting. I will admit to reading very fast over some of the fighting scenes, because they weren’t always very interesting. But some of the things that happened in between did hold my attention.
There is a lot of foreshadowing on who/what Paksenarrion will become. We open with her father telling the tal
May 09, 2015 JAIME rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I love Elizabeth Moon's chill style writing.

It's all wonderful and detailed. Her heroine never does anything idiotic. But, that's not to say she doesn't find herself in 'situations'. She is sweet, but not a walk over. She is tough, but not Kate Daniels. Honest and humble, she should be boring. But she really isn't.

Sheepfarmer's Daughter tells the story of a girl who ditches home to join the army after her father tries to marry her off to a pig farmer.

There is a lot of marching, and fighting,
First half low to mid three stars.
Second half mid to high three stars.

I liked it. It just wasn't a book that "spoke" to me. I found it a little clinical. Cold. Paks wants to be soldier with every fiber of her being but I never once felt that desire. None of the characters really came to life for me.

I did like that this book's heroine was a strong young woman who knew her own mind. If it had been written today she would have followed her first love into the army where she would meet another young
Pauline Ross
I’m reading this in the omnibus edition, entitled ‘The Deed of Paksenarrion’, but I’ll review each of the the three volumes separately, for convenience. The series tells the story of Paksenarrion Dorthansdottir, or Paks for short, who runs away from her humble home to join Duke Phelan's army as a way of avoiding a marriage being forced on her by her father. This first book is about her training, her first battles and her involvement in the Duke's various military enterprises, and although it sta ...more
Jul 02, 2008 Lorena rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Xu
Dec 08, 2010 Kevin Xu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The first half of the book I would give it five stars with a girl in the army like the author herself with her background in Vietnam, but the second half was too predictable for me to enjoy it. My problem is the second half of the book, it was too cliche as everyone else is in trouble, and the main character somehow always avoid trouble, so that main character has to save everyone even if he or she does not have the ability, but the main character usually has the ability to.
4.5 stars. An excellent beginning to what looks to be a superb epic fantasy series. Elizabeth Moon writes a great story with well-drawn, interesting characters and a tightly focused plot that grabs you from the beginning of the novel and never stalls. That is tough to do in a 500+ page book, but I was engaged the entire time. Highly recommended!!!

Winner: Compton Crook Award.
Mike (the Paladin)
See my review of the omnibus edition The Deed of Paksenarrion. I love these books and highly recommend them!

Let me say again that I love these books and can't recommend them highly enough. I read these books years ago, have read them several times, and will in all probability reread them again and again.

This is one of those series (I think of them as a single book) where when I run on someone who doesn't like them or doesn't get them I am as the saying goes... flummoxed.

I find these full of life
First of a series of awesome books. I think this is my 4th or 5th re-read. The series is just that good.
Jul 02, 2011 Gavin rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The first book in the Deed of Paksenarrion series (One noun, five sylables, instant red alert).

I have to preface this by saying that I found Lord of the Ring's unbearably tedious, and that every time I read -or try to- 80's fantasy (Wheel of Time in particular) I am struck by a profound sadness that Tolkien's ludicrous Middle-England populated by gay midgets, gay elves and gay... men became the template rather than Le Guin's Earthsea.

Sheepfarmer's Daughter really is eighties fantasy. A girl with
Jun 29, 2012 Robin rated it it was ok
I picked up "The Sheepfarmer's Daughter" because I'd heard many good things about this epic fantasy. It begins very well, establishing Paks's independence, her dedication, passion, her desire to do what is right and good.

The story then devolves into a daily account of How to Become a Soldier and, once she's received her training, Paks's story moves into scene after scene of military maneuvers sans any real political groundwork. There are pages of scenery descriptions which, while they are lovely
May 17, 2013 Rob rated it it was ok
...So what does that leave us with. Sheepfarmer's Daughter is essentially five hundred pages of Paks going through the motions of becoming a mercenary and finding out how to be a good soldier, a lot of which is no more interesting that my average day at the office. She does what she is told, never seriously questions what she is doing and turns out to be good at pretty much everything she is required to do. In short, neither Paks, or the events described in the novel really managed captivate me. ...more
Kat  Hooper
Mar 22, 2010 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Brilliance Audio has recently been putting together some fine productions of many classic fantasy novels that deserve to be heard and I, as a reader, couldn’t be happier. I don’t have much free time these days, and most of my reading is now done by audio, so I was thrilled to find that I could finally listen to The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. The first novel, Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, has just been released, and the rest are following quickly. (B
May 16, 2013 M. rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
I wanted to like this book, but it just did not work (for me).

Although the writing is thorough and descriptive, most of the problems I have with this book come down to its third person (sort of) limited narration. Most of the time, details enhance the story and help build the world, but sometimes they're repetitive and yet you still don't get to know much about the world the story is set in. The latter applies to this story. There are a few scenes where magic played an important role (view spoi
This is an off-the-shelf AD&D adventure, with the names (barely) filed off. If you like that sort of thing, it's a decent story and Elizabeth Moon's writing is better than average. But it's basically about a sheepfarmer's daughter (duh) who joins a mercenary company and becomes a fighter, and the whole book is about her training and her first few military campaigns. There's only a little bit of magic, but it's obvious Paksenarrion is destined to become a paladin. Although I'm slightly curiou ...more
Jamie Collins
Apr 13, 2009 Jamie Collins rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Didn't finish this one.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
This is part of my reading challenge for 2017, to expand my woeful knowledge of women in speculative fiction by reading at least 24 books by women that were and are instrumental in our genre.

This book was absolutely what I needed at the time. I've fallen behind in my reading challenge currently, and short stories weren't working for me. This I couldn't put down. We have the usual offspring doesn't want to be a farmer so goes off to join the army trope, but in this the characters feel so utterly
Dan Thompson
Aug 31, 2012 Dan Thompson rated it it was amazing
I picked this one up because my wife recommended it. She said, “It saved fantasy for me.” That was high praise, but I can see now that it was worth it. I am also tempted to say that it saved fantasy for me, but I’m not sure I’ll find much else like it.

I do enjoy Urban Fantasy, but I confess I’ve never really enjoyed much traditional fantasy, i.e. epic sword and sorcercy, though I could never quite put my finger on it. The best I could say was that, “I just couldn’t get into it.” I figured that t
Mar 27, 2008 Tina rated it really liked it
I was reading the newest book in the Paks series,Oath of Fealty and it made me very nostalgic to go back and re-read this.

I read this book for the first time back in 1994, I think it was. Some friends and I were holidaying up along the east coast and we stopped in Martha's Vineyard. There is a really cool Hostel there in the middle of the woods (the outdoor shower is awesome!). I didn't want to carry too many books around so I'd only had a couple on me and was being stingy about how much I was r
Sheepfarmer's Daughter follows Paks as she runs away from home to join a mercenary company and learns how to fight and take on more responsibilities as a soldier. This first book in the trilogy follows her through 6 months of training and the first two years of campaigns, and it is very heavily focused on camp life, and details that would be important to a simple soldier.

The author takes the viewpoint of Paks very literally - we learn what she is learning as she is learning it. As her understand
rating: 4/5

A highly enjoyable medieval-type military fantasy. I like Paks, she is a stubborn girl from a small village that has dreams of war and not of farmgirl motherhood and marriage.

The military details are amazing, the descriptions of strategies, training, and ordinary soldiers' life are awesome.

However, it stalled a bit in character development. This book could have been extraordinary but I feel like we are kept removed from Paks' emotional development. We also don't get to see the frien
A meandering medieval military fantasy about a badass asexual lady in a delightfully - though not fully or satisfyingly - progressive society.

This book didn't have a plot, instead opting for an exploration of medieval military life in realistic detail. This includes training and battles, looting and plunder, friendship and loss, but also frequent slow-healing cuts, bruises, and broken bones, marching formations, inclement weather, road quality and construction, latrine digging, food supplies, mo
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Elizabeth Moon was born March 7, 1945, and grew up in McAllen, Texas, graduating from McAllen High School in 1963. She has a B.A. in History from Rice University (1968) and another in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin (1975) with graduate work in Biology at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

She served in the USMC from 1968 to 1971, first at MCB Quantico and then at HQMC. She marrie
More about Elizabeth Moon...

Other Books in the Series

The Deed of Paksenarrion (3 books)
  • Divided Allegiance (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #2)
  • Oath of Gold (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #3)

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