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The Deed of Paksenarrion (Paksenarrion #3-5)

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  8,375 ratings  ·  464 reviews
The Deed of Paksenarrion revolves around the life of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, known as Paks. It takes place in a fictional medieval world comprised of kingdoms of humans, dwarves, and elves. The story begins by introducing Paks as a headstrong girl of 18, who leaves her home (fleeing a marriage arranged by her father) to join a mercenary company. Through her journeys a ...more
Paperback, 1040 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Baen Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
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 Paksenarri
Mar 20, 2008 Ron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: veronica belmont
Shelves: fantasy-sf
This is in my opinion the best fantasy novel ever. I actually read all three of the individual books before this omnibus came out, but they are really one complete story.

It has fantasy elements done in a deep way I haven't seen anywhere else. If you want to understand Paladins, this is the place to do it. If you want to get an idea of how a God or gods could use someone's life through pain and trial, this is the book.

Did I say it was the best fantasy novel ever? Go read it now.
Terrible. I hoped that the author’s experience in real combat would make this an interesting novel, but instead it just bogged the story down with boring and completely unnecessary details. She feels the need to describe every type of mud, but Paks’ training to be a soldier still somehow feels like a montage. Add to that unrealistic dialog, a plot that *still* hadn’t started at page 131, evil characters who are VERY VERY evil and good characters who are VERY VERY good, and you have yourself a pi ...more
Annie Bellet
Jan 28, 2008 Annie Bellet rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with taste
Recommended to Annie by: my mother (she doesn't fail all the time)
Shelves: fantasy
This has been one of my favorite books since I was 11. I reread it just about every year (though I often skip certain parts because they make me cry, so I save the pain for every few years). This book is one of the best D&D-esque fantasies ever written. Sure, Paks gets hit in the head more than seems possible for someone to survive, and the bull-headedness she displays is at times annoying, but these are qualities of an interesting and dynamic character.

Elizabeth Moon writes entertaining an
Fantastic, I forgot I was reading an omnibus edition of 3 books I was so engrossed.

When I first read the blurb where it said it was a high fantasy story of sheepfarmer's daughter turned paladin, I admit I was a little wary. I envisioned some immature teenager shooting bolts of blue light from fingers instantly dropping scores of ugly orcs, talking pets, [insert cheesy/campy bad kiddie movie theme), etc. Needless to say, it wasn't and was a fantastic story.

The 3 books of the omnibus follow one af
Jul 19, 2014 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans; warrior heroine fans
Recommended to Werner by: My Goodreads friends Mike the Paladin and Jon Moss
This rating applies to the trilogy overall, though my review below concentrates mostly on the last two books. I reviewed the first novel, Sheepfarmer's Daughter, separately; my review is here: . (That review is worth reading for insight into the development of the trilogy as a whole.) But while that novel can sort of stand as a unit on its own (though closely related to the other two), the second one, Divided Allegiance, ends with Paks in a terrible and ap ...more
Terri (Reading By Starlight)
Robin McKinley communicates with Elizabeth Moon (@emoontx) on Twitter a lot, and I figure if Robin likes it, it’s worth a read.

I did not finish this book, but not because it was bad. It was, in fact, a very interesting book, but there was a major flaw that kept me from finishing.

The story of Paksenarrion, or “Paks” as the reader comes to know her, is essentially a good one. She’s a mistreated daughter who runs away and joins the army … and that’s pretty much all that happens in the first book (t
Jun 03, 2011 Kapi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those new to Fantasy
I came upon this saga purely by accident, because I was testing out the Baen free Library (many thanks to them) on a new PDA. After reading a few pages I was hooked, and could not get to the second and third books fast enough. I completely got caught up in her trials and battles and victories. Ms Moons writing style captivated me and didn't let me go until I turned the last page. This is a story that when I finished it, I held the book close to me and sighed, sad that it was over. Paksenarrion i ...more
Out of all the books I have read, this is probably(ok IS) my favorite. I actually was slow and bought the omnibus having not read any of the 3 books. I bought it because I have read and liked Elizabeth Moon's other books. I actually need to buy another copy as mine is so worn and tattered, held together by cardboard and duct tape.
Elizabeth Moon is a very strong writer with the ability to make you see her words in your minds eye not just on the page. Paksenarrion is the heroine of this trilogy a
This book is interesting to me primarily for its description of the main character's military training. The author is a former Marine, and as such, her creation of a female warrior has more credibility than most. However, as technically accurate as this series may be in terms of military training and strategy, it is seriously lacking in emotional resonance. The main character, Paksenarrion (Paks), never really connects emotionally with anyone else. We are told that certain other characters are h ...more
Dec 18, 2007 Emma rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenage girls
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
OK, I loved this book when I was twelve. Paks was my first screenname and hell I even named a cow after her. Yes, I said a cow, I grew up on a farm and that's what you do when you love something on a farm. You name a cow after it. My dad once named a cow after an ex-girlfriend of his and it pissed my stepmom way off. Ok I digress. This book is about a paladin. What's that you say? Only a holy knight! Only a divine warrior of good! And what else is Paks? A sheepfarmers daughter! Do you see why I ...more
This book made a criminal out of me.

...let me explain.

This was the first fantasy novel that I remember reading -- the first that wasn't a school library find, aimed at children. This is not a children's book. I was around eleven or twelve and was visiting a neighbor, and saw this cover of a lady in armor on a horse swinging a sword.

And I thought: "Wow. That lady's cool. And she's not wearing a bikini."

So I asked the neighbor if I could borrow it. This is a pretty big book, mind, and I think he d
Lori (Hellian)
ANOTHER LABOR DAY WEEKEND FAIL! I was so excited to finally get to this, and have a wonderful escape. I have a line that I haul out to make fun of people who must have simplicity in their art, the line from Amadeus where the Emperor dismisses Mozart's music because of "too many notes." Well, one good thing about getting older is the ability to laugh at ourselves, and I'm gonna say this book has too many words! Really, 3 chapters for what could have been dealt with effectively in maybe 2 pages? Y ...more
If you aren't bothered by fantasy clichés and are looking for a good story with a strong, female lead you should consider The Deed of Paksenarrion.

This book is an omnibus edition that combines the books Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance and Oath of Gold into one volume. The trilogy was written as one story and tells the tale of Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter, or simply Paks to her friends.

Paks is the daughter of a sheepfarmer from a small hamlet in the middle of nowhere. In order to escap
Dev Null
May 26, 2009 Dev Null rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gritty fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
These books are one of the things she is most famous for, and I like her other stuff, but I avoided these for ages because the jacket blurbs make them sound like such unadulterated schmaltz. As is often the case, said jacket blurbs were probably written by someone who had done no more than look at the (terrible) cover art; the books themselves were quite good. Here Moon turns her talent for making the fantastic feel "normal" and everyday - which I much enjoyed in her sci-fi stuff - on a world of ...more
Mar 16, 2012 SoloSetup rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody!
Shelves: adult-fiction
This is difficult book to get through and it's not because the language is particularly difficult, in fact, the language is simple and direct. Is the language direct because the characters involved are soldiers and simple sentence structure just comes with the territory? I have no idea, but there is a lack of description in the writing which means there's a lack of rhythm to the sentences and the narrative itself. And that gets under my skin like nothing else.

And then there's the characters. I'm
The one-star reviews are right about one thing: if you're not into the trappings of classic high fantasy, you probably won't enjoy Paksenarrion. There are orcs and dwarves and rangers and sentient forests and magic rings and giant evil spiders; people go on quests, and elves save the day more than once. Courage and self-sacrifice are transformative qualities. There is a happy ending and not everyone dies. Sound cliché? Well, it was the eighties and everyone wanted to be Tolkien--gritty medieval ...more
Sheepfarmer's Daughter 4 stars

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.

A well woven introd
This was brilliant and wonderful!
I'll admit, I was a bit put off by the year it was published since I've had mixed experiences with books that were written before I was born...Man, I'm glad I gave this a try despite my worry!
It's a story about a girl named Paksenarrion who sets out to become a warrior. It's a tale of adventure, of trial and error and of overcoming one's fears and doubts.
I was sucked in immediately and couldn't put it down. I was so happy with it that I wanted to recommend it to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Burgandy Ice
Hints more than Spoilers:

My first unforgettable impression was that Moon had a crazy-realistic grasp of what life would feel like as a pawn in a military troop. Paks is a stubborn, passionate, true-to-herself sort of person - she is so great! But she doesn't know these people over her at all, she doesn't know their character or goals or why they are marching over a mountain pass, she is just doing the best she can from where she is. From her point of view the mud is mucky, the fights in the yard
Heather Crabbe
After reading numerous reviews on here, I have a few things to say. One: I had no idea this was a D&D book until I read these reviews! Hilarious that I never caught that. (Probably because I haven't thought about D&D since I was about 12, and didn't think much about it then). Two: Lots of people are complaining about all of the description in the book. I find that to be a strength rather than a weakness, but then I'd claim Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of my favorite authors, so I guess des ...more
Oct 20, 2012 E. rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: reviewed
The one and only reason I haven't flung The Deed of Paksenarrion out of the window, drowned it in a vat of potassium hydroxide, or taken it to Half-Price Books and then used the resulting nine cents to buy myself a much-needed aspirin, is that I haven't reviewed it yet.

Tomorrow, D of P, prepare to meet your richly deserved fate: sent in disgrace and ignominy to the nearest used book store, there to stew in your own fetid juices until some other poor fool staggers along and reads you.

It will surp
Paks has stayed in my mind since I first read Sheep-farmers Daughter in 1988. I have found myself re-reading the trilogy about once a decade since. Perhaps it is because Paks was the first believable female warrior, who was neither a magician nor invincible. Paks is first of all human. She makes mistakes, works hard to learn her skills, doesn't always understand the people around her and experiences both faith and despair. Most of all, Paks is honorable, ethical, steadfast and a true Paladin. Th ...more
Honestly one of the best fantasy trilogies I've ever read. I have no idea how I missed reading it in the last 15 years, and I'm glad I finally did.

When you read a lot of fantasy novels - especially those about war and mercenary companies and female warriors - you sort of get a feeling about how things will go and what will happen.

This trilogy left me guessing - and often sitting on the edge of my seat. The end of book 2 is probably one of the most heart-wrenching reading experiences of my adult
A friend recently posted on Facebook that she was looking for a high fantasy book with a strong female protagonist. I immediately thought of this book.

Quite frankly, I think "strong female characters" in fantasy/science fiction are much less popular than they were 20 years ago. There are lots of love triangles (Paks doesn't need a love interest to keep her strong), fainting spells (Paks get knocked out--she doesn't faint), and vampires and elves (Paks fights orcs and evil elfinkind) in modern fa
I don't understand how so many awesome things could take place in this trilogy and it still be one of the most boring, dry stories I've ever read.

If the author had taken as much time on the character interactions and emotional content as she did over lovingly detailing every muddy field and dense woodland Paks had to march, ride, stumble or otherwise traverse in some fashion, then this would have been a shining beacon of dialogue and deep insight in to the inner workings of the human mind. Sadl
This is my favorite work of fiction. This book is actually a compilation of three novels; "Sheep Farmer's Daughter", "Divided Allegiance" and "Oath of Gold" It is epic fantasy at it's best! It was Published by Elizabeth Moon in 1988, and the Trilogy became a three-volume set in 1992. I have read it yearly since I was a child and I gained my love of fantasy fiction and reading from these novels. Every time I read it, I buy one of those cook at home sourdough rounds and make a beef stew to get int ...more
This is the omnibus edition of the Paksennarion trilogy, and first of the ‘Paksworld’ series, a fairly hefty tome, yet I raced through it at speeds that would, if you compared it to a meal, have left me with fatal indigestion. What can I say; I’ve been starved of truly engaging reading material all year.

At first I didn’t even know if I was going to warm to it; Paks herself was a little too dutifully eager, the story and world a little too straightforward… other reviewers suggest a link to D&
Elizabeth Moon writes some kickass female characters. And this is the first woman character I ever encountered who was a no-nonsense, practical soldier who operated in a military story without any weird little feminine flairs. Too often writers feel the need to feminize their soldiers, or introduce some sort of stereotypical "women's issue"-driven plot. With Moon, that doesn't happen. She just tells a kickass story where the lead is a woman, and deals with things as they come.

Moon herself was pa
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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

Paksenarrion (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Surrender None (Legacy of Gird, #1)
  • Liar's Oath (Legacy of Gird, #2)
  • Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1)
  • Divided Allegiance (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #2)
  • Oath of Gold (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #3)
  • Oath of Fealty (Paladin's Legacy, #1)
  • Kings of the North (Paladin's Legacy, #2)
  • Echoes of Betrayal (Paladin's Legacy, #3)
  • Limits of Power (Paladin's Legacy, #4)
  • Crown of Renewal (Paladin's Legacy, #5)
Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1) Trading in Danger (Vatta's War, #1) The Speed of Dark Command Decision (Vatta's War, #4) Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War, #2)

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“Even if a tamed wolf makes a good sheepdog, he will never understand how the sheep feel....You are most fortunate. For having been, as you thought, a coward, and helpless to fight - you know what that is like. You know what bitterness that feeling breeds - you know in your own heart what kind of evil it brings. And so you are most fit to fight it where it occurs.” 16 likes
“We do not argue that war is better than peace; we are not so stupid as that. But it is not peace when cruelty reigns, when stronger men steal from farmers and craftworkers, when the child can be enslaved or the old thrown out to starve, and no one lifts a hand. That is not peace: that is conquest, and evil.” 0 likes
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