James's Reviews > Divided Allegiance

Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon
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's review
Sep 18, 11

Read from September 17 to 18, 2011

Overall this book was much better than the first one in the series. Why, I can't say. It just felt more complete and 'right', where the first felt that it didn't quite know what and where it was going this one had a definite purpose to the story - even if it was never really apparent.

I think that the two biggest complaints I had with the previous book, Sheepfarmer's Daughter, was the boring 'bridge sections' between action and plot points, and the characters simpleness and lack of reality. Both these complaints were challenged within this book, with there being never a boring moment and the characters all developing into deep, complex people that started to seem real to me.

The plot itself was much more fun too. I know that he first books in series are always a little bit slower because you have to have the characters grow from nothing, but it was still good to finally have Paks fully developed and to see the action had evolved with her (if that makes sense). I'll be honest but I feel that this series doesn't have a plot as per se, but rather does follow the life of Paks. Both the books I have read so far have held three stories worth of plots, as if each one has described various escapades not neccesarily linked... I don't know how to explain this... there was no build up to a series arc but rather three stories within each book. As such, if you could understand what I have said, the story felt more plausible and real - as if it really was the telling of a warrior's life, and not a story cobbled together for entertainment.

I was also pleased to note that either she got a better edititor, got better at writing or I was reading a better copy. Because the quality of the writing improved considerably to match the quality I had come to expect from her. It was easy to read, fun and compelling. Exactly what you want from a good book; a great tale told by a skilled author.

I think that the best part for me in this whole series was the end, and the devastating events that befell Paks. They really brought me closer to her as a character and was very emotional. I particularly liked the letters at the end, which seemed to speak all of themselves of the events whilst also showing the detachment that her friends (and the Marshall-general) felt from Paks' plight and the inability they had too help - whilst at the same time showing how the world was still turning, and that in the grand scheme of things Paks was not that large.

So, this is a definite improvement from the previous book and promises much more for the finale. I am aware that there is a follow up series but which does not follow Paks as this one does, which saddens me as I feel that Paks is a great character that should be carried forward. However, if it is as well written as this then I will happily read it (I think).

For those Fantasy readers out there this series is a good book and definitely worth the read. Trust me when I say that if you are put off by the first book then you are being deprived of a great tale, and I would advise you to stick with it.

Have Fun Reading.

(Sorry of this review seems... off... I'm not feeling too well and my mind feels foggy and my typing is off aswell)
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