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Oath of Gold
1998 | ISBN: 1857236912 | HTML and PDF | pages 512 | 1.21Mb
Oath of Gold (The deed of Paksenarrion)
By Elizabeth Moon
* Publisher: Orbit
* Number Of Pages: 512
* Publication Date: 1998-11-05
* ISBN-10 / ASIN: 1857236912
* ISBN-13 / EAN: 9781857236910
Paks was somebody special. Never could she have followed her father's orders and married the pig farmer from down the road. Better a soldier's life than a pigfarmer's wife, so, knowing she can never return home, she runs away to be a soldier, beginning an adventure which will transform her.
I found my copy in the free box at the library. I only picked it up because I found all three books. It is now one of my favorites. I found that is is very different from book one. It is similar to the second book, which is a bit like a transition between book one and book three. It is very original fantasy. The ending was a bit unsatisfactory. You never learn what happened to everyone other than who's King of Lyonya and that Paks defeats Liart, at least temporarily. What happens to the Duke's sense of taige? A follow-up would be welcomed. All together though, it was a very good book. :)
Summary: Above-average military high fantasy
This final volume of the 1,500-page trilogy is a rip-roarer, right enough. Paks, having been left in a state of profound fear and trembling after her experiences with Evil -- and which everyone equates with cowardice -- comes back to the Kuakgan's grove and begins her healing. The gods need her to be a paladin and they see to it that she becomes one, never mind that she didn't finish the training. And from that point, the story becomes (as several of the characters themselves point out) a classic "lost prince" fairy tale. Many of the plot points refer back to events that might have puzzled the reader in the earlier volumes, but it's all well handled. (You should read these volumes straight through, one after the other, though.)
Summary: Amazing conclusion to the Paks trilogy!
What an amazing conclusion to the Paksenarrion trilogy! This is the book where we get to see Pak's first quest as a paladin. She must find a lost king. I'm not going to spout out plot here since enough of the reviews due that and well, that's what the back cover is for. :P
What I find interesting about paladins in general is their unquestioning faith. They answer to a call from their God and they go, willingly, trustingly, into wherever it is they must go.
I'll admit though, I was angry for a while with some of this book. In Divided Allegiance, Paks went through so much darkness that to see her go through even worse this time...yeah, I was angry with her God for that for a while. Logically, I understand why she had to do what she did and how what she goes through alters the way people behave and think around her. It's for the greater purpose that she endures what she does. Well, they never said a paladin's road was an easy one to take. It's a tough journey, but Paks is strong enough to take it and survive it with a strength that simply amazes me.
I love this character. I found her story to be a captivating read and one of those that causes you to pause and think about it more long after you've finished. All in all...well done.
Summary: The Royal Way
Oath of Gold (1989) is the third fantasy novel in the Paksenarrion series, following Divided Allegiance. In the previous volume, Paks was captured by iynisin -- evil elves -- and forced to fight against orcs and maybe other enemies. When her friends came to rescue her, Paks was dressed in cursed black armor and released behind the orc lines. She killed the orcs in front of her and was about to swing on her own friends, but finally managed to call upon Gird and was frozen in mid-movement. She was brought out of the iynisi caverns and provided with some healing, but the wounds on her body could not be completely healed by anyone in her party.
Later, Paks was taken back to Fin Panir and passed to the healers for more healing, but her wounds still could not be fully healed. When she mixed with the trainers and trainees, she showed signs of irritation and temper. The Marshall-General was disturbed by this personality change and suggested that she had suffered more from her captivity than suspected. The Marshall-General wanted to do a thorough examination of her mind for evidence of hidden evil and then clean out such influences as much as possible. Nonetheless, she warned Paks that such treatment might destroy her effectiveness as a warrior.
Duke Phelan was invited to the conference on Paks and stayed for the discussion with her. He was very disturbed by the recommended treatment and offered her a position as one of his captains within the Company. Angered at their seeming distrust of her, he declared that he will always trust her no matter what. But Paks agreed to undergo the mental surgery.
The psychic operation wiped out all traces of the evil within her mind, but left her fearful of her weapons and even animals. She refused to stay in the school, so the Marshall-General got her a job tending sheep. The shepherd was not impressed and neither were her fellow herders, so she was fired and wandered across the north country as a vagabond.
In this novel, Paks wanders into Brewersbridge and, despite her desire to remain anonymous, finds herself within the Kuakkganni grove, facing Master Oakhallow. He provides her with food and rest, holding most questions until she has time to relax within his grove. The trees and birds soon calm her and gradually the story comes out.
Master Oakhallow slowly leads her into examining her feelings, ignoring the fear itself, but focusing on her understanding of courage. He points out that the fear she feels is much like that of ordinary people when faced with the misfortunes of life, yet they continue with their lives as best they can, working for better times for themselves and their families.
He teaches Paks that courage is not the lack of fear, but the doing of that which must be done despite such fear. When her mind is ready, Master Oakhallow completely heals her physical wounds. After Paks learns to overcome her fear, Master Oakhallow gets her a position with the Lyonyan rangers.
After six eventful months with the rangers, Paks comes back to Brewersbridge. She renews old friendships and proves her courage by her behavior. She only stays a few days, for she feels compelled to go to Duke Phelan.
At the stronghold of the Company, Paks declares herself to be fully recovered from the iynisi conditioning and the subsequent treatment. The Duke offers her a position as one of his captains, but she demurs, stating that it wouldn't be fair to those who have been with him so long. She also tells him that she may be returning to Fir Panir for more paladin training. He suggests that some of that training will be available within his Company.
In this story, Paks now knows that she is already a paladin, chosen by the gods themselves and given the capabilities of sensing good and evil directly, calling light, and healing. Paks is not yet sure whether she is protected from evil attack, nor does she know if she has any other talents. She is not even certain how she will explain her paladin status to the Marshall-General.
Paks has gained a valuable lesson in empathy, for she has been there with the common people in fear and trembling. She has also learned to trust her own thinking and feelings; she will never again blindly obey anyone, even the Marshall-General. Her loyalty is first to the High Lord and then to Gird himself and only afterwards to any human authorities.
This novel is the conclusion of the trilogy. Although other volumes -- Surrender None and Liar's Oath -- have filled in the backstory of this series, the author went on to write science fiction. If you have not read Hunting Party, I suggest that you do so. Her SF is just as good as, if not better than, her fantasy
Highly recommended to Moon fans and to anyone else who enjoys tales of personal development, quests for missing royalty, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
-Arthur W. Jordin
Summary: Paksenarrion Achieves Her Quest
The final book in The Sheepfarmer's Daughter: The Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy is not my favorite book of the three, but an excellent fantasy novel nevertheless. Author Elizabeth Moon's writing is faultless. Dialouge and descriptions both flow so naturally that the book comes alive. The books starts out great. Paks is despondent, almost suicidal. She turns to the Kuakkgan, a mysterious Druid-like figure for help. The Kuakkgan is one of the most intriguing and original characters in this fantasy series or any other.
My main beef with Oath of Gold is that as the book progresses, Paks becomes less human and more of a legendary hero in a painting. Her relationships with the Duke, other soldiers and commanders become more stiff. One things I am upset with is that the trilogy has NO sex or romance. There is not even a kiss. So many promising mates for Paks just end up admiring her and calling her "Lady." The most passionate relationship she has is with her horse.