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Book Review: Oath of Fealty – Elizabeth Moon

July 7, 2011

I’m not sure how often I intend to do this, but as I just finished reading a book, I thought it was a good time to provide a few thoughts on it. We’ll see if I keep on doing this/change the format.

Oath of Fealty – Elizabeth Moon

Oath of Fealty is the first in Moon’s third series set in the Paksenarrion universe. I first read The Deed of Paksenarrion, which was a collection of the first three novels  sometime in the mind 90’s – they were originally published from 1988-1990. The series is not high literature – you are not going to be blown away with amazing plot devices, intricately styled sentences, or any other high-brow writing. However, it is wonderfully good fun, features a strong female lead character (as indeed, do almost all of Moon’s books), and has a very richly described world. I enjoy the way in which she describes the military units in the world (called cohorts), and various religions and national factions that she has developed.

Oath of Fealty takes a step back from the main character of the earlier novels (Paksenarrion), and instead focuses on the individuals who surrounded Paks in the previous books. These include her commander, her captain (of the smaller unit she was a part of), and another captain within the same military unit. The book spends much of its time dealing with these three stories as they diverge at the beginning.

As with most of Moon’s novels, this is not a complete tale – she seems to write specifically so that the books are easily put into omnibus editions. By the end of the novel we are left with more questions than answers, and while progress has been made on each of the stories, not a single one feels like it has been resolved. I’m happy there will be further books… but it does make for frustrating reading.

I realize I haven’t said too much about the actual book here. Partly because I’m really unsure of how much to write in a book review.. what topics to cover… that kind of thing. I’ll probably write more in depth or structure a review more in the future, but for now, I’ll end it with this: Oath of Fealty is engaging and enjoyable to read, with strong characters. Although meant to hang on its own, a reader would definitely benefit from having read the previous books set in this world, and I think it would even be more satisfying if one waited till the trilogy was complete, to ensure that you could actually have some resolution. I’d say around a 3.5/5.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alicia permalink
    July 7, 2011 3:32 pm

    you should read and review The Hunger Games I think you might like it 🙂

    • July 7, 2011 3:43 pm

      I have not read it… I’ll put it on the list. I see you are busy at work making sure your greader list is clear 😛

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