|Submitted by Christopher Ware|
(May 15, 2001)
(The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 1)I'd seen this book highly recommended several places and finally got around to picking it up. I loved it! There were several places throughout the book where I just couldn't put it down. I just had to see what happened next. Rather than have this high tension environment throughout the book, Ms. Moon has interspersed scenes that are more relaxed and contemplative, which makes for a very well rounded read. I absolutely loved the prolog. Those first two pages set the tone for the entire book. I'm halfway through the second book, DIVIDED ALLEGIANCE, as I write this and I can say that it continues in this tone of storytelling. The best thing about this book is Paks, the main character. In the first page of the first chapter, I was immediately sympathizing with her. She wants action and adventure, not to marry some pig farmer's son. She wants it so bad that she will defy her father's wishes and run away from her family and everything she's ever known. I was hooked right away. Throughout the book, we experience with her all the joys of military life: recruitment, training, marching, her first battle. These are all done vividly and realistically, making the reader feel as if they are actually there. Paks' feelings and thoughts become ours. Not only is Ms. Moon's characterization brilliant, but her story is engaging, too. I get the impression that most of this book was just set up material for the rest of the series. There were numerous small things that were hinted at in this book that I'm sure will turn out to have great impact later on. On its own, this book is a brilliant military fantasy. The villain they end up chasing around the country, though not actually shown until the very end, is expertly developed. The things he does to prisoners, his tactics, and the way he treats his subjects all combine to make for a nasty villain. I really enjoyed this book. If you like fantasy, but are looking for something different than the usual fare, this will definitely satisfy you. Brilliantly developed and engaging characters, great narration, and an exciting story all add up to take the reader on a thorougly rousing ride.