Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Oath Of Fealty Oath Of Fealty
by Elizabeth Moon

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

Oath of Fealty is Elizabeth Moon’s first sequel to the Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy, and for those who have championed her story telling there has been a twenty one year wait for this book, with at least another to follow.

Paksenarrion’s story proper finished in the trilogy, although she does make more than a token appearance in Oath of Fealty, with this new book being about the lives of the main characters in the mercenary company she served in after her elevation to paladin-hood. And what a change in station all of them are having. The company commander, Kieri Phelan, becomes a king; his principal captain, Jandelir Arcolin, succeeds to the command; Dorrian Verrakai, discovers and recovers her birthright; and several guerrilla wars of attrition are being fought by the company and its former principals.

Elizabeth Moon has a light touch with her militarily themed fantasy; concentrating not on the war but on the characters, how they cope with situations beyond their control and the realisation that they are but cogs of a larger machine. The author cares about her characters and it shows in the tale unfolding through the book.

Was the twenty one year wait worth it? Undoubtedly yes! Why come back to a story that appeared finished so long ago? The only thing left for Paksenarrion was elevation to godhood or degradation back to shepherd’s daughter – but tragedy is not Elizabeth Moon’s style – so revisiting those who lived with Paksenarrion is the perfect sequel.

I enjoyed this book and was disappointed that it ended as a story only half told. I shall actively be seeking out the next volume in this tale.

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