Book info

Oath Of Gold (1989)

Oath of Gold (1989)
Rating
4.25 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0671697986 (ISBN13: 9780671697983)
languge
English
series
genre
publisher
baen
Rate book
Oath Of Gold (1989)
Oath Of Gold (1989)

About book: Fantasy Review BarnThis is the third in the ‘Deed of Paksenarrion’ trilogy. The first described how Paks left her home to become a mercenary in Duke Phelan’s company, and was a very down-to-earth story of a soldier’s training and campaigns. The second book saw Paks take off on her own and be sucked into various disconnected enterprises. This book was very disjointed, and heavy on conventional fantasy elements, but the ending raised it above the ordinary. And then there’s this. How to describe something that feels like a different story altogether? I suppose it’s not too spoilerish to reveal that all Paks’s problems at the end of book 2 are airbrushed out of existence very early. There wouldn’t be much of a story if she couldn’t fight again. It’s all a matter of having the right kind of magical power to ‘heal’ her. So that’s all right then.The rest of the book is Paks tearing about the countryside on a quest to find the lost heir to the kingdom, who can be identified by a magical sword, apparently. And there are elves and dukes and squires and royal courts and a great deal of high-flown semi-poetic Tolkienesque language, which the sheepfarmer’s daughter has an unexpected knack for, and everyone’s taking orders from her, it seems, as she transforms before our eyes into a Person of Great Importance. And there’s evil to be defeated, naturally, and the religious overtones are quite heavy and... I would say this is all very clichéd except that it was published in the eighties, so although it’s quite derivative, it was probably the norm for that era.For me, it was a disappointment. I liked the first book very much, and the over-the-top elements of the second book were more than offset by a terrific ending. This has no such redeeming feature, because even a two-year-old could work out how things are going to end. I lost interest, frankly, and had to force myself to finish the last few chapters, not helped by some fairly graphic torture descriptions. I think for those who enjoy a certain type of fantasy, the traditional battle of good versus evil, the hero’s journey, the wordy slightly old-fashioned language of courtiers rather than the more down-to-earth speech of soldiers, this would be a terrific read. It’s difficult to do this well, and the author does a creditable job here. There are some quite lyrical passages, especially when the elves are around, and happily it never quite tips over into parody.The story of how a humble sheepfarmer’s daughter went out into the world, plumbed the depths of despair and finally triumphed to become a paladin, a heroic champion, is well-written, well thought out and even profound, in parts. For those who wish to see such things, there's a fair amount of religious symbolism in Paks's suffering and its aftermath, and the whole business of believing in your god or gods and the power of that, but I found it all a bit heavy-handed. Ultimately it failed at the final hurdle for me, with a limp and contrived plot in the final book and a heroine who isn’t quite convincing in her paladin incarnation. A disappointing end to an otherwise very readable series. Three stars.

This series is one of the favorites of my son-in-law, Nic; so I had to read it to find out why he likes it so much, even to the point of rereading it several times. I really liked the books, although not at first. The story line was OK at first--nothing that throws you on a wild roller coaster and takes you for a ride. That's not why you read this series of books. What has to catch you, and what finally caught me, is do you care about the main character, Paks, and what happens to her. I, s-l-o-w-l-y became more and more interested in Paks and what might happen to her, with her. All of that interest was paid off in this last book of the series, as she moves from a major identity crisis at the end of the second book, and she is accelerated to becoming what she was meant to be in this third book. Plus, I wanted to find out what the "deed" was from the title of the book, and you don't find out until this third book.I also liked the development of all the different religions that were at odds with each other and created tension in the relationships that were being built or destroyed in the storyline. The religious element was definitely a main theme of the books.And speaking of that, there is, for me, a clear Messiah theme in the person of Paks. I am a Christian, and maybe just have that perspective. But we have a main character who comes from being a sheep farmers daughter--humble, and totally out of the way beginnings (in fact, no one knows where she came from whenever she tries to describe where she grew up, it is so out of the way), who becomes a person who always tells the truth, and is about the truth, who ends up going through a gruesome humiliation, crucifixion, resurrection sequence. I know it may not be what you were actually writing about, Elizabeth Moon (write me and let me know if I'm on to what you were [email protected]), but it seemed clear to me. Through that ordeal, Paks was constantly tempted to give up her beliefs not only in her God, but in herself, and chose to hold her beliefs no matter what atrocity was cruelly dealt to her body. I would like to think I would do the same, and I'm hoping I'll never have to go through something similar.One final note is that I, for some reason, pictured Paks as a redhead. But Nic corrected me that she was blond. I don't know how I mispictured her. I read the books on Kindle and never looked at the cover. Guess I'll have to do that. Thanks, Nic, for getting me into this series!
1
353
download or read online
Reviews
Shoshana
Thoroughly enjoyed! I had only made it through this one once as a teenager, so it was particularly cool to rediscover. Paks comes into her own and faces the enormous and painful odds we've seen coming for the whole trilogy. Also, the Duke is awesome and I still totally love him so much.My only major complaint about these books is how freaking shitty the map is. I understand that in the sequels and prequels, which I've never read but hope to read soon, the map situation is no better. Poor effort on the part of the publisher! For a series that depends so heavily on travel and location, the lack of a map is super frustrating.But that's not really Elizabeth Moon's fault, and the whole trilogy still stands out for me in the fantasy scene as original, gripping, and even yet imbued with a feeling of newness, a couple decades after it was written.
Chad Warner
The fantasy quest achieves a much grander scale here than the previous two books in the trilogy (Sheepfarmer's Daughter and Divided Allegiance). It has a more complex and compelling plot, and more action and adventure. The tale involves loyalty, faith, mystery, magic, and clashes of good and evil.(view spoiler)[After everything she went through in the prior books, I enjoyed seeing Paksenarrion gain powers and confidence. The end seemed somewhat abrupt. (hide spoiler)]
Emily (BellaGrace)
MEH... so over this series. These books came off very "young adult" to me - and I feel that might even be too disparaging to young adult literature. Let me save you the trouble of reading these three books. Here's the entire series in a nutshell:A Tolkien ripped off world, meets utter cliche and predictability. Mary Sue hero gets herself into a constant stream of dangerous and ridiculous situations, endures hardships and comes out all (literally) shining and bright. No one is ever in any danger. Is there an original thought in the entire series? I don't think so.
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)