|Oath of Fealty is Elizabeth
Moons 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.
Paksenarrions 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 shepherds daughter but tragedy is not
Elizabeth Moons style so revisiting those who lived with Paksenarrion is the
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.