Friday, March 12, 2010

Oath Of Fealty - Elizabeth Moon

Oath Of Fealty
Elizabeth Moon
Del Rey
Publishing Date: March 16, 2010
978-0345508744

The Amazon.com description:
Elizabeth Moon’s bestselling science fiction novels featuring Kylara Vatta have earned her rave reviews and comparison to such giants as Robert Heinlein and Lois McMaster Bujold. But as Moon’s devoted fans know, she started her career as a fantasy writer. The superb trilogy known as The Deed of Paksenarrion is widely judged to be one of the great post-Tolkien fantasies, a masterpiece of sustained world-building and realistic military action. Now Moon returns to this thrilling realm for the first time in nearly twenty years. The result: another classic in the making.

Thanks to Paks’s courage and sacrifice, the long-vanished heir to the half-elven kingdom of Lyonya has been revealed as Kieri Phelan, a formidable mercenary captain who earned a title—and enemies—in the neighboring kingdom of Tsaia. Now, as Kieri ascends a throne he never sought, he must come to terms with his own half-elven heritage while protecting his new kingdom from his old enemies—and those he has not yet discovered.

Meanwhile, in Tsaia, Prince Mikeli prepares for his own coronation. But when an assassination attempt nearly succeeds, Mikeli suddenly faces the threat of a coup. Acting swiftly, Mikeli strikes at the powerful family behind the attack: the Verrakaien, magelords possessing ancient sorcery, steeped in death and evil. Mikeli’s survival—and that of Tsaia—depend on the only Verrakai whose magery is not tainted with innocent blood.

Two kings stand at a pivotal point in the history of their worlds. For dark forces are gathering against them, knit in a secret conspiracy more sinister—and far more ancient—than they can imagine. And even Paks may find her gods-given magic and peerless fighting skills stretched to the limit—and beyond.
I was saying over on my Upcoming Books post that I hoped the store got Oath of Fealty in early. Well, they did. Yesterday. Privilege of working at the store meant that I was able to grab my copy off the cart in the back almost before it was out of the box.

Oath of Fealty was well worth the years wait since The Deed of Paksenarrion came out - over fifteen years, I think. I half worried that my anticipation of the book - I found out last year that it was coming out - would build it up to a point where I'd be disappointed. Not in the slightest. The characters all felt 'right', although the book was told in a very different manner.

Where The Deed of Paksenarrion was all from the point of view of Paksenarrion, Oath of Fealty is from a number of viewpoints; both of established characters and new ones. Some of the characters we meet again as viewpoint characters are Dorrin Verrakai, Kieri Phelan, Sergeant Stammel, Captain Arcolin and a number of others. The new characters include the Crown Prince of Tsaia and his friends.

This book picks up right where The Deed of Paksenarrion left off, with Kieri Phelan having just arrived in the capital city of Lyonya, and goes into the aftermath of the treasonous attack by the majority of the Verrakai family.

I did find that I have a few minor quibbles with this book - nothing major (aside from the fact I now have to wait for the next book to come out). Mostly that I don't remember the use of the term "hand" for five in the first books, yet it's used here all the time.

The wait was definitely worth it for Oath of Fealty. If you liked the earlier books: The Deed of Paksenarrion and The Legacy of Gird, I'm sure you'll like this one as well.
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