At WisCon last weekend, they announced that the guests of honor for next year will be Nisi Shawl and Elizabeth Moon.

I've read some of Nisi's work (and plan to read more), but I am embarrassed to admit that I've read only one of Moon's books.

Moments after the GoH announcement, everyone around me started saying, “The Deed of Paksenarrion is such a great book!”

My only association with the book (or trilogy, in its original form) is Cat F's lovely song “Fair Were the Towers." A night or two after WisCon, I was listening to iTunes while doing magazine administrative stuff, and the song came on, and it seemed like some sort of a hint from the Universe that perhaps I ought to finally read the book.

But now I see that in its combined one-volume form, it's over a thousand pages long.

Which is usually just too long for me. I am, sadly, a relatively slow reader; it would take me weeks, or longer, to get through a book that long.

I'll probably read it anyway. I think the only other fantasy novel that I've heard this consistently positive things about over this many years was Tigana, and when I finally read that, it became one of my favorite books.

But I'm in the middle of half a dozen other books at the moment, and I wince at how long it's going to take me to get through everything.

It helps that Baen provides the first twenty chapters for free online. I'll probably start with that.

(Wrote this a couple days ago, forgot to post it.)

4 Responses to “Paksenarrion”

  1. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yah — unfortunately, to get the real impact, you really do need to read all three. The first book is good, but it’s the three together that are truly great.

    If it helps, it’s one of the best examples of the kind of moral character stuff that we were talking about the other day that I can think of. Done excellently well.

    • Jed

      M: Good to know that I shouldn’t stop after the first one. Thanks for the recommendations!

      Betsy: Good to know that not everyone loves Paksenarrion; that may usefully temper my expectations.

      Alas, Speed of Dark (the only Moon book I’ve read) didn’t do much for me; perhaps partly because I had just read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and various other stuff about autism, and felt that Speed of Dark didn’t go as far with its ideas as I wanted it to. But I know that lots of people loved it.

      Diana: Thanks for the additional recommendation.

  2. betsyl

    huh. i read those in college and liked them but was not stunned.

    however, _the speed of dark_ is amazing.

  3. Diana Sherman

    I loved that one. It’s actually on my reread rotation (for those times when you need something familiar and comforting – like right after getting your tonsils out:-))

    Ditto Mary Anne. I hadn’t thought of it that way before, but Moon does do a great job developing Paksenarrion’s morality and making it feel natural.


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