sheepfarmers-daughter-by-elizabeth-moon

Cover Art by Todd Lockwood

When Elizabeth Moon’s Sheepfarmer’s Daughter hit bookshelves in 1988, it boldly announced the arrival of a new voice in the genre.  At the time, much of fantasy on the shelves, and specifically military fantasy, was written by men. What Moon brought to her tale was a deep and authentic military experience; she served in the Marines.  The title alone could be seen as a play on expectations as many fantasies which leaned toward the Epic variety published in the 1980s involved farmboys and prophecies.  This is definitely not the case with this trilogy. The Deed of Paksenarrion was written as one story over three novels, and many people (myself included) have encountered this series through the big blue omnibus Baen published in 1992.

Elizabeth Moon introduces readers to Paksenarrion Dorthansdottir, Paks for short; a young girl who wants nothing to do with the arranged marriage into which her father is forcing her. Despite her father having procured a dowry for her, Paks runs off to join a mercenary group. Much of the novel relays her experience becoming indoctrinated as a soldier through a measured, and very plausible build. While Paks seems to be all-too-perfect and dutiful, she does go through hardships this is the of three acts of the full story. An effective aspect of the narrative was how Moon glossed over months/weeks at a time then focused on the more important scenes, although there seemed to be a lot marching happening. The way in which Paks’s superiors seem more than aware of her growing importance and connection to Gird (a heroic savior from the past) came across quite well.
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Amazon has the US & UK cover art and synopsis of Elizabeth Moon’s upcoming Paladin’s Legacy novel Limits of Power

Here’s the synopsis:
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MIND MELD: What Places Inspire Your Worldbuilding?

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Places. Be it distant cities, or even beyond Earth entirely, strange, unusual and beautiful places can inspire creativity and ideas for stories and novels.

Q: What places, on Earth or beyond, inspire worldbuilding in your writing? What appeals to you about them? Share!
Philippa Ballantine
New Zealand author Philippa Ballantine, is a fantasy writer and podcaster. Her novels Geist, Spectyr, Hunter and Fox and Phoenix Rising; a Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel (co-written with Tee Morris) span many speculative fiction genres. Her works have won an Airship and a Sir Julius Vogel Award, and been in the Goodreads Top Science Fiction books of 2011. Her newest book will be Hunter and Fox, a Shifted World novel, from Pyr.

New Zealand has been my inspiration. Even though it is home there are still places there that I cannot get out of my mind.

Everyone thinks of New Zealand as beautiful and green, but there are places that are far different. They did film Mordor in New Zealand too!

The desert plateau right in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand is a pretty bleak, but it is full of secret rivers, volcanoes some dark and dreary, some topped by snow. Wild horses can still be found racing across the plains there. There are skree slopes that if you don’t keep running down, you’d get buried in. In other words it is beautiful and frightening…just the place for me.

It’s a place made for adventure…and consequently the final showdown in my last book of the Order, Harbinger.

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New eBook in the Suvudu Free Book Library

The Suvudu Free Book Library has been updated with a new title: Sheepfarmer’s Daughter by Elizabeth Moon available in ePub/Stanza, Mobi/Palm/Kindle, and RTF formats.

Here’s the book description:

Paksenarrion–Paks, for short–refuses her father’s orders to marry the pig farmer down the road and is off to join the army. And so her adventure begins–the adventure that transforms her into a hero remembered in songs, chosen by the gods to restore a lost ruler to his throne.

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