Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon

If Moon doesn't do quite as good a job of returning to a world she abandoned twenty years ago as C.J. Cherryh did with Regenesis, much of it can be put down to the fact that she's simply a better writer now. Don't get me wrong, Deed of Paksenarrion is one of my favorite 'classic D&D style fantasy novels', but it was an early work and it shows...although it is lifted to a higher level by Moon's experience as a marine and her remarkable ability to express what basic training, life as a private soldier and officer training might really be like in a fantasy world.

Oath of Fealty picks up right about where Deed of Paksenarrion leaves off, but takes the viewpoint away from the young Paladin to three of her 'supporting' characters. Kieri Phelan, now king of Lyonia, and his former captains Arcolin and Dorrin. There is less fighter stuff and more magic in this book (the first of a trilogy), and it's also longer...about the same length as two of the Deed books. It shows some influences of what has happened in fantasy since (Elizabeth, when did you read Game of Thrones), but is overall very good. I can't wait for the second and third volumes...this already reads more like one huge book her editor made her split up than three.

A good read if you like your fantasy old school with much more black and white good and evil than Game of Thrones or, say, Morgan's Steel Remains.