• Sheepfarmer's Daughter

  • The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Moon
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (3,401 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Refusing to marry a pig farmer and joining the army, even if it means never seeing her family again, Paksenarrion begins an adventure that enables her to restore an overthrown ruler.

©1988 Elizabeth Moon (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Sheepfarmer's Daughter

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Listen!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was an unusual book for me - I am not accustomed to reading about a female military heroine - even so, I was not disappointed. After reading this book, I had to find out what happened and eventually finished listening to the series. I was not disappointed I did that.

If you are looking for a new series, this might interest you.

Other books you may like: The Chronicles of Amber (apparently an old series, but I just read it for the first time and loved it), the Riftwar saga by Raymond E. Feist (not on Audible yet, but worth reading), and Trudi Canavan's Black Magician series.

This is assuming you have already read Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series, Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, his Elantris stand alone book, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, and G. R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (Beware - no one is sure when this series will be completed). If you haven't read this list, start with these ones.

If you have completed the above list, you might like Peter V Brett's Painted Man/Warded Man series, the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks, Robin Hobb's Soldier Son trilogy, her Tawny man Series, or her Farseer trilogy.

I enjoyed all of the above series. Some of them were more enjoyable that others, so, please read other reviewers to see if they would be a good fit for you.

If there was a series you enjoyed, please share it. Thanks.

90 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Written book translates to excellent audio book

I read this book when it was first released in 1988. When my husband and I started collecting audio book titles we searched for books that we had once enjoyed reading. We had been looking for The Deed of Paksenarrion ever since we started listening to audio books about a decade ago. This had been one title that had been overlooked for conversion to the audio book format. When it finally came out I snapped it up from Audible.com and I have not regretted it.

Narration: I have been unhappy with some of Jennifer Van Dyck's narrations in the past, mostly when she followed a favored narrator in a series and didn't check previous pronunciations. This time she is coming into the series fresh and has made it her own. I think she has done an exceptional job of making the Paksenarrion tales come to life and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book that I enjoyed reading many years ago. Kudos to Ms. Van Dyck for her performance in the Paksenarrion titles.

Paksenarrion brings to mind an epic journey similar to The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, or The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, only not as lengthy. Alas, I sometimes wish that it were longer, or that Elizabeth Moon were a more prolific writer. Though what she does produce is always worth the time to peruse.

For lovers of the fantasy genre you can't go wrong with any of the Paksenarrion books.

Now if the publishers would go back a bit further and include "Liar's Oath" and "Surrender None" and you would have the complete world from which Paksenarrion comes. "Liar's Oath" and "Surrender None" predate Paksenarrion and explain St. Gird and his assistant Luap and the formation of the Fellowship of Gird.

63 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Intriguing start

This first book hints at the promise of a great series. The feel of this book is entirely like that of a prologue, what I mean is that the entire books seems like it is setting up something for later. The story itself is actually a bit slow as the entire purpose seems to be to introduce and develop the main character, Paks (aka Paksenarrion). Yes there are some battles, but they are almost glossed over and at no time does it really seem that Paks is in any REAL danger, probably because at the start of the book we learn that the entire book is a memoir of some sort. So who is Paks? Well, Paks is/was(?) a person who achieved some sort of greatness, exactly what and how she achieved that greatness is apparently the content of this series. I don't want to give too much away, the mystery of whom and what Paks becomes is central to the enticement of the novel. I fear if I tell you my suspicions, it will diminish some of the pleasure you may feel reading the novel.

Overall this book kept my attention and I looking forward to book 2. To be honest it failed to REALLY grab me, and if the second book continues in this way I can see myself becoming bored. But, if it fulfills the promise foreshadowed in this book the series might be fantastic.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • H
  • 05-03-10

Surprisingly bad

I've been with audible for about 2 years and average 3-4 books a month. This is the first book that I wanted a refund for. It's also the first book I've left a comment on. Since I purchased this book due to the fact it had such great reviews I felt obligated to provide a different point of view. My biggest complaint is that the writing is repetitive and simplistic, the author constantly restates the same idea or phrase over and over, then says it again just in case you missed it. Another issue I had was with the central character, Paksenarrion, she has got to be one of the most boring and dull witted characters I have ever encountered. Her constant "I don't know" responses drove me crazy. This being said I certainly do not have the skills to write a book even close to this caliber and it may be right up someone else's alley, just not mine.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantasy's Red Badge Of Courage

SFD starts like just an unusual fictional period piece. It does not take long, however, to see the diamond in the rough in Elizabeth Moon's heroine Paksanarrion. Set in the "usual" medieval fantasy setting, this book is like other fantasies as Tarzan might have been to Jane Goodall. Paksa is an ordinary soldier - a woman no less. This most unusual book chronicles her initiation and trials as a warrior in a style unusual to fantasy. The story is told from the soldier's POV, not the POV of rulers and generals. Depiction of Paks' evolution as a soldier employs military strategy as a backdrop - quite convincing. I gfound myself sneaking reads between checks on my work. The definition of a good book? Can't put it down. I rated it 4 because I thought that character development and application of psychology could have been stronger. That said, it's Moon's first book. Very promising indeed. Try it for new flavor in fantasy.

20 people found this helpful

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No Guts, No Soul

Tall, strong, pretty, innocent and dumber then sheep. At first I though I would like this, but the story never got going and the character never developed a brain. It starts out as a typical boot camp novel. Then there is a long drawn out trial, in which we know the outcome before it happens. I am talking over an hour. The inciden,t in which had we lived it with the character we would have felt strongly about, was omitted.

Had the main character stayed on the farm it would have been just as interesting. The story has no story, no guts or soul.

The narrator did not sound inspired at all.

Once again I am bucking the system, but if your tastes in books are the same as mine, this will not interest you.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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4+ FANTASY TIRLOGY

25 years ago Sheepfarmer's Daughter got into print and Paksenarrion was introduced to the first reader, over the years Deed of Paksenarrion became a model for fantasy genre.
The story of Honor, Will and Courage, the story of mythical beasts and beautiful creations, the story of foul deeds and Noble sacrifice.


PS
Try to spare some time for this book

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally in Audio Format!!!

I remember first reading this book over a decade ago, and I fell in love with this series. A must read in my opinion if you like high fantasy and believe there is good in the world, all 3 in the series is phenomenal. The narrator is also a good choice, I did enjoy listening to her as her other narrations (Mystic & Rider by Sharon Shinn).

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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really REALLY enjoy this story

i really did read the books 3 times, And have listened to the Deed of Pakanarion once a year since the audiobook became available.

its a real kick to read the beginning knowing the end and appreciate the long vision of a great story teller that Eluzsberh Moon is.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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30 years old & still my favorite

This book was one of the first fantasy books I ever read, in 1988 shortly after release. It was one of my first audible purchases because Paks adventure is one that I revisit regularly.

It is a good vs evil, military recruit, hero’s journey. Ms. Moon presents a feminist utopia, where men & women serve together with mutual respect as professionals and as people. I love this book, so I knew my review would reflect my 30 years’ acquaintance with it, and maybe it doesn’t work for todays audiences. I don’t know.

But Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter is a hero to embrace.

9 people found this helpful

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  • E Groom
  • 09-18-16

A splendid find

Where does Sheepfarmer's Daughter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Whilst I prefer to spend my credits on longer books, I thoroughly enjoyed Sheepfarmer's Daughter. It is the first in the Paksennarion series and I see a long and happy relationship with Elizabeth Moon's fantasy books on myy horizon. I do love a thumping good adventure and I think that's what I have in store....lovely book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sheepfarmer's Daughter?

There are a couple of AHA! moments...it flows very well.

What does Jennifer Van Dyck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I usually prefer English narators for some reason...but Ms Van Dyck did a sterling job and I think I'll happily stick with her through the series.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

some...it would be churlish to give it away tho...

Any additional comments?

I was delighted to come across this author. As a sci-fi/fantasy reader it's such a thrill to find an author that I haven't come across before. Looking forward to the restt of the series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Spyro
  • 11-09-17

Timeless story

I've lost count of how many times I've read the Paksenarrion series, and I was delighted to find it available on Audible. The writing style is perhaps a little old-fashioned now, but as a war story set in a fantasy world, I found it compelling. The fantasy elements are introduced gradually and realistically. The exploration of religion - both personal and corporate - is fascinating (especially in the following books). The author's experience of warfare shows. Some people may find it a little tedious, but I really liked reading about the minutiae of military life, combined as it was with my favourite genre.. The narrator takes a little getting used to, but on the whole I enjoyed the performance.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr G Marsh
  • 10-06-10

great story with an awful narrator

great story with an awful narrator, the narrator injected a number of awful accents thus spoiling the enjoyment.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-17-19

Many names, but good

A lot of names to keep track of, but a good listen. Will recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Leena
  • 01-18-19

A bit Mary Sue but loved it

This book may not be for everyone but personally I loved the detail and how you felt immersed in Paks’s life as she trained to be a fighter. The author seemed to really know her stuff. People got realistically injured, tired and too weak to fight instead of being superhuman. On the downside Paks is one of those too good characters that can do little wrong. It didn’t matter much but I would have liked to see a bit more inner emotional depth e.g when friends she trains with die.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mandyquella
  • 06-14-16

love this series of books

I have the hardback books but due to sight problems I decided to try the audio books and I'm glad I did! They are great and I could listen to the narrator all day! A must for fans of the books

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Collingwood
  • 09-14-22

What a tale!!

One of the most engaging, dynamic and descriptive stories I've listened to in a long time. Listened from start to finish over 2 days and was sorry when it ended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Harry
  • 05-20-22

A great story!

I enjoyed listening to this book which I first read over twenty years ago. The audio experience added a great dimension.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Watson-Thomson
  • 05-11-22

Great Story

Loved it, the story was a superb read. I enjoyed turning it on every morning

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lord logan
  • 01-31-22

Great book

I have read and re read this book more then 30 times and love it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-08-20

Measured introduction, well delivered.

There are no poorly executed clichés or lacklustre payoffs, here.
Moon writes an excellent first entry into her world, devoting this first novel to character development in the military setting that she very clearly understands. It is this solid grounding, and a measured plot, which easily transport the reader- laying out the beginnings of what is clearly the start of a greater saga that I am excited to go on with.

In narration, Van Dyck holds her own, and is not stilted or obnoxious in delivery. (Apologies if that seems disingenuous. This being my first exposure to her work, and me being a very picky listener, I consider that to high praise.)

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for [excellent] entry level fantasy without pretension. I am very much looking forward to listening to the next installment.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-07-21

Excellent day in the life adventure.

For DMs looking to figure out how to play
mercenaries or paladins this is an excellent source for attitudes and details of daily life.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JD (Baen Fan)
  • 07-04-21

An excellent story, excellently read..

The tale of Paksenarrion Dorthansdottir has been a favourite of mine, ever since I read it in the 90's. To hear the same tale being read to me was awesome.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-14-21

Family Favorite.

Paks is one of the very best characters. While I have enjoyed the audio books. I am still waiting for the movie... Nods enthusiastically.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-21

great story

i have loved this book the first time i read it wheñ i was 12. paks is the most honorable hero you will ever read.

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  • Wendy Joy Dombkins
  • 05-28-20

Never tire of the story

This is a book I come back to again and again.
A real terrific tale, along with the rest of the books in the tale.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-23-20

Love it

I've loved this book / series for years. And re-read it regularly. I love the character development that happens through the story. If you have read the series before you can pick up the important character changes.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hymne Truter
  • 06-19-19

A new perspective

An interesting adventure that highlights the highs and lows of medieval battle. The story does shrink away form injustices that happen. Paksenarrion’s strong female character is not forced upon the listener but built up as the story continues.

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  • Awesome
  • 12-28-14

Wonderful!

Loved it so freaking much! best book. readings a bit chalky but really the best book.