by Elizabeth Moon
New York: Baen (Simon & Schuster), 1988.
If you haven't read the first in the series, The Sheepfarmer's Daughter, this is a **spoiler warning** for that title.
After defeating Siniava, the Duke's company has allied with a former pirate. None too pleased with what her compatriots are doing and feeling a pull to other things, Paks leaves the company. Her personal quest will take her beyond what she ever could have imagined when she dreamed of becoming a soldier.
Paksennarion is a great character to spend time with, and I enjoyed the continuing development of her character and story. The world is more fully developed in this book as well - we encounter both elves and dwarfs, and get a sense of the larger forces at work for good and evil. The plot is very episodic, which made it hard for me to understand the overarching storyline, and left me wondering if Book 3 would pull it all together or if I would feel like the first two books were merely setting up the final one. Part of this trouble may lie with my reading rather than the writing - I took an uncharacteristally long time to finish the book in about ten days. In any case, I hope to see those hints of Paks' destiny, the various gods, and the agents of good and evil, come together in Oath of Gold, which I will definitely be reading soon.