Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon (The Deed of Paksenarrion, Book 2)

A free lance after leaving Duke Phelan’s company, Paksenarrion finds high adventure and faces an evil that changes her irrevocably.

Divided Allegiance was much darker than Sheepfarmer’s Daughter, with Elizabeth Moon taking Paksenarrion to some very dark places. Yet Moon never loses her connection with the ideals of goodness, courage, and loyalty that made Paks such an appealing heroine, even as she’s shaking that idealism to its very foundation.

I always find middle books in trilogies difficult to discuss. I don’t want to spoil the first book, and I don’t know how things will resolve. The highest praise I can give is to say that I can’t wait to read the third book, and in the case of the Deed of Paksenarrion, I picked up book three as soon as humanly possible. (Sharp contrast to the Pellinor series, where I have to keep reminding myself that I ought to track down the last book.)

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