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Sheepfarmer's Daughter, by Elizabeth Moon

This is the first book of The Deed of Paksenarrion. It makes a wonderful complement to Black Company for me: a view of a mercenary company from a grunt’s-eye view, rather than the captain and his immortal sorceress lover. The jacket cover gives the impression that Moon has some personal experience with the social issues here. Paks herself is very clearly not a John Ringo character: she isn’t the first up in the morning, she doesn’t magically know about inspections ahead of time, she isn’t obviously a squad leader in training, and when she has doubts about her place in the military, the sergeant can’t easily dismiss them.

Books read this year: 39