Once a sheepfarmer's daughter, now a seasoned veteran, Paksenarrion has proved herself a formidable fighter. Years with Duke Phelan's company have taught her weaponry, discipline, and how to react as part of a military unit. Now, though, Paks feels spurred to a solitary destiny. Against the odds she is accepted as a paladin-candidate by the Fellowship of Gird. Years of study will follow, for a paladin must be versed in diplomacy and magic as well as the fighting arts. But, before she is fully trained, Paks is called to her first mission: to seek out the fabled stronghold of Luap. The way is long, the dangers many - and no one knows whether she will find glory or ruin.
Elizabeth Moon joined the US Marine Corps in 1968, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant during active duty.