(Fireworks went off in my head...that's my birthday month.)
If anyone hasn't met Paks and now thinks maybe that would be a good idea, the first volume of her story, Sheepfarmer's Daughter, is on the Baen Free Library. (Look in the 'books' section to the left, and then find it by title.) The other two books of The Deed of Paksenarrion and the two in The Legacy of Gird were also published by Baen both as individual books and in the omnibus forms. The fiction page on the Paksworld website includes a link to my author page at Baen.
On the other hand, if you want to dive into the new books without worrying about the old, go right ahead. If you want to know more about this fictional universe, the Paksworld site has a lot of background material on people, places, religions (and in coming months, even more...) Or visit the Paksworld blog for updates on the progress of the books, discussions of characters and happenings, snippets, and questions.
Not that I'm eager or anything....