Ok it's a new day and along with it comes fresh, new perspective on things.
I just read the first chapter of the Sheepfarmer's Daughter (Deed of Parksenarrion) and it was much more enjoyable. It still feels rough, but I can see the fun in it. I'll read this one and then see if I want to continue the series.
There are some great suggestions in this thread that I will definitely come back to though!