The Oathbreaker’s Shadow by Amy McCulloch
In Raim’s world, promises are magical knots that bind you to your oath. If you break it, you pay dearly – by exile and because you’re haunted forever by the person you broke the promise to.
Publisher’s Description: Fans of Philip Pullman, Jonathan Stroud, and George R.R. Martin are going to love this action-filled fantasy novel by an exciting and extremely promotable debut voice in the genre.
In the world of fifteen-year-old Raim, you tie a knot for every promise you make. Break that promise and the knot will burst into flames, scarring your skin and forever marking you as an oathbreaker. Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one seems to know where it came from or which promise it symbolizes, and Raim barely thinks about it at all–especially not since he became the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the day that he binds his life to that of his best friend (and the future king), Khareh, the rope ignites and sears a dark mark into his skin. Scarred now as an oathbreaker, Raim has two options: run or be killed. He chooses to run, taking refuge in the vast desert among a colony of exiled oathbreakers. Will he be able to learn the skills he needs to clear his name? And even if he can, how can he keep a promise he never knew he made in the first place?
Possible spoilers beyond this point.
Kat Mandu says…
I really enjoyed this book. It was something different from what I usually read and yet had all the elements I enjoy about a fantasy—well-rounded characters, excellent plots, and awesome world building.
The feel for me while reading this book was very Prince of Persia. The desert, sword fighting, and other settings were really cool and, since I love Prince of Persia, it was right up my alley.
The only minor issue I had was that some scenes were rushed – or at least seemed rushed to me, so I kinda didn’t grasp what all was happening. I know I was a little confused by the garfalcon (gyrfalcon for those of you not in the UK) and how it ate his oath, but also what it meant for Raim. Also, there was a cave in at the end that really threw me for a loop.
Nevertheless I really liked it. The author loves to beat the crap out of Raim, so I anticipate seeing a lot more pain, both physically and emotionally (now that he cares for Wadi and she has been taken by Khareh). But that’s what makes books great, yeah? All the pain the characters have to struggle through.
This was a great read for those looking for some great adventure and lots of swashbuckling action.
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