Monday, 23 June 2014

The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch

Synosis (from Goodreads

Pages: 416
Publisher: Random House Children's Publisher
Released: 6th of June 2013

Fifteen-year-old Raim lives in a world where you tie a knot for every promise that you make. Break that promise and you are scarred for life, and cast out into the desert.

Raim has worn a simple knot around his wrist for as long as he can remember. No one knows where it came from, and which promise of his it symbolises, but he barely thinks about it at all—not since becoming the most promising young fighter ever to train for the elite Yun guard. But on the most important day of his life, when he binds his life to his best friend (and future king) Khareh, the string bursts into flames and sears a dark mark into his skin.

Scarred now as an oath-breaker, Raim has two options: run, or be killed.

What I Have To Say

I know I say this about a lot of books, but this is one of the most interesting worlds I have come across in a Fantasy novel. McCulloch has created three quite distinct cultures and while this does mean that there is a lot of infodumping (way more than necessary to be honest) it makes the world feel very real and well rounded.

The magic system was also a really good part of the book. The idea of using knots for magic isn't unique, but there is a perfect sense of symbolism in the act of making knots when making a promise, which I think fits very well.

I really liked the characters as well. Draikh and Wadi especially really stood out for me. Wadi because of her roots and personally history and Draikh because of his sarcasm as well as who he is and what he can do.

I'm really looking forward to the next book and not just because of the cliffhanger it ended on.

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