Friday, May 31, 2013

Review: The Oathbreaker's Shadow (The Knots Sequence #1) by Amy McCulloch

Book Description:

Hardcover, 416 pages
June 6th 2013, Random House Children's Publishers (UK)

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.

A gripping YA action-adventure fantasy, the first part of a planned duology

Source: Harriet + Random House UK (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

From page one I was drawn to the story world of The Oathbreaker's Shadow. It had a distinct, exotic vibe about it. Featuring the vibrant nomadic culture and society of Darhan that coexist with magic, power and legends, this novel offered me a vacation in a unique world. The exotic flavor was so strong that it reminded me of the strange but beautiful vibe that I savored in The Tiger's Quest Saga.

Raim was about to turn sixteen, the Honour Age. By sixteen, he will shoulder the honour and responsibility of each and every oath that he makes. It's also the day when he can finaly attempt to become Yun. Compared to the usual fifteen-year-olds that I encounter in YA, Raim was more responsible and mature although there were still certain decisions and matters in his life that he couldn't fully understand because of his age. If I didn't know that he was fifteen, I would have never thought of him as one. Determined and passionate about becoming Yun, protective of his sister Dharma and his grandfather and fiercely loyal to his best friend, Khareh, I found him very easy to relate to and understand.

As the best friend of Prince Khareh, Raim was constantly being dragged into trouble. Khareh was daring, adventurous and fearless. He always had an air of confidence - sometimes even overconfidence - that he could bend things to get his way. I found him charming at times and cruel and inconsiderate inn others. It was like there were two parts of him. This dualism in Khareh's character really intrigued me.

The journey to Lazar, the city of the Chauk otherwise known as oathbreakers, was dangerous and eventful. Becoming an exile definitely changed Raim for the better. Experiencing the fierce glare of Sola and the difficult survival in the desert made him appreciate the true meaning of life. Along the way, he met the Alashans, nomads who know the desert like the back of their hands, and the ever-tormented Chauk. Life out of Darhan was something else altogether. The exiled Raim was hungry for life and freedom and persistently tried to prove his worth.

The social structure in The Oathbreakaer's Shadow really caught my attention. There were no families in the strict sense. Instead, people lived according to their purpose. They were anchored to their clans. Children were raised not by their birth parents but by the wise elders of each clan.

The storytelling was superbly done, woven with magic and unpredictability. The action was what I would consider detailed and movie-like in such a way that I could imagine it blow by blow. Throughout the novel there were bursts of revelations, parts that would shock me and sometimes even throw me off balance. I was constantly guessing, thinking. In short, I was just too curious about every little thing that happened in the book.

The Oathbreaker's Shadow is unputdownable, unforgettable and unparallelled with its exotic flavor, well-built story world, well-developed characters, well-executed storytelling, heart-pounding action and twists. Readers who are looking for fantasy novels with unforgettable story worlds, unpredictable reades, exotic/oriental-like ambiance might enjoy this. I highly recommend this to readers of YA fantasy and YA adventure novels: You need this in your life!


5 Cupids = Eternal book love.
I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!

1 comment:

  1. Gah, I think you just sold tons of The Oathbreaker's Shadow. Such an awesome review! Warrior. Traitor. Saviour. So excited for this!