The Oathbreaker's Shadow

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The Oathbreaker's Shadow

by Amy Mcculloch

Doubleday Canada | June 4, 2013 | Hardcover

The Oathbreaker's Shadow is rated 3.75 out of 5 by 4.

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?

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.56 × 5.64 × 1.42 in

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038567824X

ISBN - 13: 9780385678247

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from imaginative, exciting, unique and fun YA adventure This is a great book. I'm an avid (adult) reader, and I had a great time reading this fabulous YA adventure story as a bit of a break from my typically heavier literary fare. There were lots of times I didn't want to put it down because I wanted so very much to know what would happen next! It is definitely on my list of great gift ideas for the teens and pre-teens I know, and I have recommended it to adults I know who enjoy YA/fantasy. As other reviewers mentioned, the world created by McCulloch is unique and imaginative, and rich with clever details which make the exotic locales of the story come alive. Even though it is technically in the fantasy genre, it is definitely accessible to any mainstream reader and would interest anyone who just likes a solid adventure, imaginative characters and lots of fun in a good read.
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After The Oathbreaker's Shadow is an imaginative fantasy, the story of a boy's adventure through the desert to uncover the secrets from his past. This is precisely the type of book I'd like to see more of (a less prevalent setting, particularly the Middle Eastern-inspired desert and a very creative system of magic). Reason to Read: 1. A very unique plot: I loved the whole idea Amy put together with the consequences of having a shadow follow you for your life if you broke an oath, and the effects of being ostracized along with it. This is the book's greatest strength and it isn't like other stories I've read. It's so interesting to think about what this experience would be like, particularly for a teenage boy having to lose his family, friends, community, and even his future aspirations. That's an absolutely devastating loss and I liked the focus and attention paid to it. The problem for me was that I ultimately failed to connect with The Oathbreaker's Shadow. So while there were a handful of aspects I found interesting, overall the story was one that did not resonate with me. By the end of the book, I didn't feel like I had been on the journey with Raim. It's also a far slower adventure story than I'm used to, and it seemed like I spent a fair amount of time waiting for something exciting to happen. The characters lacked any strong development so that they felt more like caricatures than real people. But I think this book was more of a case where it didn't work for me and my own personal tastes. Readers who don't mind a fantasy book with a slower pace would likely enjoy it, particularly with the creative plot. There isn't much resolution at the end of this first book, clearly setting it up for a sequel where I anticipate there will be many more revelations regarding Raim's situation. For those of you are curious about this book and think it sounds like something you'd enjoy, I encourage you to check out my friend Christa's review of The Oathbreaker's Shadow on her blog More Than Just Magic for a different take on the book from what I shared here. Review copy received from Random House Canada; no other compensation was received.
Date published: 2014-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from High Fantasy Dune The Oathbreaker’s Shadow takes us deep into a unique, richly imagined desert setting and introduces us to a boy who has broken a vow he doesn’t even remember making. Outcast from the society he has called home, he searches for an answer, all while just trying to stay alive. The worldbuilding in The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is fantastic. It is such a unique setting – a desert society, nomadic groups, a hidden city. There is just so much to this world McCulloch has created. You can tell she has thought of every detail. From societal customs, to dress, to religion, to political structure. It’s all here. This is both a plus and a small drawback. On the one hand, it takes awhile for the story to really get going, so much of the early book is spent on explaining everything. But on the other (more important) hand, you can really lose yourself in this world and even though it all came from McCulloch’s head I felt like I could picture it in vivid detail. Though the main focus of the novel is on Raim, there are a whole host of other characters for you to get to know as well. Not an overwhelming amount but enough that it seemed full. One if particular – a girl named Waid – I really liked. I liked Raim too but sometimes he seemed a little naive. With Waid, I liked how she could be both a strong female character and a flawed character. One doesn’t have to negate the other. It makes for more interesting reading. The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a book with huge cross over appeal – young adult and adult fantasy fans are going to find a lot to love. It’s sort of like the high fantasy version of Dune. It’s written in a more classical, epic fantasy style, but still very accessible. There were a couple of times I needed to go back and read over a passage or two, but it wasn’t enough times to really make a difference. I was so absorbed in this story I just wanted to know what happens next. Recommendation: Highly recommended for those who like to lose themselves in incredibly detailed fantasy. Great for fans of George R R Martin and Ellen Oh’s Prophecy. Not recommended for those who enjoy faster paced reads or more action/battle heavy fantasy titles. This and other reviews on More Than Just Magic (http://morethanjustmagic.org)
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant YA Book This book has a story like no other I've ever heard before - very fresh and interesting. Although I wanted to read it in one sitting, I was forced to put the novel down a few times (work, life, etc.) and the story still kept my attention. There is a lot of thought and detail put into the writing, the words are so vivid and tactile that you feel you are in the story yourself. The story is intelligent yet easy to follow and you get quite invested in the characters. A magnificent debut for Raim, and his creator, Amy McCulloch.
Date published: 2013-10-24

– More About This Product –

The Oathbreaker's Shadow

by Amy Mcculloch

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.56 × 5.64 × 1.42 in

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 038567824X

ISBN - 13: 9780385678247

From the Publisher

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?

About the Author

AMY McCULLOCH is an editor and writer based in London. A pop-culture obsessive, she has published several teen-oriented non-fiction titles under the pseudonym Amy Rickman, including Gleeful! A Totally Unofficial Guide to the Hit TV Show Glee and Blood Brothers, a double-biography of the actors from the hit series The Vampire Diaries. Her love for teen culture is matched only by her love of science fiction and fantasy, which she edits for a major publishing house in the UK. She is originally from Ottawa, Ontario.

Editorial Reviews

“From the germ of an absolutely fascinating idea—our right to wrong; to do ill by others as well as well—Amy McCulloch shapes an undeniably entertaining debut that put me in mind of The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. And there’s every chance The Oathbreaker’s Shadow will be just such a success.” — tor.com   “McCulloch composes a gorgeous story involving a young man coming in to his own. . . . Adventure, combined with interesting world building and meaningful thematic touchstones, makes The Oathbreaker’s Shadow the kind of important young adult novel that will appeal to readers of all ages.” — Staffer''s Book Review   “The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a book with huge crossover appeal—young adult and adult fantasy fans are going to find a lot to love. Highly recommended for those who like to lose themselves in incredibly detailed fantasy.” — More Than Just Magic   “McCulloch’s expertly created world, interesting array of characters, and beautiful prose add up to a masterfully told story—even those who are not fans of fantasy may fall in love with this one. . . . I recommend The Oathbreaker’s Shadow to readers of young adult fantasy novels that include incredibly vivid world building, mysteries galore, a bit of magic and love, and nonstop action.” — Confessions of a Book Addict 24-7 (5 out of 5 stars)   “ The Oathbreaker’
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