The Oathbreaker's Shadow

Hardcover | June 4, 2013

byAmy Mcculloch

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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?

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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 ...

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. H...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:416 pages, 8.56 × 5.64 × 1.42 inPublished:June 4, 2013Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:038567824X

ISBN - 13:9780385678247

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Customer Reviews of The Oathbreaker's Shadow

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Creative Series! Really creative story in a unique world with inventive magic and great characters. Lots of unexpected twists and mystery and danger. Definitely geared to a younger audience, but I enjoyed every page. Can't wait to see how it all turns out!
Date published: 2016-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This was the best White Pine book! I find the storyline and characters very original. The only cliché, however was when Raim yells, "Nooo!" after Mhara/Wadi are injured.
Date published: 2015-01-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting book This book has well-developed characters and an interesting plot. The premise is a novel one and the setting unique among fantasy genre. Raim has great loyalty but does seem, as jis nemesis Khareh claims, to be destined to fillow, not lead, but I expect in rhe next indtalment we will see his leadership qualities emerge. Plus we will also want to discover the secret behind his generational promise and how he might be able to end that vurse.
Date published: 2014-10-13
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: 2014-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from EA A riveting Youth novel that could be read in schools. There are so many teachable moments that a reader could discuss. Look forward to the next
Date published: 2014-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from EA A riveting Youth novel that could be read in schools. There are so many teachable moments that a reader could discuss. Look forward to the next
Date published: 2014-09-01
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: 2014-06-16
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: 2013-08-09
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: 2013-07-03

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“The first of a two-book adventure series sends a gifted warrior-in-training out into the desert to die. . . . [With an] action-packed climax . . . [readers] will be curious about what’s coming next.” —Kirkus Reviews “A thoughtful coming-of-age story focused on questions of what constitutes betrayal. . . . An intriguing start to McCulloch’s planned series.” —Publishers Weekly  “The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a rare, rare thing: something new in fantasy. At last we've got a story without all the tropes of elves, ogres and knights but a high adventure inspired by Mongolia. McCulloch's story is rich with life, real, vivid and utterly compelling.” —Sarwat Chadda, author of the Ash Mistry series “Exotic lands, cool magic and high adventure—The Oathbreaker’s Shadow has it all . . . the most compelling fantasy I've read in years.” —Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus series“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’s Shadow is an exciting YA fantasy adventure set in a vivid and fascinating world. I loved the magic in this novel. . . . I’d recommended The Oathbreaker’s Shadow to fans of Zoë Marriott—rich fantasy, beautiful writing and exceptional world-building.” —Kate Ormand “This is a striking tale of friendship and betrayal, hardship and love which will appeal to readers of all ages and fans of fantasy and adventure. . . . Amy McCulloch has managed that most difficult of tasks with this book and leaves the reader wanting more.” —We Love This Book “Amy McCulloch’s writing is intelligent and has a distinctive confidence wove into each page. The world of Lazar is described in such great detail, that you’ll find it hard to believe it’s a fictional location. This is a great book for people of all ages that enjoy the likes of Philip Pullman and/or George R.R. Martin.” —Reeder Reads ”This highly original premise and the book’s exotic setting allow for an engaging and a widely entertaining story which even the most avid of adventure-fantasy purists, despite the absence of elves, castles, and dragons, will appreciate.” —CM Magazine “This book is the perfect choice for reluctant readers of all ages, but especially those teen boys. McCulloch does a fantastic job writing a male lead. Strength of body, strength of mind, disciplined and moral, while remaining far from perfect. Readers will find themselves learning more about the consequences of their choices, without even realizing it.” —Contagious Reads  “The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is an adventure curious and dangerous, filled with tradition and secret magic. It’s at times spiritual and complex, engrossing in setting, story, and character.” —Me on Books “If you are fans of the Dustlands series by Moira Young then you are going to absolutely love this book. From page one we are thrust into a world so unlike our own, yet so completely captivating and intense. Each character brings something to the table in every scene, and they help create an amazing story that doesn’t stop from beginning to end. This was a great fantasy read that will leave you wanting more.” —Confessions of a Reading Addict"Brilliant. Absolutely gripping from the start; a complete joy and a great new voice." —Conn Iggulden, author of The Dangerous Book for Boys and the Emperor Series. "The Oathbreaker's Shadow is a very promising debut in what bodes to be an electrifying duology. Unusual magic set in an exotic location and nomadic culture lures the reader to total immersion in Raim's world. Questions of loyalty versus morality are fearlessly faced.  When can friendship survive betrayal? —Robin Hobb