Eeep, this day's finally arrived! Welcome to my stop for The Oathbreaker's Shadow blog tour organized by Pinoy Book Tours! You can follow the tour here.
Title: The Oathbreaker's Shadow (The Knots Sequence #1)
Author: Amy McCulloch
Release Date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed from Kai of Amaterasu Reads for blog tour
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.I don't get to read lots of them, but I have mad love for high fantasy. I think of them as the summit of fiction because their setting takes the story to a whole new level of unreal, and The Oathbreaker's Shadow is definitely a great addition to the genre.
What first stood out for me was the seamless introduction of the characters and the world, which is what most high fantasy books have trouble accomplishing. We learn what we have to when we have to, so no info dumps or whatsoever in here, people. Amy McCulloch's richly-imagined setting is easy to envision, and the idea of the oath-binding knots is very original and, in Raim's world, very dangerous.
Raim initially came across as such a pushover when it came to Khareh but, his best friend being the future king, who could blame him? Their friendship was endearing and questionable at the same time, and it wasn't until their parting that they realized their true selves. Character growth was prolific in this book, and it wasn't just Raim's, although, being the main character, we see most of his as he grew into the person he wanted to be by being the thing he despised the most.
The mystery behind the knot on Raim's wrist and just what oath he had broken kept my eyes glued to the pages, but that wasn't the only thing that drove the story forward because Raim wasn't the only one who was experiencing or doing something life-changing. The other characters were all significant and had their own equally compelling story arcs, and this book is a brilliant tie-up of all of them.
Plot-wise, The Oathbreaker's Shadow is an astonishing work of art, and it's so fast-paced that Raim never seemed able to get a break. Full of shocking twists, unexpected allies, and surprising enemies, this is a story of loyalty against ambition, and I can't recommend it enough.
MY FAVORITE PART is Raim and Draikh's friendship, particularly their bickering :))
About the author:
Amy McCulloch was born in Kingston-upon-Thames, UK, and moved to Ottawa, Canada, when she was 11. She attended Immaculata High School, where she developed a love of geeky things like science fairs, yearbook, RPGs and The Lord of the Rings. After high school she started studying at the University of Toronto, where she graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in English, specializing in Old English and Medieval literature (her love for Geoffrey Chaucer will never die).
At the beginning of 2011, she signed with the amazing Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group for her debut YA fantasy-adventure novel The Oathbreaker’s Shadow, the first book in a planned duology. Random House Children’s Publishers will be publishing on 6 June 2013.