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The Oathbreaker’s Shadow

by Amy McCulloch

Amy McCulloch’s debut novel is a well-plotted fantasy about the dire consequences of breaking promises and misplacing trust. Sixteen-year-old Raim belongs to a nomadic tribe in Darhan, a place where breaking an oath means being exiled to the desert. Raim has been training to be a noble Yun warrior, and hopes to one day become the official protector of his long-time best friend, Prince Khareh. As soon as he is old enough, Raim makes a binding promise to protect Khareh with his life – unknowingly breaking a pledge made on his behalf when he was born. Suddenly, he is an outcast.

Raim’s downward spiral, from promising apprentice to supposed oathbreaker, is difficult but fascinating to behold. But it is McCulloch’s richly imagined landscapes, from the city of Kharein to the unforgiving Sola Desert, which make this fantasy-adventure novel worth exploring. The action never dawdles for long, and yet each new setting feels fully fleshed out and well-populated.        

When Raim finally reaches Lazar, the desert town where all oathbreakers take refuge, he learns that its citizens are not the reprehensible people he was raised to believe them to be. In fact, they might have some answers about Raim’s mysterious “promise knot,” which unfairly changed his fate forever.

The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is the first book in the Knots Sequence, and it leaves many questions unanswered. But instead of being frustrated by the unresolved details, the reader is left eager to delve further into this interesting universe.


Reviewer: Laura Godfrey

Publisher: Doubleday Canada


Price: $21

Page Count: 416 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 978-0-38567- 824-7

Released: June

Issue Date: 2013-7


Age Range: 12+