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The Oathbreaker's Shadow (Knots 1) Paperback – 22 May 2014


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The Oathbreaker's Shadow (Knots 1) + The Shadow's Curse (Knots 2)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi Childrens (22 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552566365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552566360
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 758,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a very promising debut in what bodes to be an electrifying duology." (Robin Hobb)

"Absolutely gripping" (Conn Iggulden)

"

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)

"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)

Book Description

An action-adventure fantasy by an exciting debut voice in the genre.

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Amy McCulloch has created a very interesting world where promises made have much higher consequences than we are used to. Promises are made by tying knots and if your break your word you are not only scarred for life but also followed around by a shadow that shows the whole world you are an oathbreaker. Oathbreaker's are ostracised by the rest of society and forced out into the desert alone as exiles. If they manage to survive the journey there is one place they can go but they will never be allowed to return to their friends or family again.

Raim has had a knot tied to his wrist for as long as he can remember but he has no knowledge of the promise that was made for him to receive it. Whatever it was the promise was made well before he came of age though so he is sure that nothing will come of it. All of his life Raim has wanted to become an elite soldier and join the Yun, he has trained continuously and now that he is about to turn 16 he must face the final challenge to be accepted as one of their warriors. When Raim makes a special promise to his best friend, prince Khareh, it causes the unthinkable - the knot on his wrist bursts into flames and the scars that form show the world that Raim is an oathbreaker. He only has two choices: stay and risk execution or run in the hope of finding a way to clear his name.

I really enjoyed the world building, Amy McCulloch has such a descriptive writing style that I could almost see events playing out in front of my eyes like I was watching a movie. You almost feel the heat of the desert and Raim's desperation as he is forced to leave everything he has ever known behind him. As much as I loved the world I do think there were times when the story was bogged down in so much detail that the plot suffered for it.
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Format: Hardcover
Review: In Dahran, promises are big things. When you make one, you make a knot, and the promise is sealed with magic. Breaking the promise means enduring scarring, becoming an outcast, and being haunted by a shadow of the person they broke the promise to. Our main character Raim is best friend of the future Khan, and has just passed his final test to become a Yun, esteemed warrior and protector of the Kahn, and has taken his vows. But this breaks a promise that Raim has worn all his life, despite his not knowing what it was for nor if was an actual promise. Thrown out of society, Raim tracells across the desert to find out what his promise was for and how to clear his name, which hleads to him fining out even more.
I found out about this by lots of people talking about it. the premise of promises being binding like this intrigued me, and I was very excited to receive this for review.
I was instantly transported to the desert lands of Darhan. The setting is fully vivid, easily imaginable, and rich. The other settings, ie the cities, were just was well described, and I could really see this setting existing. The action comes to life with the same ease.
I really like Raim. He’s really loyal to everyone he can be, such as Khareh his friend, Darma his sister, Wadi the girl in the desert, and so on. He tries hard to do what he thinks is right, and is a strong character in many senses of the word. The rest of the characters are also fully developed, really interesting, and generally awesome, especially Wadi and Old-maa.
The plot is a little predictable at times, but the twists and turns and the fact that you just don’t want to stop reading makes up for it.

Overall: Strength 4.5 tea, more a 5, to a fantasy adventure with one of the best, richly imagined settings I’ve seen in a long time
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By Curiosity Killed The Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2013
Format: Hardcover
In the land of Darhan, making an oath binds you for life. Their promises are bound up in knots and carried with honour. Shouls an oath be broken, the knot will burn and brand them a traitor. And that's not all oathbreakers have to fear; their betrayal haunts them in a perpetual shadow and they are banished to the city of Lazar. A place of no return and a journey across the deadly desert.

There was a lot to love about The Oathbreaker's Shadow but I do have a problem with the official blurb for this book. The pivotal event that is mentioned is past page 100 and I felt that I was waiting for it to happen before the story could begin for me. The world building that comes before is extremely important; I loved the Northern Africa inspired land and the cultural history of the Yun and Darhan but I think I would have enjoyed it more without that expectation. So I'm not going to mention the event in the blurb, even though you may well have read it already.

Once I got into the book, I loved Raim's time in the desert. It is not a forgiving place and you can practically feel the blistering heat and the discomfort of sand in your mouth as you read. There are wonderful creatures and traditions. Many of the stories Raim grew up with were considered myths, but as he ventures out in the wide world, he discovers the grains of truth behind them.

It's an interesting concept to have a physical manifestation of your wrongs displayed to the world. There is no redemption. You make one mistake and that's it, you are shunned forever. No matter how small the betrayal, if you made an oath and break it, you have to live with the consequences forever.

Raim did come across as a bit younger than 16 though.
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