Monday, June 17, 2013

The Oathbreaker's Shadow

The Oathbreaker's Shadow 
Amy McCulloch

The most intriguing selling point of The Oathbreaker's Shadow, the debut fantasy novel from UK/Canadian author Amy McCulloch, is that for all its other-worldly action, the story is primarily about relationships. Its central character is the gifted young warrior Raim, who dreams of standing guard for his best friend Khareh, the future leader of their people. But Raim unwittingly breaks a promise, one he can’t remember making, which forces him into exile in an unforgiving desert.

In Raim's world, promises are sacred vows, represented by tangible knots tied and worn for life. Characters are bound by their oaths, forcing them to live as much for others as for themselves. The winding plot pulls our hero out of his physical element and sets up the action, but his inner struggle to understand the perils of blind duty and the limits of friendship makes Raim's adventure that much more recognizable.

Content-wise, Oathbreaker is safely geared toward young adult readers, but the writing is more than mature enough for a broader audience. This tale begs for a sequel. It's suspenseful and fun, with lots to keep the pages turning long after bed-time.

- Chris Miller 

Amy McCulloch will be reading at The Bookshelf on Friday, June 28 at 6:00 p.m.

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