[Blog Tour] The Oathbreaker's Shadow Review + Interview

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Title: The Oathbreaker's Shadow
Author: Amy McCulloch
Series: The Knot Sequence #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Random House
Source: eARC received through Netgalley

Amazon | Chapters | TBD | Goodreads

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?

This novel had me intrigued from the moment I saw the cover and read the synopsis. I have always been a fan of fantasy and this book certainly did not disappoint. It is filled with action, great characters and a world that I hope never actually exist in real life- because I know would never survive.

Amy McCulloch had weaved a world like none other I have never read, A world where a knotted promise means everything. Raim, our fifteen year old narrator has always known that tying a knot meant everything and because he has a knot tied around his wrist he has nomemory of making, makes his life a little different than most. It is when Raim makes a promise to the soon to be king his best friend- that everything falls into shattered pieces, and he is exiled. Forever.

What I loved most about this book was the world itself. It was so unique, with characters just as charasmatic. I loved the desert scenes for their fantastical elements and creatures. Raim was such a great narrator because he was neive to the world around him, just like the reader. We were experiencing his pains and gains aloing with him, and that let me connect with him on a level I never expected.

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 wanting more.


1. This book is predominantly set in the desert. Why did you chose this setting over say, a city or small town?
I love it when a setting can become almost like a character in the book itself - and deserts are absolutely perfect for that by their very challenging nature. The desert tests Raim, and if he survives then he is deemed worthy. There are some great cities that I could have used to come alive too, but the problem with cities is that they are filled with people! Deserts are isolating, lonely places. It becomes about Raim’s personal journey – and that’s what I really wanted to focus on.

2. Was there any outside inspiration towards the culture, creatures and characters in The Oathbreaker's Shadow?
Absolutely – I’ve plucked and plundered from all sorts of different cultures to build the ones in The Oathbreaker’s Shadow. Raim’s society is based on medieval Mongolian tribes, there’s a dash of the Bedouin about my desert dwelling people, and the city of Lazar is based on Petra. I’ve also been inspired by other fantasy/sci-fi literature, like Dune, The Amber Spyglass and Game of Thrones.

3. The idea of making an Ultimate Vow is very intimidating, would you ever consider making one yourself?
Eek! Honestly, I don’t think so. But then it’s a pretty foreign concept to us nowadays to make an Ultimate Vow or any kind of pledge of fealty – especially a vow that must only end in death. It’s a very unforgiving society that Raim lives in… and I am very thankful that modern society has moved beyond that!

4. Raim is a very interesting character. He has his faults but it extremely loyal. Where do you see his journey taking him?
Well, I’m deep in the middle of the book two – the final book in this duology. The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is really only the first half of a complete story, so Raim still has a way to go yet until he solves all his mysteries. I don't want to give too much away! 

5. What can we expect from the rest of the series?
In the second half of the duology, you can expect to see even more of Raim’s world, learn even more about promise-scars and their consequences, and you can expect to get an end to this storyline – there won’t be another big cliffhanger! 
Thank you so much for the interview! Great questions.

Thanks so much to Amy for answering my question! And don't forget to follow the tour stops below:

Me On Books                                       June 3, 2013
Confessions of a Reading Addict     June 4, 2013
More Than Just Magic                        June 5, 2013
Cozy Up with a Good Read              June 6, 2013
Retreat by Random House                June 7, 2013 

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