Friday, August 15, 2014

“Men are men, vows are words, and words are wind.”

The Oathbreaker's Shadow by Amy McCulloch: Raim has had a knot around his wrist ever since he was young but does not remember ever making the promise attached to it.  In Raim's world, to ever break a promise leaves a mark on a person and they are cast out and left to wander the desert.

But on the most important night of Raim's life, the knot around his wrist bursts into flame.  He broke his promise without knowing how.

Firstly, I loved the world building in the novel.  It is done so well that you can picture it perfectly and you are not given details that do not connect. However, it sometimes became a little overwhelming.  It is the first book so maybe the author felt she needed to get in every last detail so she would not have to revisit it later? I'm not sure. The landscape and people McCulloch describes are rich and colourful and they feel different from anything I have ever read before.  This made for a refreshing reading experience.

I also really loved the entire idea that breaking an important promise to someone could have a physical manifestation and that it could set you apart from everyone else you know.  We have read many books before this one where a broken promise leads to a curse and this novel presents an interesting take on that.

The novel seemed to drag in some parts.  I think this may have been in part due to the overwhelming detail and because a second book was already planned.  I expected that by the end of the first book I would have more answers than I was actually given to a lot of the mysteries in the story.  Ultimately, I just ended up with an understanding of the world's history and the people in it.

I was also saddened by the fact that we had to part ways with two female characters that I was not ready to say goodbye to.  I am hoping that one of them plays a bigger role in the second novel and shares the stage with Raim in being the hero of the story.

This first book sets up a good foundation and puts some interesting things into play.  I am so excited to revisit this world and see how things turn out.  Amy McCulloch, you have me hooked.

I thought I would also include the book's trailer as well as a video featuring the author herself talking about some of the places that inspired the landscapes of her novel.  Check them out.

Title quote source:
Martin, G.R.R. (2011). A Dance with Dragons. New York, NY: Bantam Books.

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