Fans of Philip Pullman, Jonathan Stroud, and George R.R. Martin are going to love this action-filled fantasy novel by an exciting and extremely promotable debut voice in the genre.
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?
AMY McCULLOCH is an editor and writer based in London. A pop-culture obsessive, she has published several teen-oriented non-fiction titles under the pseudonym Amy Rickman, including Gleeful! A Totally Unofficial Guide to the Hit TV Show Glee and Blood Brothers, a double-biography of the actors from the hit series The Vampire Diaries. Her love for teen culture is matched only by her love of science fiction and fantasy, which she edits for a major publishing house in the UK. She is originally from Ottawa, Ontario.
“The first of a two-book adventure series sends a gifted warrior-in-training out into the desert to die. . . . [With an] action-packed climax . . . [readers] will be curious about what’s coming next.”
“A thoughtful coming-of-age story focused on questions of what constitutes betrayal. . . . An intriguing start to McCulloch’s planned series.”
“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, author of the Ash Mistry series
“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, author of the Bartimaeus series
“From the germ of an absolutely fascinating idea—our right to wrong; to do ill by others as well as well—Amy McCulloch shapes an undeniably entertaining debut that put me in mind of The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. And there’s every chance The Oathbreaker’s Shadow will be just such a success.”
“McCulloch composes a gorgeous story involving a young man coming in to his own. . . . Adventure, combined with interesting world building and meaningful thematic touchstones, makes The Oathbreaker’s Shadow the kind of important young adult novel that will appeal to readers of all ages.”
—Staffer's Book Review
“The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is a book with huge crossover appeal—young adult and adult fantasy fans are going to find a lot to love. Highly recommended for those who like to lose themselves in incredibly detailed fantasy.”
—More Than Just Magic
“McCulloch’s expertly created world, interesting array of characters, and beautiful prose add up to a masterfully told story—even those who are not fans of fantasy may fall in love with this one. . . . I recommend The Oathbreaker’s Shadow to readers of young adult fantasy novels that include incredibly vivid world building, mysteries galore, a bit of magic and love, and nonstop action.”
—Confessions of a Book Addict 24-7 (5 out of 5 stars)
“The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is an exciting YA fantasy adventure set in a vivid and fascinating world. I loved the magic in this novel. . . . I’d recommended The Oathbreaker’s Shadow to fans of Zoë Marriott—rich fantasy, beautiful writing and exceptional world-building.”
“This is a striking tale of friendship and betrayal, hardship and love which will appeal to readers of all ages and fans of fantasy and adventure. . . . Amy McCulloch has managed that most difficult of tasks with this book and leaves the reader wanting more.”
—We Love This Book
“Amy McCulloch’s writing is intelligent and has a distinctive confidence wove into each page. The world of Lazar is described in such great detail, that you’ll find it hard to believe it’s a fictional location. This is a great book for people of all ages that enjoy the likes of Philip Pullman and/or George R.R. Martin.”
”This highly original premise and the book’s exotic setting allow for an engaging and a widely entertaining story which even the most avid of adventure-fantasy purists, despite the absence of elves, castles, and dragons, will appreciate.”
“This book is the perfect choice for reluctant readers of all ages, but especially those teen boys. McCulloch does a fantastic job writing a male lead. Strength of body, strength of mind, disciplined and moral, while remaining far from perfect. Readers will find themselves learning more about the consequences of their choices, without even realizing it.”
“The Oathbreaker’s Shadow is an adventure curious and dangerous, filled with tradition and secret magic. It’s at times spiritual and complex, engrossing in setting, story, and character.”
—Me on Books
“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 you wanting more.”
—Confessions of a Reading Addict
"Brilliant. Absolutely gripping from the start; a complete joy and a great new voice."
—Conn Iggulden, author of The Dangerous Book for Boys and the Emperor Series.
"The Oathbreaker's Shadow is a very promising debut in what bodes to be an electrifying duology. Unusual magic set in an exotic location and nomadic culture lures the reader to total immersion in Raim's world. Questions of loyalty versus morality are fearlessly faced. When can friendship survive betrayal?