The Oathbreaker’s Shadow

Amy McCulloch. Llewellyn/Flux, $11.99 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-0-7387-4405-6
It takes a bit of work to make headway into debut author McCulloch’s imaginative space. She eschews the typical medieval European world of fantasy for a nomadic yurt village on the steppes. The cast of characters is large, the customs and beliefs distant, and worldbuilding detail comes thick and fast. For readers who stick with it, what unfolds is a thoughtful coming-of-age story focused on questions of what constitutes betrayal. Raim, at 15, has been the devoted friend of Khareh, the crown prince of Dashan, for five years. The boys are on the brink of adult choices: Raim wants to become an elite Yun warrior, while Khareh is sliding into a battle of wills with the khan he has been chosen to succeed. As the boys swear a sacred vow to be forever protector and protected, these futures crumble. Marked as an oathbreaker and outcast, Raim goes on the run for his life into the merciless desert. Many questions are raised and none resolved, yet it’s an intriguing start to McCulloch’s planned series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Agency Group. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 02/01/2015
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-385-67824-7
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4481-2118-2
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-385-67826-1
Hardcover - 404 pages - 978-0-85753-181-0
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-7387-4527-5
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