cover image The Reckless Oath We Made

The Reckless Oath We Made

Bryn Greenwood. Putnam, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-0-525-54184-4

In Greenwood’s lyrical yet gritty latest (after 2016’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things) LaReigne Trego-Gill has possibly been abducted by two escapees from the prison where she volunteers. Now, her sister, the brash and outspoken Zhorzha “Zee,” in near constant pain from a motorcycle accident, must juggle LaReigne’s son, Marcus; her hoarder mother; and a litany of money woes. Her family never recovered after Zee’s father died in prison while serving a sentence for armed robbery, and distrust of the police leads Zee to take LaReigne’s rescue into her own hands. Help comes in the form of self-declared knight Gentry Frank, 24, who is on the autism spectrum, hears voices, only speaks in Middle English, spars with real swords, and is building a castle in the woods. Gentry declared himself Zee’s champion after meeting her at physical therapy, and Zee feels a sense of belonging with his kind adoptive family. Their tentative friendship blossoms into much more, and the loyal Gentry refuses to let his Lady Zhorzha go into battle alone. Greenwood is an exquisite storyteller, using multiple narratives to effortlessly bring to life characters that are complex, flawed, generous, and utterly human, and Gentry and Zee’s tender, unusual romance is drawn in sweetly delicate strokes. Readers will be enchanted by this compassionate, winning novel. Agent: Jessica Regel, Foundry Literary + Media. (Aug.)