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Review of Oath Sworn (Wolf’s Oath #1) by Meg MacDonald

Review of Oath Sworn (Wolf’s Oath #1) by Meg MacDonaldOath Sworn by Meg MacDonald
Series: Wolf's Oath #1
on December 2018
Genres: Fantasy, GasLamp Fantasy
Pages: 458
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One man’s oath. One boy’s sacred duty. One enemy bent on their destruction.

Soldier and statesman, Aralt syr Tremayne has finally laid to rest the ghosts of his past. He could no more have prevented the death of the Kavistra’s sons than the death of his own brother.

Now, the grave has given one of them up.

Aralt’s world is thrown into tumult when Lian Kynsei, last of a soul-touched clan and scion of a religious dynasty, returns and Aralt is oath sworn to protect the boy’s interests. But Lian is also a traumatized boy whose secrets rival Aralt’s own.

And neither of them are telling the truth.

Oath Sworn begins the Wolf's Oath trilogy, a gothic gaslamp fantasy filled with unforgettable characters and a richly-drawn world where skyships sail above tidal extremes, and crystal swords are tuned to their owner’s souls. Follow this riveting adventure as one man is forced to choose between duty and his lust for revenge.

Convoluted is the main word I would use to describe this book, and its characters are why I couldn’t put it down.

The reason I say it’s convoluted is because the sheer number of people, places, and world-specific terminology tossed our way in the first few pages without much explanation really threw me very far back from connecting with this book, and I was running to catch up. Add that to the brief, short descriptions and I never once felt completely grounded in this book or felt I handle a strong handle on who or what everything was. Now, that said, after I finished the book, I re-read the prologue and it made perfect sense, which is odd because even by the end I felt I wasn’t as rooted in the book as I normally prefer.

The book’s plot reduced from a cup to a teaspoon is about Aralt protecting his kervallys, Lian, from a big baddie. I reduce it so because there’s a lot of details that really matter, and I’m not at all good at giving a good recap of books without spoilers. Read the blurb, which has been done better than I could ever attempt to do, and honestly is needed in order to understand what you’re reading, because like I said, there’s not a lot of bother with explanations. You pick it up as you go along, or maybe it was too subtle for me. The fact that I was taught reading via speed reading, I often miss clues or hints that are offered as a quick explanation. Not to mention my limited imagination. A slower reader might not have a single problem.

So, after all that, you might be asking why I gave it four stars and why I didn’t set it aside. The main reason in Aralt, and the second reason is his connection to Lian. I will always, ALWAYS, be drawn to books where two characters share a deep connection, such as telepathy in this case. I will forever be hooked by a character who has endured pain and suffering, such as both Lian and Aralt suffered. This book gave me both, and I enjoyed it because of Aralt’s painful, tragic past, and because he shares an incredibly deep and complicated bond with Lian. Those moments when they struggled with their past and each other were wonderful, and I read on because I had to know what was going to happen between them, to them, and to learn what had already transpired in their past. MacDonald artfully gave us tasty bits throughout, but I feel way more is to come in the next books.

As for the world, it felt fleshed out. Religion and politics are prevalent but don’t weigh the story down. The writing, for me (and I can’t believe I’m going to say this), needed more description and to slow down the important scenes. When shit hit the fan, I wish it would’ve taken longer to unravel. However, I love the bits of information we gain along the way instead of having one huge dump. I willingly followed the carrot, just waiting to catch it. Love that!

So overall, I would recommend this book, and more importantly, I would recommend taking your time in reading it.

About Meg MacDonald

Meg Mac Donald lives in Michigan where she chases dreams and searches for woolly mammoths. She is always on the look out for police telephone boxes.

A writer from a young age, her short fiction and poetry has appeared in Weird Tales, three Darkover anthologies including Masques of Darkover, The Temporal Logbook, and other anthologies. Her Doctor Who fiction has appeared in the online zines Inferno Fiction and Cosmic Masque.

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