On one hand, I wanted to say I haven't quite read a book like this one before. The magic is really complicated and different from usual. On the other hand however, a lot of the critical plot points were not so original at all.
In this clan-based nomadic society promises are for real. For as you break a promise (and thus the knot that binds you to the person you promised to) you'll be tormented by that person's shadow (a piece of their soul) and exiled. So, better to keep your promises.
Raim is best friends with the heir to the throne and besides training to be his bodyguard. When a promise is broken he has had since he was a baby (although that's impossible since a promise made by a child is not binding) with dead parents, he has to flee as everyone thinks he's betrayed the heir.
The first part of this book was really boring, it just couldn't keep my interest. And I tried. But there is so much exposition thrown at you that I felt at the same time overwhelmed by the infodump and underwhelmed by the story. Not everything made sense to me either. Afterwards there is more action and the story moves forward a bit, but still nothing came as a surprise. Well, perhaps one person's transformation into the great villain of the story did come completely out of the blue.
All this said and done, near the end I was actually quite enjoying myself with the book even though I can't put my finger on why exactly. I did really like the idea of the promise knots even though I didn't completely understand why so many people were gambling with their lives. Even if you plan to keep your promise, people in this book make promises (with this kind of consequences) far too easily. So much so, that I might even check out the second book some day.
The Oathbreaker's Shadow is the first book in the Knots Sequence series. The second book is The Shadow's Curse.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!