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12 July 2020

Publisher: Independently Published

Written By: Meg MacDonald

RRP: £3.99 / $4.99 (Kindle) | £12.99 / $15.99 (Paperback)

Reviewed by: Sebastian J. Brook

Review Posted: 13th July 2020

Meg MacDonald's world building is the first thing that hits you in Oath Sworn; an epic gaslamp fantasy that feels so much bigger than the sum of its parts. The sheer scale and richness of detail make this a read that even Tolkien would be proud of - for this is the calibre that the author deserves to be compared to.

To give you but a taste of what we mean, here is an extract, mere pages into the first chapter:

"Beyond mullioned windows, the late-winter sky was plum-dark, the low-lying parish streets cloaked in mist. Even on a clear night, the broad expanse of the northern heavens offered precious little moonlight so close to year’s end. Only a single moon shone brightly, the others waning crescents, slivers of melting ice soon to turn dark faces on their world."

It's by far one of the most original fantasy stories we've read in a long time, and we've read some truly fantastic titles over the past few years. Think Lord Of The Rings meets Star Wars meets The Witcher and you are starting to enter an adjacent postcode to Aralt's world.

We drew the comparison to Tolkien at the start and like The Fellowship Of The Ring, it's a slow build, but one that you can savour every description and character that graces the page. There's adventure, too... You want sky pirates - you got it! Awesome weapons in the form of crystal swords that are tuned to the hands of their keepers - you got it! A foreboding enemy hell-bent on destroying souls - you better believe it! 

There's bags of emotion, too; due to the hard work put in early on, you really care for the characters and cultures within, and the tumultuous relationship between the main protagonists (Aralt & Lian), will keep you entertained throughout. Not ashamed to say we *may* have reached for the tissues more than once.

All the effort put in by both the author and the reader at the start, gradually build to an epic conclusion - you could not of hoped for a better conclusion than the one we get here!

One final thing we would be remiss not to mention and which we absolutely loved were the many journal extracts, teachings and notations that prefaced each chapter. Whether or not it was intentional, they allowed for a brief pause to take yourself out of the action and ponder the sentiments, before being launched back in again. Excellent tool from the author!

To have left things where they are in just one book would have been a disservice to all the hard work that MacDonald has poured into Oath Sworn, and without giving anything away, we thankfully have a sequel in the form of Blood Sworn, which is slated for release later this year!

If you want an engrossing Summer read that will take you away to a far off world (and then some) - THIS is the book for you!

+  Oath Sworn is Out Now!
+  Buy this book from Amazon.co.uk!
+  Follow @Kyrrimar (Meg MacDonald) on Twitter.

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