Bel reviews: SR Vaught & JB Redmond — "Oathbreaker" (Parts I & II: Assassin's Apprentice & A Prince Among Killers)
I spent longer than normal reading these books, mainly because it was
the busy season, but also because I didn’t want to just fly through
them, missing bits along the way. The webs were woven very well.
We’re introduced to a world where being in a family with special
abilities means you have a chance of being inducted into a ‘guild’. If
chosen, you’re disowned by your family and inducted into training with
whichever guild is harvesting in that year. Whether you are good at
telepathically communicating to animals or foreseeing the
future, there’s a guild for each chosen child.
Unluckily, or maybe not so unluckily, Aron Brailing is harvested by
the Stone Guild, the guild responsible for assassinations and mercy
In book 1, we follow Aron’s journey to the Triune, the stone guild
house, and his struggle with his abilities, which seem to be the
strongest of their kind in many a generation.
Aron’s early days in training to become a Stone brother take up most
of book 1. He’s building muscles and, perhaps, romance. He finds
friendship with some of the most unlikely characters and, as a whole,
the book lays a solid foundation for the treasures to come in A Prince
We’re brought back into book 2 when Aron is making his first trip to
the Ruined Keep. It is a quest he and his Stone brother nemesis are
sent on to hopefully end the turmoil between the two, and forge an
Aron embraces his ability and moves beyond his own expectations to
save lives, tip the balance of power between warring royals, and
become more than just a stone brother.
I do recommend reading these two beautifully written books in order,
as the foundations are extremely important to understanding each
character and the purpose behind decisions they make. I grew to really
enjoy the bond between Aron and his mentor, Stormbreaker.
I was a little disappointed with the lack of female characters, but at
least the few who star in the saga are extremely strong, and don’t
take their positions in society lightly. They have purpose and a
spine. The character growth is believable and intriguing, and you’ll
find yourself wanting to jump into the battles and kick some butt.
There was an added pleasant surprise when I got to the end of Book 1,
in the short author bios. You’ll have to read them for yourself. On so
many levels, these books were uplifting and inspiring.
Assassin’s Apprentice and A Prince Among Killers will be great for
adding pace to those lagging last weeks of the school holidays.
Oathbreaker (Books I & II): Assassin’s Apprentice and A Prince Among Killers – SR Vaught & JB Redmond
Published by Random House, Australia
Assassin’s Apprentice: Januray 1, 2010 – 384 pages ISBN: 9781864719819
A Prince Among Killers: June 1, 2010 – 374 pages ISBN: 9781864719864