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Oathbreakers (Valdemar: Vows and Honor #2)

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  12,913 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
When Idra, leader of the crack mercenaries known as the Sunhawks, failed to return from a journey to her home kingdom of Rethwellan, Tarma and Kethry, warrior and mage, set out in search of their vanished leader. Sisters of sword and spell, their fates bound together by Goddess-sworn oath, they were eternally pledged to fight the forces of evil.

And evil had indeed cast its
Paperback, 279 pages
Published January 3rd 1989 by DAW
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This is a fascinating long-form tale of Tarma and Kethry. Wish Lackey had written another one or two, though perhaps she saw that she had said all she had to say about the pair once they'd gotten the land for their school.

3/31/17 - this is probably the most stand-alone of the three Tarma and Kethry books. But all three are very good. I ditched all of my MZB books a while back, including all of the Sword and Sorcery anthologies. So the three books that Ms Lackey has published are most welcome, as
Jan 20, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Immediate reaction: oh thank god, I remembered correctly.

Oathbreakers was always my favorite of the duology, and now I remember why. It's far less episodic than Oathbound, with a coherent plot for all but the first few chapters of the book, and of course there is much, much less rape, all of which is offscreen and specifically noted as a power crime over everything else. It's actually really interesting how it's treated in Oathbreakers as opposed to Oathbound: Oathbound it's treated as kind of i
Jun 22, 2011 Serena rated it it was amazing
It may interest those who have read this book to know that Mercedes Lackey also put out a cassette/CD of the same name. You can sample some of the songs on YouTube, although the only place to buy it is from the Firebird Arts and Music website.

The Leslac Version
There’s Always a Reason (A Curse Upon All Bards)
Surprised by Joy
(Love) Found
The Sunhawks
Suffer the Children
Swordlady, or “That Song”
Mirror Spell (Shield Spell)

(It may also incl
Apr 16, 2013 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Feminist Fantasy fans
See my review about the first book in the series The Oathbound.

While you don't need to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, if you love this one I highly recommend going back and reading the first one.

This story revolves around the disappearance of Idra, commander of the Sunhawks mercenaries. Tarma and Kethry are the members of the mercenary company who lead an investigation into what happened to their beloved leader. The mystery isn't the that complex or really the appeal of the sto
Jan 22, 2010 Chuck rated it it was amazing
Reading 100 books in 2010; reviews will be short for a while 'til I catch up blogging with what I've already read this year.

This book made a Mercedes Lackey fan out of me; I was lukewarm about the first one in the series and it had many of the flaws a first novel might. It's amazing how much Lackey grows as an artist between the first novel in the series and the second; better writing, even at the sentence level, better plotting, and more polish in general to go with her two wonderful characters
Jun 17, 2007 Meg rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Man, I don't know what it is about me and revenge stories! Well, to be fair, in this case it's less "revenge" and more "vengence"... which, in my mind, is not quite the same.

Another one of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, this one deals with two women (Tarma and Kethry) who are sworn in an oathbound sisterhood. I won't get in to the vengeance here, that's up to you to discover!

An interesting note here (to me anyway..) is that Tarma is the only literary character that I find "attractive". While
Oct 24, 2014 Sophie rated it liked it
I liked the events of this one much better than the events of The Oathbound. Spying and intrigue are much more to my taste than demon rapists. There was rape in this one, too, which was disappointing, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as the first book.

Jadrek is a great character, Kethry's magical development is awesome, Tarma continues to be the best. I like travel stories, especially ones that involve surviving the elements. Also, there were Heralds! Well, one Herald.
Oct 11, 2010 Kathleen rated it liked it
Kethry and Tarma join a mercenary company, go to Valdemar, summon Goddesses, and work a whole lot of magic. They also manage to discuss magic with a Herald well after Vanyel's time and well before Selenay's reign, but I think I can justify the inconsistency in the series by imagining there were no air sprites that close to the Rethwellian border on that particular day. Just go with it.

While having read the first Vows and Honor book is a definite prerequisite, this trilogy is shaping up to be fi
Jeffe Kennedy
Jan 27, 2016 Jeffe Kennedy rated it it was amazing
The second in the Vows & Honor trilogy, to continue fleshing out my #readinghistory. This one really deepened the story of Tarma and Kethry - and led us more into Tarma's fraught history. I love the friendship between these two heroines, which set many of my ideas about the kinds of female relationships I wanted to write someday.
Morgan Dhu
Feb 04, 2014 Morgan Dhu rated it really liked it
Another comfort reread, another Velgarth novel. Lackey's adventurer turned mercenary duo, Kethry the mage and Tarma the Warrior, take on a corrupt and murderous king who has violated his oaths to his country, his people, his gods and his kin. Lots of action, and one of the sweetest romances Lackey's written.
Feb 27, 2016 Vendela rated it liked it
Well, I appear to be rereading all the Valdemar books I own. Okay then.
May 14, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
Shelves: valdemar-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole N.
Sep 15, 2014 Nicole N. rated it really liked it
I realized that if I don't like the first book in a Lackey's series, I tend to like the second and third book a lot more. Considering this is the second book in the series, I like this one a lot. Granted, there is a lot of information to swallow in this series and some parts (to me) just appeared out of the blue (almost out of convenience or in a "scapegoat" manner). Regardless, this is a thrilling 2nd book in the series.

Tarma and Kethry, Oathbound sisters, enter the Sunhawk mercenary company, c
Jun 09, 2010 Bibliotropic rated it really liked it
Shelves: valdemar, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series provides one of the cornerstones of my reading history. After discovering her when quite young, I still follow new additions to the series - nearly twenty years later! I read and re-read these books over and over again throughout my youth, but I haven't re-read this series in its entirety in a long time - and never as an adult. There are some new books added to the series since the last time I read them, so this re-reading project is pretty exciting for me since ...more
Sep 26, 2013 Kendra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I am a very big fan of Mercedes Lackey, and with rare exceptions, I have really enjoyed reading her books. That said, the Vows & Honor books stand out as two of my all time favorites. The story is well paced, the characters are well fleshed and the language flows wonderfully. This series is one of those that I recommend to everyone.

This is the second book of the two book set. It is about the adventures of two mercenaries named Tarma and Kethry. This book picks up what seems to be a few year
Dec 20, 2011 Jordan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, own
This was much better than the previous novel, The Oathbound. Probably a lot of that was due to the fact that this was one complete story, whereas the previous book was several short stories kind of mushed together. Also, Need, the magic sword that compels Kethry and Tarma to help women, has apparently become more restrained in this book so there was less running about and less cheese with the whole righteous women power bit. It felt much more like a novel with strong female leads than the estrog ...more
Laurel Flynn
Apr 02, 2015 Laurel Flynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Of the books in the Vows and Honor trilogy, which take place in Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar Universe, this is the only one that is a complete novel. The stories of "Oathbound" concerned the free-lance mercenary adventures of swordswoman Tarma and mage Kethry. The novel "Oathbreakers" is about Tarma and Kethry's experiences as members of Idra's Sunhawks mercenary company. The final novella, "Oathblood", contained in the compilation of the same name, is from the times after Tarma and Kethry have fo ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Mar 02, 2015 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
Better than book #1 in this series. It actually feels like a novel, not a collection of short stories.

This one actually visits Valdemar, as well as introducing Idra's Sunhawks. So, as some other reviews have mentioned, there's a bit of a problem because there's magic practiced and discussed in Valdemar (admittedly, right near the border).

I find it a little odd that the heir to the Valdemar throne has unilateral ability to make promises on behalf of the kingdom. And, anyway, how did he end up the
Jan 17, 2008 Hope rated it liked it
I've read FAR too much Mercedes Lackey, and have absolutely no wish to write about everything. Therefore, I'm reviewing one - and ONLY one - book in each of her various worlds.

Oathbreakers is probably my favorite book in the same world as the "Heralds of Valdemar" series. The heroines, Tarma and Kethry do know of and encounter Heralds, but are themselves mercenaries. Because this is not strictly a "Heralds" book, the reader is spared the exposition about the Heralds that is in *every* *single* *
Ward Bond
Jun 25, 2012 Ward Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Tarma: She was one of the Sin'a'in sword-sworn—the most elite of all warriors, and she had taken blood vengeance upon the brigands who massacred her people.Kethry: She fled her oppressive arranged marriage and became a powerful sorceress of the White Winds School, only to be bonded to a uniquely magical sword which drew her to women in need. Bound by sword-spell and the will of the Goddess, Tarma and Kethry swore a blood oath to carry on their mutual fight against evil and injustice. Now they ha

Mar 06, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
I read this on the heels of the first in the series ("The Oathbound") and after already having fallen in love with Tarma and Kethry through "By the Sword". That being said, "Oathbreakers" is MUCH more satisfying than the first in the series. It feels more like a complete story than the first, and it is highly satisfying to read.

The relationships deepen, the action is just as interesting as ever, and the ending is highly satisfying on several levels. I also think this book stands a much better ch
Jeremy Preacher
Nov 21, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Oathbreakers is the only proper novel in the Tarma-and-Kethry sequence, and it's good. It's a little more of a proper Valdemar novel, despite only barely touching on Valdemar itself, and much less a sword-and-sorcery pastiche.

It's still very much pulp - the language, while competent and noticeably smoother than its immediate predecessor, is still rather faux-medieval and occasionally overwrought, the plot is a little too pat to be totally believable, and it's yet another rape-revenge story at th
Michelle ♣ Ndayeni
Another blast from the past as I slowly continue my re-read of the Valdemar universe books. In this book we see Tarma and Kethry "all grown up" as it were. Not that they weren't quite mature before, but now they have several more years of experience under their belts, both as an independent team and as part of a mercenary company. Both have learned much about how to work with and train others, skills that will be vital for them to be able to found their fighting and magecraft schools as they wan ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 28, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy Fans
I find Tarma and Kethry two of Lackey's most appealing characters. (To say nothing of Warrl, a kind of androgenous talking wolf).

The earlier book, Oathbound proceeds this--I don't think you have to read it to enjoy this book, but I'd recommend it highly too. That first book is more a collection of stories--this one is a true novel. I enjoy it for its depiction of a mercenary company, the Sun Hawks, which is evocatively depicted here. It's nice to see a fantasy novel not just about a lone hero b
Apr 16, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it
This was a much easier read than the first of the series, and way more enjoyable. The rape scenes were way down, and while it was mentioned again in this book, it wasn't as graphic as in the first book. You kind of had time to see it coming as well, so though the circumstances were brutal it wasn't in your face. The book concludes with one of the most satisfying revenge scenes, which places this aware into the genre of rape and revenge that seems to be Mercedes happy place. Why did I never notic ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Renee rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to Oathbound, and I thought a much better book. Tarma & Kethry have joined a mercenary company - Kethry's an adept now & Tarma's a commander. Warryl's still with them. When their captain goes to choose between her two brothers, both vieing for the throne of Rethwellan, she vanishes and they go looking for her.

This is a darker book with an appalling villain you love to HATE! A great cast of characters, including some really spectacular horses. Yes, if you put pretty hor
Aug 19, 2010 Melinda rated it really liked it
This is my favorite book of this trilogy, no small part due to the fact that it is the only one actually written as a book. The first one is a collection of stories that Lackey strung together into a storyline, but occasionally feels disconnected. The following book doesn't even pretend to be a full story, and while it has a short novella, most of the book is just a collection of all the short stories of Tarma & Kethry, some of which had already been used in the Oathbound.

As far as the story
Sep 26, 2008 Kerri rated it really liked it
Tarma and Kethry (and Warrl of course), are among my favorite characters in Lackey's Velgarth books, and in this second part of the Vows and Honor duology, they continue to kick serious ass and save the world. This time, their enemies include a ruthless usurper, an evil mage, and a slanderous Bard. There are new friends too of course, and some romance for Kethry. Unlike The Oathbound, this is a full novel, not a loosely connected series of stories. But like the stories, it's just as full of acti ...more
Jun 27, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it
I loved this book when I first read it in my early adolescence, and I found myself still greatly enjoying it as an adult (even if the flaws are far more readily apparent).

The greatest strength of the novel is the friendship between Tarma and Kethry: an epic bond of the sort that is usually only allowed to male characters. It is infinitely refreshing to have two strong women with ironclad bonds of sisterhood.

The story itself if interesting, and decently paced, though nothing extraordinary. It was
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover Correction? 3 164 Dec 22, 2012 03:31PM  
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Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &am ...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...

Other Books in the Series

Valdemar: Vows and Honor (3 books)
  • The Oathbound (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #1)
  • Oathblood (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #3)

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