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Oathbreakers (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #2)
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(Valdemar: Vows and Honor #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  14,306 ratings  ·  135 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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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,306 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
DNF @ 23%

I hated The Oathbound with a fiery passion. I was going to skip this one but several reviewers said it's better than the first one, so I decided to give this book two or three chapters to see what happens.

What happened was I just can't stand Tarma or Kethry. Every second they're on page is like nails on chalkboard, and since they're the POV characters, that became a problem real quick. What kills me is it would be simple to write these characters as both entrepreneurial, and compassiona
Jan 20, 2016 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
MrsJoseph *grouchy*
While I can't help that I love these characters and world...

...again with the raping!

In Oathbreakers, the two main characters are not raped (this time). I appreciate that. All in all, there's very little violence against women in this one.

The rape and violence against women with this one is the plotline. (view spoiler)
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Wow. I actually gave a Mercedes Lackey book two stars? How odd. The thing is, I actually finished this over a week ago, and yet I felt no need to review it, think about it and almost no desire to start another book. I have been busy in RL, but I felt like this story had left me drained; it was just so, so boring. I think I realized as well that BOTH the main characters are what we would term 'Mary Sues' in modern writing, even if they weren't considered as such when this book was written. They c ...more
Pam Baddeley
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
After the first disappointing volume of this series I was expecting more of the same so it was a pleasant surprise to find that this volume mostly reached the workmanlike level of a good read achieved by the sequel 'By the Sword' which I happened to read first. Unlike the first volume which is basically a series of short stories put together - as I've now realised is actually the case since some of them are reprinted in original form in another volume - this is a proper novel. It deals with the ...more
Jun 22, 2011 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
2018 - This is probably the least episodic of the three books. It's pretty much two stories, one mercenary small-war story which then leads into the larger story of how Tarma and Kethry bring stability to the Rethwellan ruling dynasty, by way of a palace coup. And affect Valdemar's history many years later (yeah, read more of these books).

Plus - it has fewer totally annoying typographical-or-grammatical or spelling/word-choice errors. See comments on Book #1 of this series. ETA: I've just been
Apr 16, 2013 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
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
(3.5-ish? Clearly the 5 star system is not precise enough for me!)

A solid fantasy adventure with excellent main characters. I have a few quibbles with the style and the pacing (too much internal dialogue, a few aspects of plot that could have been expanded upon), but on the whole it's enjoyable. And it's a relief to me, to find a childhood favorite that stands the test of time!
Jeremy Preacher
Nov 21, 2011 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
Jun 17, 2007 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
Jan 22, 2010 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
Oct 24, 2014 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 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
Morgan Dhu
Feb 04, 2014 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.
Jeffe Kennedy
Jan 27, 2016 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.
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, I appear to be rereading all the Valdemar books I own. Okay then.
Alex James
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-reviews
In this sequel to The Oathbound, of the Vows and Honor omnibus, Mercedes Lackey focuses on the politics of the lands they are in as much as the characters and this includes raising armies, building loyalties, and seeing the bigger picture of their battle against evil. The enemies weren’t mages or criminals; they were kings. The corrupt deeds of those in power was highlighted.

The stakes are as high as ever, when leader of the Sunhawks mercenary tribe Idra goes missing. Idra went to see which of
Chromium Kitty
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I feel like this should be 2.5 stars instead of 3, but you know how it goes.

This was a step up from the previous "book" in this series in that it's a whole book rather than a collection of short stories stitched together in an attempt to make a novel. And while that was an improvement, the book still seems to have some issues with it than could stem from this (probably) being one of ML's very first published books. I'm not super sure of that, but given that it was first published in 1989
Lia Cooper
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
the best thing i can say about this book is that there's less rape than in the first one (*internal screaming*) but overall it's just too short and skips over too much for the relationship developments to really connect for me. I almost dnf'd at 50 pgs but i kept going and there was a middle section i found more interesting, but the latter half is riddled with one easy coincidence after another. characters magically just know stuff and intuit everything. i really wanted to read this because it's ...more
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many times a sequel isn't as strong as the original. Oathbreakers, if anything, is stronger. Less episodic, there's a missing person who ties the whole novel together. Kethry and Tarma are tasked to find her, or to discover her fate. For fans of Valdemar, a herald and his companion do make an entrance. The background to one of Valdemar's alliances is also revealed.

People may not realize that there are two CDs that accompany Oathbound and Oathbreakers. They bear the same title, but are/were put
Rachel Teferet
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
This book was much much better than the first one (the first book was just terrible!). The character development in this book was great, and the plot was great too. I would give it 3.5 stars if I could, just because I felt like the climax was cut off a bit (view spoiler) ...more
Hollie Aldridge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this one a lot more than Oathbound. I enjoyed watching them try to figure out what was going on with Idra and getting their revenge. This was all one cohesive plot instead of stories put together, which is more my style. I don't mind episodes or short stories, but for the most part I prefer novels and one long adventure. This book felt like that. I'm glad I read it and will have to admit that I've grown fond of Tarma and Kethry and now I'm off to Kerowyn. I got interested in these books ...more
A. Nixon
This one definitely fits together better as a novel rather than a collection of short stories.

I really enjoyed this one! Because I've already read Kero's book, I should have realized that (view spoiler) but I just didn't notice until later!

Anyway. If you like kickass ladies and mercenaries and all that good stuff then you may just love this one.
Mo D
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on it's own, but you'll definitely want to read the 1st book Oathbound though, or you'll feel lost. The Vows & Honor trilogy is an excellent stand alone though set in the Valdemarian world, there are things in this trilogy that are referred to in several of the other books in the over all series.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second book in the series. Like how the author uses the story of Kethry and Tarma to move away from the standard use of women in science fiction: they are the warriors, the rescuers-not the victims, the foils.
Continued re-read of Mercedes Lackey.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the second in the Vows and Honor series even more than the first! Mercedes Lackey is so talented at creating wonderful characters who you love and fall in love with and just want the best for. This was a great story and I can’t wait to see how things wrap up in volume 3!
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm rereading Valdemar in chronological order - so much fun! This is a fantastic story, full of intrigue and deception. I love how it gives us a hook from Tarma and Kethry to Valdemar and the Heralds. I especially loved the description of the Oathbreaking ceremony. That was powerful stuff.
Zac E
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: valdemare
amazing book every time a major plot point happens it brings tears because it is so well written.
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Goodreads Librari...: Cover Correction? 3 165 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

Other books in the series

Valdemar: Vows and Honor (3 books)
  • The Oathbound (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #1)
  • Oathblood (Valdemar: Vows and Honor, #3)
“Good hips. Breed like cow, strong like bull, dumb like ox. Hitch to plow when horse dies.” 3 likes
“You look like you’ve swallowed a live fish, and you’re not certain if you’re enjoying the experience.” 2 likes
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