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Oathbreakers (Valdemar: Vows and Honor #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  13,825 Ratings  ·  118 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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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)
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
Melanie Rose
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

So much more a complete story than the first. Very satisfying ending. I look forward to Jardrek's role in their clan.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Two strong women as "heroes" make for lively reading. One is compelled to cheer them on in their various quests. I enjoyed their adventures.
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.
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: valdemar-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
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 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: ebook, owned
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 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy
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 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 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 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 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

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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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“Good hips. Breed like cow, strong like bull, dumb like ox. Hitch to plow when horse dies.” 2 likes
“Remember this always: to have something, sometimes you must be willing to lose it. Love must live free, jel’enedra. Love must ever live free.” 1 likes
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