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Oath Breaker by Michelle Paver is the fifth, and penultimate instalment in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series which starts with Wolf Brother.

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Oscar and I have been reading these together since spring. Because we are not reading them alongside the girls, we have to find time for a separate story time in the day, and it’s not always possible, so we have been reading this book for a little longer than we would have liked.

The girls are away for the weekend, so we have made the most of it and finally finished the book in an epic story time this morning. It was wonderful.

Oscar wanted to start the last book straightaway, but my throat had given out, so I’ve come in here to tell you all about the book and give my voice a rest, while he makes pretend soup in the kitchen sink. All is well!

I have reviewed the previous four books on this site, and as with most long running series, I have to tell you that if you are new to the books you really should start at the beginning. This is a complex story and the plot lines, by this point, will be so confusing that you won’t make much sense of it if you start here.

Having said that, if you are reading your way through them, you have a treat to come with this book. To my mind it is the strongest book we’ve read yet. The fight against the evil forces of the magic Soul Eaters is reaching its zenith, which is utterly gripping and makes you long to read just one more chapter. But what I also loved was the deepening relationships between the three main characters, Torak, Renn and Wolf. I also loved that Finn Kedinn, the leader of the Raven Clan, takes a much more important emotional and symbolic role in this story than ever before.

The book is, like its predecessors, quite violent in places, and there is a nasty murder in the opening chapters which springboards the rest of the adventure. As such I would not recommend it for under 8 year olds unless you are reading it with them and you are confident that they will be able to process the violence. Ideally it would work for 8-14 year olds. It is a nicely balanced tale with strong roles for women and I feel it would be equally enjoyed by girls and boys.

And me.

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