review

THE RECKLESS OATH WE MADE – BRYN GREENWOOD

The Reckless Oath We MadeThe Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

i gave this one four stars cats because i didn’t like it quite as much as All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, but that’s a pretty hard book to top. my 1-5 ratings are starbitrary, but my words are all encouraging you to read this book.

this is literary fiction that has put one fist in the romance barrel and one fist in the crime fiction barrel, grabbed the most interesting bits and made a whole new thing outta them.

i do not like romance novels, but i do like this. like atuawt, it’s a paradox of a love story; a couple both unlikely, but also—in greenwood’s deft hands—perfectly matched. zhorzha is a tall brassy redhead; a waitress who dabbles in light drug-running to support her hoarder mother and to pay off her own medical bills after a motorcycle accident has left her with chronic pain. gentry is neurodivergent, with the motor tics associated with autism and auditory hallucinations that manifest as three discrete advisors: hildegard, gawen, and the witch. oh yeah, and he’s also a knight. he sees the world through a medieval filter; speaking in middle english, handy with a sword, and loyally serving the lady zhorzha as her devoted champion, bound to her by the witch’s prophecy before they even meet-cute:

As I came down the sidewalk, he stepped away from his truck and bowed to me. I will never forget what he said: ”My lady. Thy servant.”

I stopped, because there was nobody else he could be talking to, but I had no idea what he meant. He straightened up, but kept his eyes down.

“My lady. If thou wilt allow me to help thee,” he said. When I didn’t answer, he got down on one knee, like he meant to propose to me. “’Tis my honor to carry thee whither thou desirest.”

”Is this your truck?” I said, because I didn’t speak whither thou desirest.

it is not your typical love story, and the romance of it is the chivalric capital-r romance of the high medieval era, all wrapped up in a code of honor and duty and the chaste rescue of fair maidens until, ya know, it isn’t.

i had concerns that gentry’s knightly lingo was going to get old real fast, but i got used to it, and it somehow became natural to be reading a grit lit novel with this slight fantasy overlay, to the extent that she had me talking like gentry in my head. it helps that the voice is used in moderation—the POV moves around a lot, and gentry has fewer POV chapters than zee, but his descriptive passages are… memorable.

My lady spake in a great dragon voice, all damped smoke and fury, and I feared for her. She wore her anger like a cloak of fire that burned none but herself.

it’s a chimera of a book—hard to predict and hard to pin down, but bryn greenwood has A WAY and all you need to do is show up.

read this book the day it comes out, wait three days, and then wish me a happy birthday!

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i loved All the Ugly and Wonderful Things so much that when i was asked to choose the store’s book club book for june, i said “HOW ‘BOUT WE DO THIS?” so we are.

and bryn sent us amazing bookplates and tattoos.

come to the book club, local booknerds!

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i’m gonna write a review for this SOON, but for now, enjoy these photos of an amazing gift from bryn ‘i make my own book schwag’ greenwood:

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me, singing a song about how excited i was to find this book in my mailbox.

View all my reviews

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