• The Oathbound

  • Vows and Honor Series, Book 1
  • By: Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Christa Lewis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (583 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The first audiobook in the Vows and Honor trilogy unites sword master and sorceress in a quest for revenge in this thrilling epic fantasy.  

She was Tarma. Born to the Clan of the Hawk of the nomadic Shin'a'in people, she saw her entire clan slain by brigands. Vowing blood revenge upon the murderers, she became one of the sword-sworn, the most elite of all warriors. Trained in all the forms of death-dealing combat, she took to the road in search of her enemies.   

She was Kethry. Born to a noble house, sold into a hateful "marriage", she fled life's harshness for the sanctuary of the White Winds, a powerful school of sorcery. Becoming an adept, she pledged to use her talents for the greatest good. Yet unlike other sorcerers, Kethry could use worldly weapons as well as magical skills. And when she became the bearer of a uniquely magical sword that drew her to those in need, Kethry was led to a fateful meeting with Tarma.   

United 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 together, sword master and sorceress set forth to fulfill their destiny....

©1988 Mercedes R. Lackey (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“Their adventures are both imaginative and entertaining.... An intricately choreographed confrontation provides an extremely clever resolution.” (Rave Reviews)

What listeners say about The Oathbound

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Collection of Short Stories

I really like this book. The only thing that has always bothered me about it is that it is clearly a collection of short stories. Each of the stories reminds the reader of what has happened before (i.e. who Tarma and Kethy are. What they are to each other. Who Waarl is. Etc.) That makes sense when they are published separately, but should have been edited out when collected into a book.

The other issue I have with the audiobook is Tarma's voice. That is NOT a reflection on the reader, who did an amazing job. Tarma's voice is supposed to be horrible, and the reader put all of that in. However, because the voice is so horrible, it is jarring every time Tarma speaks.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Solid performance

This is a solid performance but there are a couple issues that drew me out of the story. First, the narrator’s depiction of Tarma’s voice is a very difficult for me to get used to. I understand that her voice is supposed to be a harsh croak, but the narrator makes it almost unintelligible at first. It seems to lighten up a bit later though, or maybe I just got used to it.

There are a couple times where the narrator uses the wrong voice for the character, but those are brief moments. Nevertheless they jar me a bit.

Overall it’s a solid performance, there is an inherent melodrama to some of Mercedes Lackey’s books and this one is no exception. But if you are a fan you should give this one a listen.

15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

If you’re looking for an introduction to Mercedes Lackey or the world of Velgarth, I suggest you start elsewhere. If you’re familiar with the characters Tarma and Kathry, this is basically their origin story. It was clearly written as a series of shorter stories, (appeared in Sword and Sorcery), and then compiled into a book, only loosely strung together. Makes it great for casual listening when you might have to stop frequently. Oathblood (the next book) is SO much better, and has a coherent story line, but this is a nice, casual introduction.

The performance bugged the crap out of me. I can’t for the life of me figure out why Kethry has an English accent. Tarma’s voice was...I suppose somewhat accurate to the book’s description, but sounded like what it was; someone putting on an act, rather than someone who had her throat crushed. Not to mention that for some reason lines that were clearly supposed to belong to Keth were said in Tarma’s voice. Definitely not my favorite performance.

13 people found this helpful

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Tarma & Kethry come to life...

I read this when it first came out in 1998 (I still have them all in paperback) and am ecstatic that they've made it into an audiobook... Please hurry with Oathbreakers & Oathblood... you know, Mercedes Lackey, you could continue tgis series with new tales... js

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

poor pronuciation ruins stories

if you're going to narrate a book, learn to pronounce the proper names in it.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful!

I loved the original book, this rendition is truly faithful to it. I'd forgotten how good it was.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing Story!! Loved it!!!

I wasn’t sure what I was going to read.... but this author keeps my imagination captivated completely!!! This story has all the bits of the fantasy story!!!

2 people found this helpful

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The Oathbound series is fantastic.

I love the Oathbound series as well as all the Valdemar books. Tarma and Kethry are my favorite characters. I have always been such an avid reader, but am loving the audiobook format, since I spend a lot of time driving.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting characters.

Enjoyed this book when I was a teenager and I enjoyed listening to Christa Lewis' performance. She brought Kethery and Tarma to life. I will be looking forward to Oathbreakers - the other book in the Vows and Honor series.

2 people found this helpful

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Lovely!

I started my love of Valdemar and all of Mercedes Lackey’s books when my aunt gave me Oathbound when I was twelve. Its remained one of my favourites and one I reread over and over. I was thrilled to find the audiobook and the performance was spot on! Can’t wait to dive into the next books in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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