This book was such a pleasant surprise. I chose it as my August 2019 BOTM choice simply because I loved Bryn Greenwood's other novel, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Despite the books controversy, I loved her writing style and the conflicting feelings I felt while I read the story. In true Greenwood style, The Reckless Oath We Made will invoke similar feelings. I am still conflicted on how I feel about the situations that took place, but that is what makes a great book. This one has left me thinking, well after I finished.
Zee is working a dead end job, living with her sister and nephew, and helping move drugs to make money on the side. One evening, her sister does not come home from her volunteer position at a local prison. Zee takes care of her nephew while she learns that her sister was kidnapped by two prisoners who plotted an elaborate escape.
Gentry is a knight and is sworn to protect Zee. He may not look like a knight in the traditional sense, but he lives his life by his code of honor and vows to help Zee.
These two could not be more different, but are also so much alike. Both are considered outcasts from society, but find comfort in each other.
It took me a few chapters to get used the Middle English that Gentry used. After that, I became enveloped in the story and connected with the characters. They are each flawed in their own ways. Zee has had a rough life and nothing has come easy to her. Gentry has had his own struggles, but finding his knighthood code has helped him navigate the world. What I loved about these characters was how real and raw they were. When Zee saw Gentry, she did not see his diagnosis. She saw the sweet, caring man he is. When Gentry saw Zee, he did not see the troubled woman others saw, he saw someone needing help who was too stubborn to ask for it. These two are opposites on every level, which is all the more reason I loved them together.
This is not your traditional love story and this story is different than Greenwood's first novel. If you picked this up expecting something similar to All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, you will not find that right away. The entire time I read, I felt like the books were extremely different, but after I finished and stripped away the surface, they have very similar themes. Both are nontraditional love stories with flawed characters. The characters endure a gritty conflict that ends up having the courts involved, but the end gives resolution and closure to their stories. In this sense, the two books are similar, but The Reckless Oath We Made is much less controversial than All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.
This book is a solid 4.5/5. I could not put it down and had to know the ending to the story. It kept me interested right up until the end.