This past week we gave the spotlight to Oathbreaker, A. J. Rettger’s debut Dark Fantasy novel. Our Roadies brought a wide selection of content to this show with their reviews, interviews and more. Now it’s time to bring the show to an end and it’s my pleasure to present you with the encore, including some extra content. Come and learn a bit more about the world of Oathbreaker through our Q&A with A. J.!
A.J. Rettger lives on a farm near the small town of Aberdeen Saskatchewan with his dog, Zeke. He has a bachelor’s of education degree, as well as a certificate from a private vocational college. His hobbies include playing Dungeons and Dragons, listening to heavy metal, and reading and writing fantasy books. Oathbreaker is his first book.
For thousands of years, elves and non-humans alike had lived freely until humans colonized their land and forced them into hiding and subjugation. After years of living as slaves or second-class citizens, the elves rebelled, but their uprising failed, and humans remained victorious.
Mario Deschamps, a new graduate of the Knight’s College, sets off to complete his first deed, an accomplishment that will grant him knighthood and into the ordo equestris. But he has huge boots to fill. His late father, a famous knight and considered the Scourge of Bandits, single-handedly ended the Elven Uprising. Mario’s youthful confidence, vanity, and naivety don’t get him far in the real world, and he quickly finds himself trapped in a political climate where tensions are on the rise and war is inevitable.
In a world filled with monsters, outlaws, bounty hunters, demons, and murderous bandits, Mario is forced to make tough moral decisions. In a world fuelled by violence, hate, and bigotry, things are not as clear cut as he once thought. Lines have been drawn, but to complete his task, he must cross them all. With every choice, the consequences weigh greatly on him, leaving him full of guilt and doubting his path . . . and all the while, in the darkness, someone-or something-is waiting for him to break . . ..
A.J. Rettger weaves an epic tale of politics and prejudice, war and depravity, and legacy and destiny in his action-packed debut fantasy Oathbreaker….
Click on the blog name to read their full review or other content!
MAY 9TH – THE KICKOFF
“I’ve always been the creative type. Ever since I was a young child, I gravitated towards the arts. I loved music (I have a certificate from a private vocational college in music), I loved to draw (even though I’m shit at it), and I loved to play pretend. The act of creating was such a release for me that I felt like I could do anything I wanted and be anything I wanted. Looking back, after countless hours of therapy, I can see that it was an early form of escapism.”
Beneath A Thousand Skies – excerpt
Kerri McBookNerd – review
“This was well-crafted and fascinating story with excellent world-building! I was captivated from beginning to end, though I didn’t always get on with some of the writing. This is definitely on the dark side, so make sure to check content warnings before jumping in if there are certain subjects you’d rather avoid. All in all, this was a solid fantasy story with secrets, politics, and a main character that grows a lot over the course of this short tale. If you like dark fantasy with great world-building, heaps of intrigue, and fascinating characters, I think you’d enjoy Oathbreaker!”
@dibs.collection – IG spotlight
I Can Has Books? – review
“The book isn’t perfect, it’s a very high 3 and that isn’t a bad thing. As a debut novel it was rather good. I enjoyed it, and I continued to pick it back up because I wanted to know what next. Especially the political aspect of the story, those interludes with the Emperor I would have liked more of. I love a good political fantasy.
Overall the story left me intrigued, especially after the ending because I’m assuming and hoping there will be a book 2 and that this wasn’t a standalone. Because if the end is the end then that was a rough ride for Mario, bittersweet and well grim. If there is more to this world, and like I said I assume there will be I am interested to see where A.J Rettger goes with it and I’m sure we will see growth both story and author wise.”
@chapter.mjthomas – review + IG spotlight
“To sum up, it’s dark, very and if you are okay with gore, it’s a good read.“
Fantasy Book Nerd – review
“On the whole, Oathbringer is well written debut. As I said previously, A.J. Retinger has a head full of ideas. Mostly, these ideas work but there were times when some of them didn’t click with me. I found that the intrusion of Mario’s inner thought processes took me way from the narrative, and I felt that these interrupted the flow of the story. That is just my personal opinion, and most people had no problems with this aspect
If you like your fiction dark, then I think you will enjoy this. After the ending of this book, I really want to know what happens next and will be looking forward to the next instalment.”
Al-Alhambra – review
“Full credit to the author for adding a Roman fantasy-inspired faction. I am always looking for them, and quite frankly I LOVE the Classical Era, which had legends such as Alexander, Hannibal, Zenobia, Cleopatra, Caesar, Scipio Africanus, Aurelian. Also, Lukas Aurelian is one of my most favorite characters for that matter, a loyal spy to the Emperor. Emperor Vesuvius Vladimir Valerius is an awesome name for an Emperor.
I enjoyed this!”
Welcome to the Asylum, A. J.! Take a seat by the fire, have a glass of beverage of your choice and tell me something about yourself!
Thank you for having me! As the stereotypical polite Canadian, I brought my own beverages so that I wouldn’t be a bother for my wonderful host. I am pretty pop-culture illiterate. There are so many iconic films and shows I have yet to experience, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Friends, and The Office.
What inspires your writing? Do you listen to music, stare into the fire, listen to the whispering of the wind, make deals with the Devil?
I definitely need music! When I write, I have specific playlists that I have playing in the background. It’s mainly orchestral or cinematic pieces, but I find that the songs’ ebb and flow help me capture the emotions that I’m trying to describe on the page. Some of the composers I listen to when writing are Marcin Przbyłowicz, Sonya Belousova, Bear McCreary, and Ramin Djawadi. I also pay respect to my heavy metal roots in my book; I managed to hide dozens of references to songs, albums, artists, and bands throughout my book. I did this because I hoped that, if by some miracle, any of them read it, they’ll know it came from a fan who was genuinely moved by their music.
Describe an asylum set in the world of your book, Oathbreaker!
Much like my book, the asylum would be dark, dreary, and to a lesser extent depressing. It would be full of blood, guts, and gore and would most likely have some kind of monster lurking in the dark recesses of the asylum.
Your MC is locked in an asylum. What did he/she do to end up there?
Knowing Mario, he was probably coerced into doing something that he initially thought was for the greater good, only to have it bite him in the ass.
Which fictional character (it can be one of yours) and/or author would you like to live with in an asylum and why?
This is a tough question! I would love to spend time with Tolkien or Sapkowski, I feel both of those authors could talk for hours about the worlds they created and can entertain me with thousands of nuggets of lore. As for fictional characters, I would love to be stuck with Geralt and Dandelion from The Witcher. If you haven’t guessed by now I’m a massive nerd for anything witcher-related!
While you are locked in here for eternity, we will allow you one book – what would you choose?
That’s not fair! All my favourite books are series! If I had to choose I’d probably pick The Axe and the Throne by M.D. Ireman, there are so many characters in that book and they all have unbelievable depth.
Well then, we hope you’ll enjoy your stay in the Asylum! Any last words? *locks door*
Mark my words, I’ll get out of here and publish another book. You haven’t heard the last of me!a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you are interested in Oathbreaker and would like to get in contact with A. J. Rettger, you can find him on social media:
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Grab a copy of Oathbreaker on Amazon!