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Death Sworn

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  • Posted April 21, 2014

    Do not miss! Assassins and Magic Ahead! Okay, so we all know (o

    Do not miss! Assassins and Magic Ahead!

    Okay, so we all know (or maybe you don’t know) that I have a soft spot for Assassins and Magic and boy, let me tell you, Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1) by Leah Cypress has both! This stunning new series will capture your breath and heart and have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end with unexpected twist and turns. And did I mention assassins and magic?!

    Let’s start off with this GORGEOUS cover! Darkness surrounds the majestic regal structure that looks as if it’s been in ruin for quite some time. I LOVE the colors and the light contrasted with the dark. Absolutely stunning. This is the perfect opener to the world building that is to follow within these pages. In a world far removed from ours and away from anything you might imagine, Cypress builds the most fantastic, mysterious and dark world you can imaging. This world is filled with betrayals, secrets and plots.

    Death Sworn also boasts some great characters (main and secondary). Our main characters, Ileni and Sorin are wonderfully written and so full of internal conflict and depth. Ileni is in an desperate situation and fearing death around every corner, but she is at least at peace with her circumstance. Sorin, a great young assassin with great promise is just waiting for a chance to fulfill his duty while Ileni who has had her chance and now has to succumb to duty constantly are pulled toward each other in a completely hopeless way. Oh the SWOON! And in the background is a mysterious unknown love, Tellis, who I think I am in love with already despite his lack of presence in this novel. The secondary characters all play their parts as well and each adds a depth and dimension to the cast that really keeps you engaged until the end.

    Of course twists galore in this story that keeps you guessing until the very end.

    There is still so much I want to know from Ileni's past and the kingdom's history that I hope will be revealed in book two!

    What a great read to a hopefully fantastic series! Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    With everything taken from her, Ileni steps toward her death. Af

    With everything taken from her, Ileni steps toward her death. After spending most of her 17 years obtaining the training necessary of a Renegai sorceress, she enters the Assassins’ Caves an expendable failure, spurred by the distance she put “between herself and all the people who thought she was worthless”. She was sent there by the Elders and sworn to discover why two of their own had died within the past half year.. Ileni was also charged with tutoring the young assassins in magic and uncovering the truth of her predecessors all while trying to stay alive and not revealing her own powerful secret.

    Along the way, she discovers truths she hadn’t even admitted to herself, finds an unlikely ally, reveals long-kept secrets more fearsome than her own, and learns that the first step toward truth is the hardest.

    Character I’d most like to have coffee with: The Master, while he is ruthless and coldhearted, his ability to sort through, process, and act on information is legendary... and he always has a reason, even if at the moment it makes sense only to him.

    I received a copy of the ARC from the author as part of a blog tour. All thoughts are my own.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Death Sworn was a surprising, fresh, young adult science fiction

    Death Sworn was a surprising, fresh, young adult science fiction fantasy.

    Ileni is loosing her magical abilities, a mistake that her elders should never of made. They now deem her worthless without her magic so they are willing to sacrifice her by sending her into an assassin's den to help train them with magic. She realizes the death sentence that has been put upon her head.

    Ileni discovers a strange and dangerous place, but friendship along the the way. She will soon realize that she is part of a much deeper and nefarious plan. Can she survive with little to no magic?

    Cypess excelled in world building. The life in the assassin caves pops off the pages. 

    Ileni is a marvelous heroine, withstanding her fatalistic attitude and anger, she knows her duty and strives to accomplish her goals.

    The romance is slow building and believable...when it happens, it is implied and not described.

    I had a few issues with this story. I didn't connect with the characters. I appreciated them but their fate was of little to no concern. Sorin, although found some emotions, ultimately was a major disappointment and seemed to learn nothing from Ileni's convictions.

    The closing comments will make you want to read on. What an ending!

    Death Sworn was a marvelously dark and entertaining fantasy, with a highly original plot and a brilliantly strong heroine. 

    I received this ARC copy of Death Sworn from Greenwillow Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication March 4, 2014.

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  • Posted March 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Death Sworn

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
    Book One of the Death Sworn series
    Publisher: Greenwillow
    Publication Date: March 4, 2014
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: ARC sent by the publisher

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

    But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

    What I Liked:

    I've had this book since AUGUST, you all, August 2013. I remember because the ARC came in the mail the day before I moved out of my house and into Johns Hopkins, as a freshman. I was so grateful, because it was the first Harper I received (thank you, Leah!). It's gorgeous, it's fantasy, and I knew I had to have it.

    I really enjoyed this book! It's a beautiful start to a new series, and I will be reading the next book(s) in the series. I had not read Leah's other books, but this is a new series. Ileni is a sorceress with dying magic. She is sent (forced to go) to a cave, to train young male assassins. No one knows that her magic is dying. And a threat lies beyond the cave, and Ileni will have to make some decisions about her magic, her duty to her people, and her heart.

    This book takes place in the cave I mentioned above - like, the ENTIRE book takes place there. This is a good and bad thing. It is good, because we get a clear sense of the setting of the novel. It's not so good, because that is the ONLY setting we experience. We don't know much about the "outside" world - but we will in the next book (I'm sure).

    This book is written in third person limited - limited to Ileni. I really like this, as it is a nice switch from first person. We get Ileni's point-of-view, but also the master of the assassins' point-of-view occasionally (very rarely though). I like Ileni. She is a strong character, and she follows her instinct and her heart, and not always the orders of others.

    The other protagonist is Sorin. Sorin is the best (or one of the best) assassins being trained. He is tasked with shadowing and protecting Ileni - which is not an easy job, in a cave of assassins. Sorin is loyal to his master, but as the book goes on, he changes subtly. He becomes conflicted about his loyalties and his duties.

    There is a bit of romance between Ileni and Sorin, but it is VERY light. Not much happens between them romantically, but the attraction is present. I hope to see more of the romance in the next book(s), because I am totally rooting for the magic-less sorceress and the deadly, unfeeling assassin.

    The world-building in this novel is pretty good! Granted, the entire novel is set in a cave, so we don't know much about the actual world, but I liked the scene that the author set. The attitude of the assassins is brutal, harsh, but filled with honor. Ileni's attitude is passive, soft, yet unyielding. I loved seeing the worlds collide.

    I feel like there wasn't too much of a climax in this book - but maybe it was supposed to be subtle for a reason. The book kind of meandered a little, but it was a calculating type of meandering, like a snake lying in the wake, waiting for just the right moment to strike. 

    As I said before, I really liked this novel, and I definitely will be reading the next book(s) in the series. I hope to see more from the actual world and more from the romance! Otherwise, I think the author did a fantastic job with this awesome fantasy novel.

    What I Did Not Like:

    I think I mentioned this point quite enough, but I would have liked to experience more from the setting - more than just the cave. Yes, we get to know a lot about life in the cave, and that sets the tone for the novel However, the next book will be set in the outside world (I think), and I would have liked to know more about the outside world. Being in the cave seemed like the world was in a bubble.

    And more romance, please! This isn't really a complaint, but I would have liked to see more between Ileni and Sorin. At the moment, it definitely does NOT seem like their style, so I get it. But in the future...

    Would I Recommend It:

    This is definitely one that fantasy lovers should read! Fantasy is my favorite genre, and I loved this book. I wanted a little more from the book overall, but I'm hoping that the rest of the series will be more fulfilling. There is a hint of romance, but not enough to label this book with the "romance" tag. I would recommend this read to fantasy lovers primarily - I know this one won't be for everyone.


    4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely will be reading the next book in the series!

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