Death Sworn

Death Sworn

3.9 19
by Leah Cypess
     
 

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When a young sorceress is exiled to teach magic to a clan of assassins, she will find that secrets can be even deadlier than swords. Teen Vogue proclaimed, "It's impossible not to fall deep into the dark yet alluring world of sorcery and secret assassins." A dangerous and eerie fantasy about murder, shocking discoveries, and fiery star-crossed romance that

Overview

When a young sorceress is exiled to teach magic to a clan of assassins, she will find that secrets can be even deadlier than swords. Teen Vogue proclaimed, "It's impossible not to fall deep into the dark yet alluring world of sorcery and secret assassins." A dangerous and eerie fantasy about murder, shocking discoveries, and fiery star-crossed romance that readers of Cinda Williams Chima and Robin LaFevers won't be able to put down.

Ileni is losing her magic. And that means she's losing everything: her position as the rising star of her people, her purpose in life, and even the young man she loves. Sent to the assassins' cave hidden deep within the mountains, she expects no one will ever hear from her again. The last two sorcerers sent died within weeks of each other. Accidents? Or something more sinister? As Ileni navigates the dangers—both natural and human—of the caves, she'll discover secrets that have been kept for decades. And she'll find an ally in Sorin, the deadly young man who could be the assassins' next leader. With Sorin determined to protect her, sparks—magical and romantic—will fly. But will even he understand the choice she must make in the end?

Editorial Reviews

Cinda Williams Chima
“A dark, atmospheric, murder mystery laced with sorcery, intrigue, and dangerous romance. Prepare to be ensnared from the very first page.”
Sarah J. Maas
“Death Sworn is YA fantasy at its finest. Intricate and clever world-building, heart-stopping action, and an unforgettable romance that left me breathless—I adored every single moment and never wanted it to end. This is Leah Cypess’s best book yet!”
Teen Vogue
“[I]t’s impossible not to fall deep into the dark yet alluring world of sorcery and secret assassins.”
Booklist
“In a striking start to a new series full of magic and murder, Cypess has created a heroine at the intersection of Tamor Pierce’s Alanna and George R. R. Martin’s Arya Stark.”
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Amy Cummins
Ileni has nothing left to lose when she enters the Assassins’ Caves on a mission. The teenaged sorceress, whose magical abilities are fading, must detect the killers of two mages who preceded Ileni as tutors for assassins-in-training, men of all ages dedicated to the will of their Master. A truce requires mages from the Renegai people to serve underground and teach the future assassins how to wield magic. Although the Renegai mages disagree with the assassins’ violent methods, the Rathian Empire is a shared enemy because it exploits Dark Power. While threatening forces conspire to make Ileni the latest mage to die in the caves, Ileni determines to fulfill her mission even if she dies in the attempt. Growing affection for her bodyguard, the heroic Sorin, complicates Ileni’s position. Cypess builds a magic-inflected world with realistic relationships that will engross fantasy readers and win new fans. Cypess also authored Mistwood (Greenwillow, 2010/Voya June 2010) and its companion, Nightspell (Greenwillow, 2011/ Voya August 2011). The suspenseful murder mystery and Ileni’s voice make Death Sworn nearly impossible to put down. Ileni’s struggle with the weakening of her magical gifts demonstrates the heartbreak of losing one’s most valued attribute—a relatable pain for many readers. The setting of the Assassins’ Caves inside the Black Mountains holds twists and turns, as does the plot. Cypess masterfully depicts battles with daggers, spells, and wits. The surprising conclusion leaves readers hoping for a sequel. Reviewer: Amy Cummins; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Ileni was once a powerful sorceress, poised to be a leader among her people in their war against the Empire that exiled them long ago. But her magic is slowly and inexplicably fading, and she has been sentenced to spend the rest of her life as a teacher to assassins in a distant cave fortress. The teen also hopes to discover who killed the previous tutors sent by her people. The mission becomes further complicated by Ileni's growing feelings for Sorin, the assassin charged with protecting her. As Ileni delves deeper into the caves and the murders, she discovers more than she bargained for about herself and her people's relationship with the assassins and their mysterious leader. This book has a strong beginning that quickly fails to deliver, due in part to poor world-building. While Cypess gives a strong impression of a deep history of Ileni's people and the Empire itself, she doesn't delve into that history enough, which causes the story to lack a sense of true power. The romance is sluggish, despite a promising start, and Ileni herself, while steely and strong, has a tendency toward overt self-pity and whining. The novel's twists and turns set inside claustrophobic caves often lead to dead ends and will frustrate readers. Fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore may be drawn to this title but may not get deeply engaged.—Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-01-15
A teenage sorceress without magic attempts to solve a murder in a cave full of killers. What could possibly go wrong? Deemed expendable due to her rapidly dwindling power, Ileni is sent to the Assassins' Caves to teach magic—and secretly to investigate the sudden deaths of the previous tutors dispatched there. Resigned to her task (and likely murder), Ileni despises the assassins and all their works yet is also reluctantly drawn to the unexpected grace and even joy in their lives, as well as their selfless dedication to a greater purpose. Cypess has a talent for bringing freshness and depth to tired tropes; her lyrical prose and understated imagery evoke the claustrophobic caverns and the unbearable stress of ever-present danger. Ileni, with her complex blend of intelligence, arrogance, longing, despair and determination, is an exceptionally vibrant heroine. While her delicately passionate romance with her assassin bodyguard appears uncomfortably close to Stockholm syndrome, it also encapsulates the constant tension between popular perceptions of assassins as awesome and sexy superninjas and as callous, mercenary, bloodthirsty thugs. As her constricted surroundings paradoxically result in a more nuanced appreciation of the wider world, Ileni gradually learns the difference among those things worth killing for, worth dying for and worth living for. A thoughtful exploration of identity and responsibility wrapped in a twisty, suspenseful mystery and set in a gorgeously realized fantasy world. (Fantasy/mystery. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062221223
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/03/2015
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
531,352
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Leah Cypess wrote her first short story—in which the narrator was an ice cream cone—at the age of six. She has degrees in biology, journalism, and law, and has traveled to Iceland, Israel, Jordan, and Costa Rica, among other places. She now lives with her family in Maryland. She is also the author of the acclaimed fantasy novels Death Marked, Mistwood, and Nightspell.

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Deathsworn 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 19 reviews.
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
Ileni had everything, a life most envy, but now its taken a turn for the worst. She is losing her magic a little every time she uses it and she also lost the man she loved. Magic users and non magic users don't mingle so when she is offered a chance to go "teach" the assassins magic, she takes it. She knows she was only offered it because she is now expendable.  The assassins follow the law of The Master to the letter! His word is law. When Ileni goes to the caves its with one mission in mind, to find out who killed the last two teachers. She has no idea what she is in for!!  Ok, I finished this a few days ago and cant stop thinking about it. It was amazing!  Ileni is a strong willed character. She has relied heavily on her magic and when she realises that she is losing it she doesn't have much choice but to accept the Elders offer. She goes to the caves with determination and dignity. She is in danger every day but never falters and always keeps a strong outer face. She is truly a heroine that you can look up to and I loved her character.  Sorin was so mysterious! He is assigned to watch and protect Ileni but slowly starts to fall for her. He is the epitome of the strong silent type and is a deadly assassin. He is unfailing in his faith of The Master. If his Master ordered him to kill he would do it in the blink of an eye and without a thought.  I loved watching the romance between Ileni and Sorin blossom. It was so subtle and slow building but so sweet. The chemistry was there straight away but both had trouble trusting the other at the start. It was nice to see it develop normally and not be one of the plethora of insta love stories.  Now on to The Master!! He was for me the best villain I've read in a while. He was down right scary!! He is like the leader of a cult and has brainwashed the assassins to never question or doubt him. He is all knowing!! He shows his power to Ileni the day she comes to the caves. He orders one of the assassins to jump out the window and the assassin does it with no hesitation and a willingness that is creepy. He portrays himself as the good guy but is he really? Overall Deathsworn was magnificent. The author has created a dark and deadly world of assassins and magic that pulls you in. This book hooked me from the start and I loved every word of it. Leah Cypess weaved a deadly tale with characters you immediately love. Her world building and ability to make you feel the atmosphere of that world was amazing. Its a story filled with secrets, lies, intrigue and mystery and will leave your mind blown with how intricate the plot is.  I could ramble all day about how good this is and how much I recommend it but all I'm going to say is Read This Book Now!!! You wont be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 I super loved this book. Ileni isn't your typical normal-girl-discovers-abnormal-powers/world/boy/etc. Instead, she's the opposite - a girl who once held immense power and now has to cope with its loss. The nuance of how she handles that, and the situation she finds herself in, was excellent. I loved that instead of wallowing in her perceived-imminent-death, she used it as motivation to do whatever was necessary to complete her task. Anyone complaining about lack of world building wasn't paying enough attention. Yes, the whole thing takes place in a cave, but you still get all the wonderful details woven into the narrative to help you understand the setting.  And while I can't say I necessarily found Sorin to be particularly swoon-worthy, I loved the relationship between him and Ileni anyway. I love that she had more experience with relationships than him, and that falling in love with her doesn't magically make Sorin a different/better person. Yes, there are shifts and growth from both characters, but it's gradual and subtle and so well done. My biggest complaint is the lack of girls. There's literally no reason that the assassins couldn't have been mixed genders. That being said, I'm glad the author at least had Sorin acknowledge that as a contributing factor in his attraction to Ileni.
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
A true fantasy story that was well paced and intriguing. Death Sworn has strong characters and an story that keeps the reader wondering right to the end. The tale ends with Ileni leaving for more adventures and one hopes there will be a sequel in the works. Ileni is just what a good fantasy novel needs: a strong female protagonist. She is likable, determined and just a bit mysterious. The fact that she is more experienced in the world than the assassin, Sorin, is a well balanced twist. I very much enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it! I hope Leah Cypess is planning on a sequel as I feel the story has just begun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Much better than I expected.
The_Couch_Potatoes_Digest More than 1 year ago
Original Review Posted at Original Review can be Found at The Couch Potatoes Digest I really enjoyed this book! It was a fast read, however, it was a little slow at the beginning but it eventually sped up and improved. I wasn't really sure what to expect but this book has magic and assassins so I had to give it a try. I found myself slowly getting attached to Ileni and even Sorin a little bit. After getting past the slow beginning I couldn't stop myself from reading. I finished this book in about a day. I do wish there was a little more magic involved though, however, that was almost impossible because throughout the book Ileni was struggling with the fact that she was slowly losing the last bits of her magic. Ileni was practically sent to her death because she no longer had her great magical powers. She was sent to the depths of a mountain filled with hundreds of assassins in order to teach the assassins how to control and use their magical powers in order to aid them in their fight against the Empire and to find out who murdered the past two tutors. Throughout the book we often see that Ileni has accepted her fate and her death and is sometimes reckless when it comes to her interactions between the hundreds of deadly assassins. Ileni is very strong headed and borderline reckless, however, I found that I really enjoyed her. Sorin is one of the top assassins in the mountain and he was forced by his Master to protect Ileni. At first Sorin is like a brick wall, solid, unemotional, and humorless. However as we progress through the book we see Ileni chip at this wall and we eventually see some of Sorin's feelings show. He has a past that was very tough and his future doesn't look very promising because, let's face it, assassins don't live very long given their profession. He's got trust issues, which I can understand and he's got one person he listens to and that's it. That's all he's ever really known since living on the streets so you can't fault him. I think one of the best things about this that many people found was that there was no love triangle. It was only Ileni and Sorin and even then there wasn't much loving going on. We see their relationship slowly kindle and grow throughout the novel and we even see a hint of friendship. There are parts of this book that will have you cringing at scenes of gore and death, wishing there wasn't blood in places that you didn't know about. There are some parts where you will see some swooning and a little bit of lovin'. It will also have you rooting for Ileni time and time again wishing that some how all her magic would return in one fell swoop. It's full of action, adventure, romance and death. It leaves you wanting more but the cliff hanger isn't unbearable which makes it a little less horrible to wait. I recommend this book to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be highly misogynistic, a possible inner reflection of the author and I hope I'm wrong. This poor girl could manage to neither protect herself nor speak effectively on her behalf. Being constantly overpowered by "big" "strong" men would drain me a little too. The physical description of the male characters was often an elaborate description of their rippling muscles. The romance between Ileni and her protector seemed so forced and unnecessary that it became hard to follow. Her initial reaction to him saying "I thought I would forget you when I slept with another woman" (a total prick move if you weren't aware) was to kiss him. The only thing he would have gotten from me was hard contact with the back of my hand. There are so many plot points left unexplored, many of which would have improved the quality of the novel if they had been thoroughly discussed. I understand that "at the time" (this book is classified as science fiction in my local library) yes, the girl would most likely have been taken advantage of, but the constant beat-down that she receives is painful. I normally enjoy a bit of frustration in a book but this is never resolved. Her one defiant action is when she walks away from an abusive relationship to wherever she thinks she is going. I could understand a series, there is a lot to build on, but the fact that I was left without a resolution and the final words from the love interest being "but you loved me" (seriously?) left me bitterly unsatisfied feeling despite my distaste for its initial contents. The only reason I could see anyone enjoying this is because there is a growing audience for books where the girl is easily overpowered and painfully dependent on the big boys around her. I loathe this book. Five hours of my life wasted.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
This and Grave Mercy made me think of the Study series. Anyway, I had taken a break from this and got back to it. One of my favorite parts in this was the growing friendship between the sorceress and the assassin. You have well, a sorceress whose power is slowly diminishing. She's sent to teach assassins magic. All the while looking into the death of the last tutor before her. What had happened and what will she find and of course will she survive amongst teaching these assassins in the caves? First off the cover is beautifully done. Surrounding it, the background reminds me of a picture frame in a way. And the colors. Well done. Anyway, this one is a 4. Like I said, I took my time with this, then took a break and after a while got back around to continue reading. I really liked Ileni when she learned something from Sorin and he from her in a way. And she didn't let her circumstance get the better of her. Yeah she didn't like it, but she still kept moving forward and I admired that about her character. I'm curious where the story will go next after an ending like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can say truthfully that i couldn't put this book down. Death Sworn is my new favorite fantasy novel, and I love that even with very few characters, Cypess made a whole new world. Not only is there conflict, but also true human emotion. You travel the emotional rollercoaster with the heroine, Ileni, as she loses her motivation for life. This book has shown me that you don't need a ton of characters to make a new civilization to come to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah_UK1 More than 1 year ago
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) Ilena is a sorceress, but she’s also losing her magic. Sent to live with assassins and train them as part of an agreement between the sorcerers and assassins, Ilena is sent because the previous two teachers have been killed, and she is seen as expendable. Why is Ilena losing her magic? Who killed the previous two teachers? And will Ilena become the third casualty? This was an interesting read, but I did find it a little slow in places. Ileni was an interesting character. I could see why she was feeling a bit depressed over losing her magic, I think I’d be pretty fed up too if I had all that training and no power to make use of it! I also felt quite sorry for her due to the way her elders treated her, it can’t be nice to be told your expendable! I liked the storyline in this book, but for some reason I found it quite hard to find the motivation to keep reading, I don’t know why, but I had to push myself to read this, which obviously is not good! I liked the idea of a cave full of assassins, and I liked the mystery over who was killing the sorcerers, the book just lacked excitement for me. There were a few twists and turns, and I didn’t immediately guess what was going to happen. I do still have some guesses as to what IIeni will find out in the next book, but that remains to be seen. Again though I didn’t find the book all that exciting, even with the twists. There was some romance, but it was fairly minor, and there wasn’t all that much of it. Thankfully the romance felt okay though, and there wasn’t any insta-love. The ending was okay, but again for me lacked excitement. I’ll probably read the next one to find out what happens next, but I’m not rushing to read it. Overall; okay story, but lacked excitement for me. 6.75 out of 10.
AllBookedUp More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
lucieparis2011 More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars A dark story with conspiracies, assassins and a witch without power.  The story has grabbed me from the start. Very quickly, I found myself wanting to know more about Sorin and the master's assassins.  Of course, I was interested in Ileni since she is the main character and her presence among the assassins awakens many questions. I expected her death, her murder while turning the pages of this novel.  I also spent a good time seeking answers to the other assassination regarding the tutors.  I liked how the heros's minds work doubting all actions, all informations even when love is in the air. They are always on the alert and do not trust anyone. Sad but perfect for this rather cold and dark novel. The relationship to death is also interesting.  The end has ¿¿me a little confused because I was expecting a different outcome. But it made ¿¿me curious ... so I look forward to the sequel... Lucie newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr
Sailon More than 1 year ago
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.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***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. Rating: 4 stars. I really enjoyed this book, and I definitely will be reading the next book in the series!
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
Dark, thrilling, and full of secrets, Death Sworn was an absolutely amazing YA read. I completely and totally loved this book. The world was dark, the romance was lovely, and the story was brilliant. Loved it! The world building in this book was great. I never felt confused, despite the entirely separate world that was created. It was dark and magical and wonderfully done. Ileni was a strong heroine. For most of her life, she trained as one of the strongest sorcerers in her society. But, now her magic is draining away and she has suddenly lost her position and path in life. The Elders send her to train the group of assassins in the arts of magic and to find out who was killing the previous tutors. Even with her magic draining, she was a force to be reckoned with. She even learned how to fight in regular combat to make sure she always had a way to defend herself. She was very clever. She knew when to trust and when to keep her own council. She managed to not only navigate the world of the assassins, but beat them at their own game. And, she went though a lot of growth over the course of the book. She started out as somewhat narrow-minded, having never seen anything outside her society and what they taught her. But, as she lives with and gets to know the assassins, she realizes that not all is black and white and what she was taught might not be right. I really liked her. I thought she was totally badass. Sorin was the love interest in this book and he was a puzzle. He was an assassin and he had absolutely no qualms about killing. Not even the innocent. To his mind, if the master commanded it, then it must serve a higher purpose, so the death was justified. He could kill a person in a thousand different ways and not lose a wink of sleep. He was ruthless and a highly skilled killer. He was not an idealized hero, in any way. But, he wasn't a bad person. For one, like Ileni, he changes over the course of the book. He began to see other perspectives. And, he was sweet in his own way. He was very devoted to Ileni, determined to protect her and adorable in his own way. It did't matter that he was a ruthless assassin, I still adored him. The romance was fairly light. It took a while for Ileni and Sorin to trust each other enough for romance to even be an option. The attraction was there immediately and, once deeper feelings came into the equation, it was very sweet. Neither of them bothered to deny their feelings and those feelings were always clear. They complemented each other, with their different morals from what they were taught and they were one bad ass team. After that ending, I'm not sure what will happen with them, but I'm hoping they will be able to have a happy ending somehow. The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were a ton of secrets revealed during this book and they were all a shock. Especially the truth about who was killing the magic mentors and why this person was doing it. I never saw it coming. I never guessed how deep and far that plan went. I really enjoyed the story and that ending has me dying to get my hands on book 2. I need to read it now! Death Sworn was an absolutely brilliant YA read. I loved everything about it. It was dark, thrilling, romantic, and full of secrets that I never saw coming. This is a book you definitely don't want to miss. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review