Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Death Sworn (Death Sworn, #1)
Release date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Series: Death Sworn #1

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.

My Rating: 5 Roses

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.

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*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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