Book Review: Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Death Sworn 
Death Sworn #1
Leah Cypess
Published: March 4, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
A bit wary at first because my first Leah Cypess book ended in a DNF, I wasn’t sure if I would like Death Sworn. But there are always second chances, second time-arounds, and it was already predetermined that I would read it this week that I just went right in and jumped.

I will admit it right out that it was slow-paced. I mean, I liked the way it started, not at the very beginning in Ilena’s Renegai village and her subsequent fall from the pedestal, but at that part where the significant beginning to her real story mattered. The notion of being slow-paced comes as I read about Ilena’s reason to be in the Assassins’ Caves and whether or not she could find the killer of her predecessors. I thought it would only be focused on that aspect, the other details of an evil Empire suppressing everyone just a background to the drama unfolding in the caves. I settled for a boring afternoon. Yet, there was a nagging feeling that there was something that more than meets the reader’s eyes. There’s more to it, I thought, than an obvious mystery.

There was. I absolutely didn’t rightly guess who the real person behind all that happened. There were hints perhaps but I ignored it since I’ve been caught up between Sorin and Ilena’s dancing around each other. Ahem. And although the story was slow-paced I didn’t complain that much because of how things unraveled and how rich the characters are. With how the book ended…I will read the next book.

Side note:

I would have balked at the I love you statement made by Ilena but her follow-up more than make up for it. But I am not stupid made me applaud her. Sensible girl. One of the few I’ve encountered in YA. She could wish all she want that the boy she had fallen in love with, after deluding herself that she did not care, was different and not what she initially thought he was but she was right not to trust wholly in him despite his seeming return of feelings - of sorts.
Ayanami Faerudo

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