Mundie Moms

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess, Book Review

By: Leah Cypess
Published by: Greenwillow Books
To Be Released on: March 4, 2014
Series: Death Sworn #1
Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT!
Pre-Order from: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
Add it to 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.

FINALLY! Leah Cypess has a new book coming out, and it's AWESOME! I loved Death Sworn. It has all those elements I love in a Leah Cypess book. Danger, magic, intrigue, mystery, and a romance that's there, but not there all at the same time. It's one of those romances that is strictly forbidden. So those stolen glances, accidental arm brushes, and stolen kisses leaving content and wanting so much more.

IIeni is a character I really enjoyed reading about. This girl is full of courage and bravery. She's a powerful sorceress who's sent to tutor a group of deadly assassins. Not only is she sent to live with a group of assassins to uncover the truth about what happened to her predecessors, she lives in a maze of caves under a mountain, which make it impossible for her to get out of. Talk about having to watch your back all the time. If being trapped inside caves with deadly assassins wasn't enough, she uncovers some deadly secrets, and despite what some think, there are more to her powers than they know. Talk about tension, there is a lot of tension in this book, that I didn't even realize I was feeling until I'd finish reading certain scenes. 

I love that Cypess made me feel what her main character felt. I love getting emotionally caught up in a book, and not even realizing that's happening until I finish the book, or a scene. Despite needing to constantly be on her toes, and seem as magically powerful and intimidating as possible, IIeni is internally struggling with a secret about her powers. I liked that though she is an incredibly strong heroine, she does have her weaknesses. My admiration for her grew during the times she had to learn to do without some of her powers, a figure out another way to over come the situation she found herself in. I enjoyed seeing IIeni grow from a character who's poised to be a certain way, struggle with that perception, and then see her become just that, but in their own way. 

I loved the romance in this story. Yes it takes a back seat to everything else that's going on in the story, but it's one of those slow building, and perfectly done romances. Sorin is the best of the best among the assassins. It wouldn't take much of anything for him to kill IIeni, but instead he's sworn to protect her. That doesn't mean she shouldn't be on her guard. Can I just say that I love that there wasn't this instant love between these two. Instead this is one of those extremely forbidden, deadly romances. Literally, deadly. Part of what puts these two at odds, is their personal views and opinions. They are both well educated and have been raised and trained on two different spectrums of the war, and all that's going on in the world around them. I loved that despite their differences, they both stood firmed in their beliefs, as well as started seeing things from the other's point of view. I swear their differences fueled their chemistry. It was one of those constant slow burning chemistries that was always simmering just below the surface when these two around each other. It's one that I wanted more to happen between the two, but given all that's going on, there was never a chance for it. Those stolen glances, both always being aware of the other person, and the stolen kisses are so perfect.

The world building is fabulous. I love that Cypess has this ability to paint the picture of what her world looks like, so that I can easily envision it while I'm reading about it. The setting definitely played a role in the dangerous elements that fueled the pace of this book. There were times I felt that the setting almost became a character itself. There's a complexity the setting has, that I found some of the characters to have. I devoured this book! If you're looking for an exciting, fast paced, YA fantasy with assassins, magic, sorcery, a great mystery, and a plot twist you won't see coming, then I'd highly recommend picking this book up!

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