Google+ Reading Teen: DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess {Book Review}

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess {Book Review}

by Leah Cypess
Death Sworn #1
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 4, 2014)
Language: English
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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. From the critically acclaimed Leah Cypess comes 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?
At a Glance:

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess was such an awesome surprise!  The dark tone and eery mystery that surrounds these dangerous assassins keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.  The world-building and character-building are fantastic, the romance is a slow burn and full of tension, and the plot twists and surprises bring an excitement that lasts until the very last page.

A Mountain Full of Assassins:

For decades a group of assassins has lived in the mountains near Ileni's people.  They follow the Master Assassin, fulfilling his orders without question, thought, or remorse.  The only reason they let Ilei's people live nearby without conflict is that her Elders have made a treaty, agreeing to send a sorcerer to teach them to hone their magic.  The only problem is, the last two sorcerers have died mysterious deaths.

A Sorceress Without Magic:

Ileni has been trained her entire life to be the most powerful sorcerer of her people.  But now she is quickly losing her power, and will soon be completely without magic.  Because of her "uselessness" to the Elders, she is sent to the assassins' cave, to become their new teacher.  She knows that this is a suicide mission, but she is determined to hide the secret of her failing power from them long enough to learn the mystery of who has killed her predecessors, and possibly to find a way to stop the assassins altogether.

I loved Ileni!  She was so defiant and rebellious!  She wouldn't let anyone ever see that they got the best of her, or frightened her, no matter how terrified she might be.  I loved her wit and her strength.  Mostly I loved the way she put others before herself, no matter the cost to her personally.

The Web Spinner:

Behind all the of the plots and schemes is one man.  And they call him The Master.  At first he just seems evil and twisted.  Ordering the deaths of people, even sometimes his own assassins, at will.  But Ileni quickly learns that there is more to this man than meets the eye, and everything he does is for a purpose, though she can hardly figure out what it is.  I loved reading about him because the things that he does are so seemingly cruel, but then you find out that there's a reason for the choices he makes, and you have to decide if he's evil, or something else altogether.  I love complex villains. 

The Protector Assassin:

The most interesting and complex character, though, had to be Sorin.  He is the assassin that has been charged with making sure that Ileni stays safe inside the walls of this deadly cave.  At first Ileni despises him, and he is completely indifferent to her, but slowly they form a mutual respect for each other that grows into something more.  Sorin has more to him than meets the eye, and I loved watching his character development and the way his relationship with Ileni changed over the course of the book.

The Slow Burn:

This is, without a doubt, the best kind of romance, in my opinion.  I loved that Ileni and Sorin really couldn't stand each other at the beginning of this story, but found themselves gaining a begrudging respect, that slowly turns into much more.  There was a lot of tension between these two, and I absolutely loved it.  It's no easy relationship, and I can't imagine what's going to happen to them as the story continues!

Awesome Story!

I'm so glad that I decided to pick up this book.  I really wanted to read an amazing fantasy, especially after some recent disappointments in this genre, and Death Sworn totally satisfied that need.  It was also a quick read, both because it wasn't 500 pages and overly complex, and because I liked it so much I couldn't put it down!  Dark, mysterious, deadly and dangerous with fighting, sorcery, betrayals, and romance, this is a book I highly recommend, to all fantasy lovers, and those who just love a brilliantly written story!

  • Language: Minor
  • Sexual Content: Mild
  • Violence: Moderate


  1. I was so impressed with the way the plot unraveled here-I was always two steps behind the Master and what he hopes to accomplish.

  2. THis one sounds really good! I like romances that start off with the characters not liking each other. And The Master sounds like a really good villian!

  3. What a beautiful cover! The premise sounds awesome! Thanks for the opportinity to win a copy. I added it to my TBR anyway :-)

  4. Absolutely love the cover! I'm glad it has a strong heroine, that always makes for a fun read.

  5. Definitely excited to read this one! I'm glad to hear that it has strong characters and I definitely like assassins in my YA.

  6. This book sounds so good. I cannot wait to read it!

  7. Wow, this book sounds like the perfect fantasy book!!! Love the sound of it and that's a great cover too.

  8. even if you say it was a little dark all teh resty of your review make me want to read this book i love when romance are slowly building so definitively one i will add to my wishlist

  9. Just reading that part with both "Dark and dangerous assassins"; I am all for this story it has been always on my list, so I want to get to read it soon. Amazing review.

  10. This book sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it.

  11. This book sounds very intriguing! Definitely going to have to add this to my want list :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. This sounds like a great story with complex characters who actually develop as they go along. The comparison to Cinda Williams Chima in the blurb caught my eye right away. Thanks for your insights.

  13. Two things stick out to me when reading your review, and that would be two words: Dark and Eerie! Those are both things that will immediately interest me in a story. And seeing as I was already interested in Death Sworn, the interest pretty much soared! The cover is stunning, by the way! In fact, the whole first paragraph of your review basically says to me that this is a book that I don't want to miss out on. And I don't plan to, if I can help it! Thank you for your wonderful review!

  14. Great review this book looks and sounds amazing haven't really read a lot of fantasy books but this one sounds right up my alley thanks for sharing!

  15. This book does sound fantastic. Love how you set out your review.

  16. I love the fact that this book has assassins. What's a fantasy book without an assassin or two? I'll definitely check this one out.

  17. Oh, I cannot wait to read this! Great review!

  18. dark elements? mystery? Assassins? oh my... I think I am missing out on this one!

  19. A slowly built romantic relationship? No insta-love? No random love triangle? Just a moment, I may be going into shock. ;)

  20. Fantasy.....I'm gonna check this one out, I love anything that's fantasy and this one sounds amazing!!!


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